11/03/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gwen Ifill Responds To "Very Conservative Folks" On Oprah: "I Haven't Even Written The Barack Obama Chapter Yet"

Gwen Ifill appeared on "Oprah" Friday to debrief following Thursday night's Vice Presidential debate, which she moderated. Oprah asked Ifill about the drama surrounding her upcoming book on black political leaders that is slated to come out around Inauguration Day, a fact conservatives used Wednesday to question whether she was an appropriate debate moderator.

"I'm happy to set the record straight," Ifill told Oprah.

Ifill said "a lot of very conservative folks decided...that this was a 'pro-Obama book' and I was 'hopelessly conflicted.' Well, as I pointed out to them...I haven't even written the Barack Obama chapter yet."


Her full comments:

I've been working in blessed obscurity on this book for some time, except I've written about it for Time magazine, I've written about it for Essence magazine, it's been written about in Vogue, but for some reason, the day before the debate, all of a sudden it became a subject of some drama because a lot of very conservative folks decided — mind you, once again, the day before the debate — that this was a "pro-Obama book" and I was "hopelessly conflicted." Well, as I pointed out to them, to those who wanted to listen anyway: I haven't even written the Barack Obama chapter yet because no one knows how it's going to end.

So my publisher is happy that we actually got a chance to talk about the book, but everybody who's known me and known the kind of work I've done for 30 years in journalism, I got a lot of support, including from folks in the McCain campaign, who called me and said, "This isn't fair, we know you, we know that you're a straight-ahead reporter." And my thing was, watch the debate on Thursday night and decide if I'm fair or not and I think people can say I was fair.