WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Matt Lauer comes under fire from the establishment media for not being tough enough on Donald Trump, the upcoming debate moderators are coming under scrutiny for their longtime Democrat Party allegiances.
“Matt Lauer Failed The Moderator Test” reads HuffPo’s headline, courtesy of Michael Calderone. The Clinton-friendly site savages Lauer.
“Matt Lauer, the Today show host, flunked in primetime. And his failure was even more remarkable because he had the very information he needed to succeed,” Calderone wrote.
HuffPo condemned Lauer for asking Clinton about the email scandal, going to a questioner who asked about the email scandal, lingering too long on the email scandal, and then asking Trump an “open-ended” question to kick his segment off in an introductory way.
Clearly, Lauer felt the heat from Hillary Clinton fans nervous about her performance.
“Clinton wobbled on style,” Politico conceded.
“She looks uncertain,” Politico wrote.
Now the attention shifts to the next moderators in the lineup. Social media on the right watches closely for any signs of a potential “Candy Crowley” moment whereby a moderator could enter the debate strongly for the Democrat, shifting momentum in the Democrat’s favor.
Lester Holt is up first. He gets Trump and Clinton at Hofstra University in New York on September 26.
It was originally supposed to be held at Wright State University in the battleground state of Ohio. But university president David Hopkins had to withdraw due to “rising security costs” of up to $11 million that the college had to pay. Hopkins, chastened, thanked Hofstra for at least allowing 15 Wright State students to attend the debate in New York.
At NBC News, Lester Holt replaced Brian Williams during a time of scandal. But he is working to establish himself as something other than a mere Gerald Ford caretaker of the anchor’s chair.
Holt asked Hillary Clinton if she ever gets her “feelings hurt” due to the Republican attacks on her. Referring to a young person in a town hall event who said that his generation feels Clinton is dishonest, Holt said to Clinton, “And when he said that I winced.”
Newsbusters flagged Holt for a number of comments during the campaign that should make the Trump team very nervous about the primetime exposure that he is getting. Particularly, comments that Holt made when he managed to interview The Donald to his face once at Trump Tower.
HOLT: You were sitting here watching the top of the broadcast with us. You saw images of Republicans burning their Republican registration cards. So angry at the idea of you representing the party. What did you think when you saw that?…
HOLT: You’re speaking to the whole country now. You said things that shocked people, outraged people, about a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, to your characterizations of Mexican immigrants. Those things worked for you. They resonated. They worked. They got you to where you are today. But as you try to appeal to the entire country, do you stand by them? Do you stand, for example, behind the idea of a ban against foreign Muslims coming here?…
HOLT: Your negatives are staggering. Disapproval 69% women, African-Americans, 88%, Latinos 79%, people under 34, 75% disapprove. How much of that is self-inflicted by some of the rhetoric from the primary campaign, and how do you heal that while still respecting those who got you here?
Quijano gets the vice presidential debate for CBS News on October 4 at Virginia’s Longwood University. She gets the debate to herself, which will be her biggest job yet in broadcasting.
Quijano was a serious political reporter at CNN during George W. Bush’s second term, but she left that network in December 2009 at the end of Obama’s first year.
At CBS News for about six years now, Quijano is still identified as a “versatile reporter” who covered Superstorm Sandy and the World Cup.
Good reporters usually hate getting sidelined, especially for periods of six years at a time.
Will Quijano step up her game and challenge Tim Kaine with the same level of veracity that she does Mike Pence? That remains to be seen. Right now, Quijano is a wild card.
Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper
Martha Raddatz of the ABC News morning lineup gets the debate on October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, but she is sharing moderating duties with Anderson Cooper. Rivalry between ABC News and CNN could be inflamed.
President Obama attended Martha Raddatz’s wedding, which raised doubt on the pages of Breitbart when she was first tapped to host a Republican primary debate in New Hampshire. Obama went to the wedding in 1991, knowing the happy couple from Harvard Law School.
“I didn’t do anything. I mean, I didn’t have to handle that. It was – and I’m really not going to comment about that,” Raddatz told Breitbart News in 2013. “That was something that happened two days before the debate. It had been in The New York Times quite a while before that, I believe. I just got to put this out of my head. That had nothing to do with what I did at the debate. Nothing.”
Anderson Cooper, meanwhile, is strident in his progressive advocacy on social issues, but Trump is more liberal on those issues, including gay marriage. Cooper is also willing to stand up to Hillary Clinton on all the times she flip-flopped on policy issues, even asking “Will you say anything to get elected?”
Chris Wallace gets the Fox News debate in Las Vegas on October 19.
Suffice it to say that Breitbart News will be covering the Fox News debate in Las Vegas on October 19.
In the meantime, Wallace is mostly known to many Trump fans as the co-moderator of the raucous first Republican primary debate in which Megyn Kelly infamously kicked the whole thing off by going straight at Trump.
Trump is cautiously optimistic about Wallace at this point.
“Well, I don’t know. I can tell you, Chris Wallace is a professional,” Trump told Larry King, referring to Wallace’s comment that he is not going to play fact-checker for Trump and Clinton at the debate.
“He’s very, very good at what he does. And you know, I can understand him saying that but yeah, I think — I think that the candidates should police themselves” on accuracy, Trump said.
Wallace’s most notable question for Trump at that first debate was recognized by the leftist website Vox as a question “designed to embarrass the candidate.”
“Mr. Trump, it has not escaped anybody’s notice that you say that the Mexican government, the Mexican government is sending criminals – rapists, drug dealers, across the border,” Wallace said. “You have repeatedly said that you have evidence that the Mexican government is doing this, but you have refused or declined to share [that evidence]. Why not use this first Republican presidential debate to share your proof with the American people?”