Now in Crosshairs: Debate Moderators
Social media, confrontational candidates turn up heat
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 2, 2012 10:45 AM CDT
Jim Lehrer stands outside the Magness Arena, site of Wednesday's presidential debate, on the campus of the University of Denver, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – Jim Lehrer has been moderating presidential debates for decades, but lately, it's a lot tougher than it used to be. Candidates have started confronting not just their opponents but the moderators themselves, as Newt Gingrich showed us during the GOP primaries. And the general public can easily hammer chosen moderators even before the debates begin, thanks to social media. "It’s a rough, rough world," says Lehrer, who was furious when he was called a "safe" choice, the New York Times reports.

Lehrer is set to moderate tomorrow night; on Oct. 16, it's Candy Crowley of CNN. She makes no bones about her nervousness: "Every morning I wake up, I want to throw up thinking about it." To prepare, she writes down questions on index cards, which she keeps everywhere—even in the bathroom. As for Martha Raddatz of ABC, moderating the Oct. 11 vice-presidential debate, she avoids Twitter at all, and wakes up at night to write down questions. CBS' Bob Schieffer, who's moderating the final debate on Oct. 22, calls it a "toxic atmosphere." His weapon of choice: a giant three-ring binder full of news clippings.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
winterfairy
Oct 2, 2012 11:15 PM CDT
Crooked liberal moderators let the Democrats get away breaking the rules and avoiding the questions like Al Gore did. I wouldn't be surprised if they leaked the questions way early or even got the questions from the NYTimes.
Cat-Lover
Oct 2, 2012 9:30 PM CDT
I, for one, can't picture Candy Crowley in the bathroom, pero en gustas se rompen generos...
LarryG
Oct 2, 2012 1:07 PM CDT
Sam Jack said it best, "What the f__k Billmelater doesn't have a clue on what's in the Federal Budget.... He was a student for 2 years, . NOW America has this "dumb f__k" for uselessness.... "Wake the f__k up" if this bum knows a budget, then a moron knows Einstein's Theory... CRAZY? ... Billmelater couldn't even get himself a real job, and he keeps promising mommy to get him one....... Now that's "f__ked up."