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In a later “Reporter’s Notebook” feature (exclusive to their online edition), Ifill seems willing to replace “changing a position,” with “evolving” it. I don’t want to say she’s biased, but at the least, she’s susceptible to political doublespeak — always a worrisome sign. (To be clear: I’ve enjoyed Ifill’s reporting for years. I was just disappointed in this instance, and then in the case of her perceived flap).
As for Palin being a woman, I agree that it’s an unfortunate public perception issue. But Biden clearly held back. I can’t help but think part of that is because Palin’s a woman. I think if he had tried to hammer her, though, it’s clear she would have been ready and capable of fighting back. I think it’s unfortunate we didn’t get to see it, though.
As for your last point, it’s not letting someone off the hook. I actually think that candidates of both parties would be better off if the reporters interviewing them showed some knowledge of their experience prior. I can’t recall the interview where some intrepid reporter, for example, got into the nitty-gritty of Obama’s Chicago political career. And if Obama makes some pledge on some political issue, it’s only a pledge. In other words, show me the facts, don’t show me some potential for ability.
While I think you and I obviously disagree about Palin’s qualifications, I hope you can see more clearly precisely what I was picking out as a strange phenomenon in these interviews. Tim Russert was actually pretty good at this sort of thing, though sometimes he would lapse as well.
(For today’s other Reader Mail, click here.)
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?