Could One Write a Book to Appear on Jan. 20 Praising the New Age of Obama and Still Be Expected to Remain Neutral about His Chances?

by Victor Davis Hanson

The problem with the Ifill selection is not that she is for Obama (how could the media easily find any moderator who was not?), but that her Age of Obama encomium is, according to press releases, set to appear on January 20, Inauguration Day — the implication being that the book will sell far more copies as a timely analysis of Obama just as he assumes office. Yes, moderators are usually liberal, and yes, authors of books on contemporary politics usually try to find timing gimmicks to sell them; but in this case, the problem is that Ifill’s book stands to do far better should Obama be elected, and her publishers seem in advance to have recognized, and thus counted on, that. That’s the rub, and the result is that it will make it hard for her to seem unbiased when moderating a debate in which one side is trying to demonstrate to the nation why we should not have embrace an age of Obama. As a matter of ethics, this is a no brainer.