MEDIA

ABC News Pushes Back At Daily Caller For Martha Raddatz Bias Accusation

This undated handout photo provided by ABC News shows Martha Raddatz. For the first time in two decades, a woman has been tap
This undated handout photo provided by ABC News shows Martha Raddatz. For the first time in two decades, a woman has been tapped to moderate a presidential debate. CNN’s Candy Crowley will moderate one of three October debates between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday. Jim Lehrer of PBS and Bob Schieffer of CBS News will moderate the other two debates. Lehrer will moderate the first debate on Oct. 3 in Denver, focused on domestic topics. Another female journalist, Martha Raddatz of ABC News, will moderate the Oct. 11 debate in Danville, Ky., between Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. (AP Photo/ABC News)

ABC News is aggressively pushing back against the conservative website Daily Caller for claiming that network correspondent Martha Raddatz has a conflict of interest that could get in the way of her moderating the upcoming vice presidential debate.

The Caller wrote an article in August, noting that Raddatz was once married to current FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, a longtime friend of Obama's. The story made few waves, but, according to the Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan, the Caller contacted ABC asking whether or not Obama attended Raddatz's wedding to Genachowski in the early 1990s.

Raddatz divorced Genachowski in 1997. The ABC News correspondent is now married to NPR's Tom Gjelten.

ABC News took the unusual step of releasing a statement blasting the Caller before its new story had even been published. An ABC News spokesperson called the "conflict of interest" claim "absurd":

Martha Raddatz is known for her tough, fair reporting, which is why it was no surprise to her colleagues inside and outside ABC News that she was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates for this assignment. Barack Obama was a law school classmate of Raddatz's ex-husband Julius Genachowski at Harvard. At the time Barack Obama was a student and president of the Law Review. He attended their wedding over two decades ago along with nearly the entire Law Review, many of whom went onto successful careers including some in the Bush administration. Raddatz and Mr. Genachowski divorced in 1997 and both are now remarried.

Raddatz will moderate the first and only vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan on Thursday, October 11 in Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

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