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.