Before the debate, audience members were reminder to do things such as stay quiet and hold their applause until the end. The American people were told this debate was going to be hard hitting and strictly between the two candidates, as it should have been. Debate moderators are supposed to remember the debate is not about them. Just like “nobody goes to a baseball game to watch the umpire,” a good moderator’s role is minimal at best.
In past debates liberal moderators have had a tendency of doing whatever they can to swing the debate in favor of the Democratic candidate. Whether it be quick, snarky fact checks, or questions that allow the liberal candidate to skate by unscathed, a moderator plays a big part in allowing the candidate they prefer to own the stage. Last night was no exception to what has happened in the past.
Lester Holt should have pressed both candidates to answer tough questions and answer to the American people. Instead he used his role as moderator to spin the debate in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Dan Gainor, who is the vice president for Business and Culture at the Media Research Center wrote an article showing how Lester Holt disenfranchised Donald Trump last night.
Journalists got their wish. Presidential debate moderator Lester Holt hoisted Hillary Clinton’s campaign high in the air like Atlas. Holt repeatedly called out Trump, as both the Clinton campaign and the liberal media had begged him to do.
Holt reminded viewers he’s liberal – from pushing the birther issue to harassing Trump about his tax returns to a wildly biased question about Clinton as “the first woman nominated by a party” not having “the look.” Clinton skated by with a 15-second response on her emails while Trump was asked repeated follow-up questions while Hillary was not. There was no “deplorables” question and Holt promoted the birther meme without noting its origin in the Clinton camp.
Clinton discussed fact-checking three times, even imploring her media friends: “Well, I hope the fact checkers are turning up the volume and really working hard.” Holt sure was. He dragged the debate to the left in six major ways:
1) Jobs: Holt pressed Trump with two questions on how he was going to add jobs even though the first answer discussed renegotiating trade deals.
2) Taxes: He portrayed the tax plans from the left – Clinton wanting to tax the rich and Trump “calling for tax cuts for the wealthy,” forcing Trump to correct him.
3) Tax Returns: Trump got hit hard with tax return questions for “business conflicts” while Hillary got a slide on emails, her hidden speeches and Clinton Foundation business conflicts.
4) Birthers: Holt asked a “birther” question that lasted longer than Clinton’s email answer. He then added three separate follow-ups to jam up Trump.
5) Iraq: He hammered Trump for supporting the Iraq War, downplaying how Hillary had voted to do the same.
6) Hillary’s Gaffe: When asked about biased policing, Clinton said, “I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police.” Holt ignored it, rather than challenge the idea everyone is bigoted.
The New York Times said Holt “Opted for Restraint,” and called him a “minimalist moderator.” The paper liked some of Holt’s approach, given the “news media tempest over how aggressively a moderator should fact check candidates.” Still, the Times called it “a split decision” for Holt.
USA Today summed it up with the magic words: “Holt fact-checked Trump.” Right-leaning HeatStreet called Holt the “third debater.” Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell III (Hint: My boss), said, “Holt failed in his role as a moderator. Period.”
If a moderator is going to intervene in a debate they should be fact checking both candidates, not just the one they despise. If they aren’t going to ask both candidates about the scandals and controversies that surround them, they shouldn’t ask at all.
A good majority of America watches these debates and should be able to make decisions for themselves. The American people don’t want to watch a debate that is swung in the direction of who a single person favors.
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