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In the run-up to the first nationally televised meeting between President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden, the co-chair of the Presidential Debate Commission has reaffirmed that it’s not the job of the moderator to engage in real-time fact-checking about what the candidates present to the American people. Hopefully, Chris Wallace is listening
In an interview on the Fox News show America’s Newsroom about Tuesday night’s first presidential debate to be moderated by FNC anchor Wallace at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio, Frank Fahrenkopf underscored that moderators and interviewers have different functions, and the media fact-check feeding frenzy properly occurs after the 90-minute forum concludes.
“There’s a great difference being moderator in a debate and being an interviewer. For example, If I was running for office, and you were interviewing me, and I stated something that was totally wrong compared to what I said a week ago, okay, I just change my position, you as a reporter doing an interview would follow up, and ‘say wait a minute Frank, you said something totally different a week ago.’ But that’s not the role of the moderator in the debate. We want to debate between the two principles. They’re the ones we want to go back and forth at each other, and the moderator should be a facilitator,” Fahrenkopf told anchor Sandra Smith.
“There’s no doubt that the minute this debate is over, as has been the case in the 30 that we’ve already done, there are fact-checkers in every newspaper, every network, there are talking heads, who’ll say someone said something wrong, et cetera. It’s not our job to be fact-checkers. We are to present the candidates, they make their arguments, the facilitators, the moderator, and we go from there.”
(Source: Fox News)
You might recall that CNN’s Candy Crowley sabotaged Mitt Romney to help Barack Obama in 2012 by inserting herself into a debate with a fact-check about the Benghazi terrorist attack.
It is inexplicable that every four years, moreover, that the GOP succumbs to allowing liberals to moderate all the debates.
Beltway insider Chris Wallace has generally shown hostility to Republicans, especially President Trump, so it remains to be seen whether he will abide by Fahrenkopf’s rule and restrain himself from helping Biden while interrupting Trump.
Assuming the debate goes forward, the commission co-chair also mentioned to Smith that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the candidates will be socially distancing and without the traditional pre-debate handshake. Only 75-80 people will be allowed in the room, all of whom will be separated, tested, and wearing masks. No breaks will be allowed, unless a medical emergency occurs.
Fahrenkopf threw cold water on President Trump’s call for drug testing the candidates.
“We are not in the business of doing drug testing, and there’s no way that we can do that unless — and let’s face facts, no one can take anyone’s drug test unless they agree to it and it’s my understanding that the former vice president has said he’s not going to agree. So I don’t know where this issue is going to go but clearly it’s not going to be a requirement put forth by the debate commission that one or both be drug-tested.”
In the last week or so, Biden has been hunkering down in his Delaware basement even more than usual (if that’s even possible) likely being fed debate talking points by his far-left handlers. As many have already surmised, President Trump confirmed at a press conference on Sunday that he’s not a debate-prep kind of guy and considers the last four years in office as constituting his debate prep.
With low expectations surrounding the ex-Obama VP, the corporate media is already poised to anoint Biden as the winner of the first debate. Given this state of play, it’s even more important for Trump to be concise and specific (especially for the benefit of the non-news-junkies who will be watching), and avoid rambling discourses.