Who’s moderating the third presidential debate? Let’s hope they have a therapist
There’s only one debate left (thank god), so it’s time to send all of your positive energy to the moderator of the third presidential debate. The debate takes place Wednesday, Oct. 19, and will be moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. So, basically, it’s going to be an even bigger train wreck than the second presidential debate. I mean, if it’s possible to beat the tension that was circling around the town hall.
Republican nominee Donald Trump really can have no complaints for this debate. Previously, he criticized first debate moderator Lester Holt for being biased because of his party affiliation (Holt is a registered Republican) and the second debate moderators, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, for not letting him interrupt Clinton while she spoke (the moderators silenced each candidate equally). But Wallace, being from Fox News, should make Trump happy. Trump loves Fox News — he’s on Fox and Friends and Hannity on the daily, trash-talking Clinton and covering his ass, scandal after scandal.
But Wallace is no sympathizer. Back in January, the journalist said the media was too easy on Trump. Well, sort of. “All the other Sunday shows have allowed Trump to call in and do phone interviews. I’m the only Sunday show host that [will only talk] in person. I think that Sunday shows hold themselves to a higher standard,” he said.
This weekend, too, Wallace was a tough questioner when it came to Trump surrogates. In the wake of the 2005 Access Hollywood tape leak, Trump surrogates had to defend their candidate’s words, but one person was conspicuously absent: campaign manager and possible robot Kellyanne Conway. Wallace attacked former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was on his show, asking, “I gotta to ask you: Was Kellyanne Conway unwilling to defend Trump’s remarks about women?” Wallace let Giuliani off the hook after the former mayor said it was just a matter of scheduling, but at least it was a good question trying to dig into how deep the lewd comments were hitting the campaign.
Then again, he doesn’t want to be a “truth squad,” which is something these two candidates direly need. “That’s not my job… It’s up to the other person to catch them on that. I certainly am going to try to maintain some reasonable semblance of equal time. If one of them is filibustering, I’m going to try to break in respectfully and give the other person a chance to talk,” he told Fox News’ Howard Kurtz earlier this month.
I mean, this is a debate, and journalists tend to take the job of moderating seriously. On Sunday, the moderators were quick to redirect questioning when Trump began harping on emails or Benghazi (if only because they had nothing to do with the question. This happened at the vice presidential debate, as well). Wallace might let shit like that slide, which means the last debate really might be a straight up fight. That would be disappointing, Fox News man.