Politico reported that debate moderator Lester Holt stayed out of the way during Monday’s presidential debate, but the report seems to miss the combined 48 times Holt interrupted the two nominees.
Politico focused on the fact that Holt didn’t push Republican nominee Donald Trump on the Mexican border wall, or on Trump’s proposed Muslim ban. In fact, a great majority of topics were excluded from the debate questioning. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wasn’t asked about the Clinton Foundation scandal, or her personal emails.
Holt started the debate by stating that he wanted to merely “facilitate.”
“But during the debate, that understated approach sometimes led to the candidates, especially Trump, rolling over his questions, with Holt at one point admitting that they were far behind schedule,” the article continued.
Although some of the tough questions went unasked, Holt was hardly a mere facilitator.
Holt interrupted Trump 41 times during the 90-minute debate, pushing against the Republican nominee on almost every question, and cutting him off when he started in on a point.
Comparatively, Clinton escaped with a paltry seven interruptions, mostly out of concern for time. Politico argues that although Holt “tried” to interrupt Trump, he didn’t do enough to maintain control of the debate.
The Hill also reported that Holt’s presence was “largely invisible” throughout the course of the debate. “But when Holt wasn’t being invisible, he was targeting Trump’s weaknesses while avoiding Clinton’s,” Joe Concha of The Hill wrote Tuesday.
Holt racked up the largest number of interruptions when he Pressed Trump on his supposed support of the war in Iraq, interrupting Trump 11 times before demanding to know why the Republican nominee had better judgement than Clinton.
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