Lehrer: I Was Supposed to Stay Out of the Way
Moderator's only regret is that the time was too short
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 5, 2012 5:47 AM CDT
Jim Lehrer stands outside the Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver on Monday.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – Lots of people have complained about Jim Lehrer's moderation—or lack thereof—during Wednesday's debate, but he says he did just fine. The goal "was to facilitate direct, extended exchanges between the candidates about issues of substance. Part of my moderator mission was to stay out of the way of the flow and I had no problems with doing so," he explains in a statement picked up by Buzzfeed. "My only real personal frustration was discovering that 90 minutes was not enough time in that more open format to cover every issue that deserved attention." (Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal defends him today: "He didn't think it was about him. How quaint.")

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
Oct 6, 2012 2:48 AM CDT
As a proffessional moderator that say's, I was suppose to (stay out of the way), makes one wonder who instructed him to do so? Perhaps he could shed some light on that comment.
Oct 5, 2012 7:10 PM CDT
" Gentlemen.....GENTLEMEN......please; this is a debate. We can't have you DEBATING ". Jim just moved up from the usual "look at me, look at me" talking heads to a true professional. His job was to get them to talk about substantive issues, and, as he says, to stay out of the way. He did. Good on ya, Jim.
Oct 5, 2012 4:24 PM CDT
Lehrer is admitting with that comment that he did a poor job of managing the debate. Not that it matters. Debates are a waste of time. Jobs, the economy, Medicare, etc. are way to difficult to be understood in the informercial environment of a debate.