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wundayatta's avatar

How should Jim Lehrer have controlled the debate?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) October 5th, 2012

Here’s a sketch that ran on Jimmy Fallon’s show (scroll down just a little). The sketch portrays a lot of anger about what Lehrer did in the debate, and I heard so many comments on debate night about what a bad job he did, as well.

What could he have done better? I think it’s hard to tell the President or the potential next president to shut up. Do you think you could do it? Could anyone? How?

This sketch also raises a secondary question: When did it become ok to say f—- on network TV? Is it just late night? I mean, the bleeps do nothing to hide what is being said.

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7 Answers

rojo's avatar

I think you can tell from my prior posts that I was not happy with his performance. That being said, I think that he is severely limited in his ability to control both the actions and answers of the candidates by the debate commission

As I understand it the commission that both parties set up to put on this dog and pony show pretty much castrates the moderator. Both parties to dictate the format, content and participants in the so called debate and all they want is a patsy to take the heat.

What does surprise me is that he agreed to do it in the first place. Would love to know his reasoning.

El_Cadejo's avatar

He should have acted a bit less like Milton .
What exactly should he have done differently? Spoke up a bit more and been less of a push over. I know it can be hard to tell the President and the guy running for President to shut up but I dont recall ever watching a debate where the moderator got walked over half as much as he did. IMO Gwen Ifill was the best moderator I can recall seeing. She didnt take shit from anyone, granted this was for a VP debate, but she really took control and didnt allow either much talking after allotted time and kept the debate flowing nicely.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It actually was embarassing for all 3 of them imo. They (M & O) looked like jerks who didn’t care if they ran over an old man, and he looked like he was half-dead, and when he spoke up (quietly btw, where was the mic?) they kept talking. Jostling for position on questions, and all of it needs to be overhauled, it was a joke.

phaedryx's avatar

I wish the setup were different:

Moderator controls when a candidate’s mic is on. If moderator says the candidate has 5 minutes, the candidate only gets 5 minutes (with a warning light at 4:30). Their mic automatically gets cut at 5 minutes, even if they were mid-sentence.

ETpro's avatar

I suspect @rojo is right that Jim Lehrer had little or no control given the rules the debate commission gave him. I agree with @KNOWITALL that the whole thing came off as a joke. Fluff for the pundits to talk about. Both campaigns were given the list of questions in advance and they obviously each studied up on how they would change the subject and talk about what they wanted to instead of actually answering the question put to them.

I’m with @phaedryx. Give the Moderator switches to both men’s microphone. Warn them when they begin to go over, and if they try to talk over the moderator, turn their mic off. And I’d like to see the moderator empowered to call BS when it’s slung.

Jaxk's avatar

Both candidates got a chance to say what they wanted. In fact Obama got 4½ minutes more time than Romney. I wanted to hear Romney and Obama debate, Not Lehrer. I suspect many Obama fans would like to have had Lehrer either bail out Obama or call a TKO. Blaming Lehrer for this seems to be ‘sour grapes’.

ucme's avatar

Given them both a huge sticky lollipop.

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