The importance of debate moderators
October 23, 2016
Filed under Opinion
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Presidential debate moderators are the most important positions in the political journalism profession, and have been more important this year because interest is at a high.
These moderators “bring extensive experience to the job, and understand the importance of using expanded time periods effectively,” the Los Angeles time said.
Lester Holt, the anchor of NBC Nightly News, hosted the first debate held on Sept. 26.
Holt struggled with controlling the pace of the debate, mostly due to constant interruptions by republican nominee Donald Trump. Holt tried to let both Trump and democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answer their questions in full, which resulted in the debate going over time and the candidates, mostly Trump, taking advantage of Holt’s leniency.
The second debate was held on Oct. 9, and co-hosted by ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
The second debate was much more timely. Raddatz and Cooper weren’t tolerate of either candidate going over their time limit, interrupting, or not answering a question to their satisfaction. Raddatz and Cooper’s moderation style was more efficient and effective, and it made the debate easier to watch.
Chris Wallace, Fox News anchor, hosted the final debate on Oct. 19. Wallace used his humor to dilute insults during the third debate, and held Clinton and Trump accountable for previous statements and scandals.
At the end of it all, Wallace emphasized the importance of each individual vote. He reminded audiences that voting is a privilege and it is what makes this country strong. Election day is Nov. 8.