Her Time Has Come

Gwen Ifill’s The Breakthrough breaks through just in time.

Your typical PBS news personality is stodgy, dry, and supposedly impartial to the events of the day. It seemed the same couldn’t quite be said of veteran journalist Gwen Ifill. The managing editor of Washington Week, senior correspondent for NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, frequent Meet the Press guest, and national election debate moderator made waves during the most recent election cycle by bucking the PBS news personality trend. It all began when a conclusion-happy, right-wing pot-stirrer drudged up a story right before October’s vice presidential debate, calling our Gwen out on her journalistic impartiality.

Ifill’s book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, was set to be released in January — right around Inauguration Day, as a matter of fact. Right-wingers, McCainiacs, haters, Queen Latifah, and the cast of SNL had a field day with the story, until it turned out to be a tempest in a teapot. Sure, Ifill’s book had the name Obama in the title, but the tome wasn’t about being pro-one candidate or anti-the other. It turns out the book is actually about the contemporary face of black politicians and what gender, age, and a generational shift mean in this quote-unquote post-racial society. And it also turns out Ifill’s roll of the publishing dice proved prescient: Not only did — ahem — President Obama win handily, but also her book is now one of few on the shelves that tackles the timely topic. Advantage Ifill. Meet the brilliant newswoman this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables. Tickets are required. Get ’em at any Books & Books location. Call 305-442-4408 or visit booksandbooks.com.
Wed., Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m., 2009

 
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