The fallout from from Matt Lauer’s disastrous handling of NBC’s “Commander-in-Chief” forum with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continues, and The New York Times wants to make sure a blunder of this level does not occur again. The Times Editorial Board penned a piece asking for future debate moderators to prepare themselves better than Lauer did.
Lauer has been ridiculed for his shoddy performance during the event, which saw him cut off Clinton numerous times and fail to ask follow-up questions about Trump’s Iraq war stance. The New York Times wants to make sure no one else is #LaueringTheBar during the rest of the debates. The editorial board said the job of a moderator is to get candidates to speak truthfully and if they can’t do that, they are doing the country a “disservice“:
“If the moderators of the coming debates do not figure out a better way to get the candidates to speak accurately about their records and policies — especially Mr. Trump, who seems to feel he can skate by unchallenged with his own version of reality while Mrs. Clinton is grilled and entangled in the fine points of domestic and foreign policy — then they will have done the country a grave disservice.”
The New York Times also zeroed in on an issue that has plagued the press this election cycle, which is just giving up and let Trump speak. It seems Trump has numerous press conferences a day and the press is just tired of asking him questions. Perhaps this was the attitude Lauer had during the event, but the editorial board said it would have been easy to call out his inefficiencies:
“Disputing outright lies may actually be one of the easier challenges for a moderator. The harder task is to pierce fantasies and gibberish. That requires preparation and persistence.”
Let’s pick up the mic after that hefty burn. The debate moderators have already been announced for this election season, but one moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, said his role in the debate won’t be a fact-checking one. Let’s hope Wallace changes his mind after seeing the media and voter backlash against Lauer.