Gwen Ifill, who moderated last Thursday's vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, shrugged off criticism Sunday that she did not keep the two debaters on track. Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Ifill said that when "Joe Biden decided that he was going to debate John McCain, and [Palin] decided she was going to give a stump speech to the American people, there's very little a moderator can do other than say, 'No, no, no, listen, I asked a question. Please, please answer.'" When host Tom Brokaw noted that Palin had said at the beginning of the debate, "I may not answer the questions the way the moderator and you [Biden] want to hear," Ifill replied, "She 'blew me off,' I think is the technical term." Asked about the Saturday Night Live version of the debate, Ifill remarked, "Being played by Queen Latifah is not a bad thing." Meanwhile, Palin has continued to maintain that she intends to talk directly to the American public "without the filter and let them know what we stand for." In an interview with Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron, Palin said that she wants to apologize for some of the answers she gave Katie Couric last week. "I'm going to try harder," she said, "but I would ask also then that the media tries a little bit harder also ... that there's fairness just objectivity and fairness and truth."

06/10/2008