Presidential debate moderator Bob Schieffer also in the hot seat -

Presidential debate moderator Bob Schieffer also in the hot seat


Long-time journalist and CBS Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer will moderate the final presidential debate, and if reaction to the first three debates are any indication, he’ll need to draw on all his years of experience to get through it and come out unscathed.

Schieffer already has two presidential debates under his belt, in 2004 and 2008, writes Politico’s Dylan Byers, and when he moderates his third “he will do so with two candidates who have shown no qualms about riding roughshod over their moderators and disobeying the very ground rules their own campaigns agreed to honour.”

Not only have President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoken longer than their allotted time and disobeyed previous moderators, those moderators can’t escape criticism about how they did, or didn’t, enforce the rules that both candidates seemed so intent on breaking.

Debate No. 1 was moderated by long-time PBS News Hour host Jim Lehrer, who came under fire for being too soft on the candidates and for asking vague questions. If the public criticism wasn’t enough, Romney also told Lehrer, in his now infamous quote, that he loved Big Bird, but was ready to cut all federal funding to PBS.

Next up, ABC’s Martha Raddatz had the task of keeping Vice-president Joe Biden and Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan on topic. While Raddatz’s performance was generally praised, some Republicans, including former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, said Raddatz had a liberal bias, and was too hard on Ryan.

Perhaps taking criticism of Lehrer and debate No. 1 into account, CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley was ready to enforce the rules when she moderated the second town-hall-style debate between the candidates. But Crowley’s attempt to fact-check Romney for his incorrect claim that President Barack Obama did not refer to the consulate attack in Benghazi as an “act of terror” drew attacks from conservatives, even prompting CNN to clarify “The truth about what Candy Crowley said,” on its website.

Over at Poynter, researchers try to put some numbers behind all these accusations of bias, and a report cites a study that shows both Crowley and Raddatz did interrupt the Republican candidate more than the Democrat. Both candidates also cut off moderator Lehrer 30 times during the first debate, the study shows.

By Monday morning, pundits were weighing in on whether Schieffer has what it takes to moderate the final debate, in what is turning into a very close presidential race. Schieffer, meanwhile, was keeping a low profile. New York Times blog The Caucus notes that Schieffer has barely mentioned his important debate role in the lead up to the big day.

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Presidential debate moderator Bob Schieffer also in the hot seat

  1. Crowley also gave Obama extra speaking time, deliberately, because “he speaks slower”.

    During Crowley’s debate, Obama got the last word 8 times. Romney, 3 times.

    • Last word is measured in inches if you know what I mean haha

  2. Whether they cut off one candidate more than another is immaterial if the candidate deserved it. Maybe the Republican candidates just tell more obvious lies.

    • You sir are an idiot and need to quit being biased yourself. Neither candidate should be allowed to speak longer than the allotted time. By allowing this is allowing bias to be involved. Let the cadidates speak, whether you agree with them not, and let the American public decide which candidate they want for President. Perhaps if we kept ALL news reporters from ALL channels from presenting their side of the argument more facts could be deciphered and citizens could make a truly unbiased statement.

      • Wow. Who pissed in your cornflakes?

        If you care to actually read what I wrote, I didn’t say a thing about people speaking longer than they should have.

        I was commenting on the stat there that they cut off the Republican more often than the Democrat, and pointed out that without context, that stat is meaningless.

        Most people with half a brain could probably understand that, however, given your lack, I’ll explain it a little more clearly: “If the Republican violated the rules of the debate more often, we would EXPECT him to be cut off more often.”

        Did he? Didn’t he? Don’t know. Don’t care. I’m not an American, nor do I want to be, for a reason. If anything, I was commenting on the bad media surrounding the story.. and then you attempt to take me to task for it, going on to.. wait for it.. comment on the bad media.. and then you call *me* an idiot?

        You know what would really help the citizens being able to decipher the facts? If the morons like you learned to read, then think, before they tried to put out their opinion.


    • You are the reason people dislike America to begin with

  4. I read the WSJ and figured out why: China has bought as much cdn market cap ($20.6B) as all other nations combined. IDK y from Australia is at $4.8B…should be around 60% less than us. One reason I don’t like sanctions on Iran too crippling, I read a microfluidics paper they wrote. It wasn’t great, but it delineated four plastics making technologies and gave price estimates roughly, which is IP tough to find. It affirmed, with a few other papers, microfluidics is one possible future for Canada’s petro resources, after we end gasoline/diesel/heating-oil. Maybe a low footprint chemical refinery tax credit/subsidy? Still don’t know shockwave carbon footprint…(sonic booms to turn natural gas or oil, I forget, into ethylene 85%).

    • sigh. AGW if to high or fast, will make Pakistan fall apart. And Chindia. COP/CPC still don’t get it. Romney is trumpetting coal and Harper ignored the environmental roundtable last wk.