One question on everyone’s mind before the first presidential debate was how the moderator, Lester Holt, would handle his responsibilities. We need only look at past examples, like Candy Crowley, to see how liberal journalists can openly assist the Democratic contender and get away with it.
After Monday night’s broadcast, some praised Holt’s even handedness, while others pointed out that he’d interrupted and corrected Trump (sometimes using false information) far more than Hillary.
Now the real story can be told:
Before the debate, Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, heaped pressure on Holt to constantly interrupt Trump, arguing that the debate was a “special circumstance,” that allowed him to “fact check” Trump on a whim, despite the fact that only candidates are allowed to challenge each other according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.
NBC insiders also let slip that Holt was “not going to be a potted plant” – in other words – he was going to insert his own bias into the debate rather than just moderating it fairly.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopedia Britannica,” the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Janet Brown, told CNN on Sunday.
Yet that’s exactly what Holt did.
For all the pre-debate chatter about “fact checking,” it is now clear that Holt let Clinton get away with all kinds of whoppers while hammering Trump about the “birther” issue and whether or not “stop and frisk” was ruled unconstitutional.