Yesterday, it was announced that Matt Lauer would moderate a joint candidate forum next week, setting off criticisms that there is virtually no way any Republican (much less Trump) could get a fair deal out of the debates. Today, we’ve learned the names of the moderators of the debates themselves.
This year’s three presidential debates will be moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz, and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.
The vice presidential debate moderator is Elaine Quijana of CBS News.
Holt, the anchor of the NBC Nightly News, will lead the first debate, which is set to take place at Hofstra University on September 26.
Cooper and Raddatz will co-moderate the second debate, which will be a town-hall style event in St. Louis, Missouri.
Wallace will moderate the third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The choices, frankly, could be much worse (Hi, Candy Crowley!). The only choice I don’t particularly care for is Raddatz, whose performance in the 2012 debates was probably the worst. According to the CNN story linked and quoted above, the choices were largely made according to how unbiased they might come across. CNN’s contribution, Anderson Cooper, is probably most people’s second choice (behind Jake Tapper), while NBC’s Holt is about the best we can hope for from that network.
Hillary will undoubtedly be in friendly territory for the first two debates, however, not as friendly as it once was. The media is also upset with her for refusing to give them access to her campaign.
Of course, now the question will go back to whether or not Trump will show up to the debates. I’m still willing to wager that he’ll talk about an unfair media, make people tune in just to see if he shows up, and he’ll be there as he always intended to be. His goal, remember, is to appear in the media as much as possible. Just a statement saying he isn’t sure Cooper or Raddatz can be unbiased and that he doesn’t know if he’ll be there is enough to make the media froth at the mouth for weeks.
However, the media can certainly put forward worse moderators. So, good job?