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September 4, 2015

Five people I'd like to see moderate a debate

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 2nd 2008 10:02AM
Katie CouricSo we've had the first Presidential debate, and the Vice Presidential debate takes place tonight at 9pm ET (on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, PBS, CSPAN, probably The Weather Channel and Noggin too). While newspeople involved in the debates range from good (Jim Lehrer, Anderson Cooper, Bob Schieffer) to bad (Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos), there are several journalists who never seem to be involved in the debates for one reason or another. Maybe the debate committees and the campaigns don't want them, or maybe the anchors don't want to do a debate, but I can think of a few people I'd like to see moderate these things.

After the jump, my top five.

1. Katie Couric (CBS). She has more than shown herself capable as a newsperson, and her interviews with all four of the candidates this year have been among the best conducted (she always seems to get to the heart of an issue, asking the questions that viewers at home would have asked). Not sure why she hasn't been asked yet, since Charles Gibson and Brian Williams have both been involved in the debates this year.

2. Shepard Smith (FOX News). Here's another guy who often asks the questions that viewers want answered, and asks them in the we would ask them too. I also have the feeling that although he would be professional about the debate, he'd be funny and snarky too.

3. Judy Woodruff (PBS). She has moderated debates before but not in a while. She's smart and tenacious and I'd like to see her do it again.

4. Anyone from 60 Minutes (CBS). Any of these people, from Lesley Stahl to Steve Kroft, would ask some great questions. All except Andy Rooney of course, though that would be the most entertaining debate of all. He would get to the heart of the matter pretty quick.

5. Jim Cramer (CNBC). Not sure how much he knows about politics, but wouldn't it be great to see him grill the candidates on the economy and jump up and down and scream in front of a live studio audience and 85 gazillion people. It would be the ultimate YouTube video.

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Oh, and Imus wouldn't let someone answer a question with what seems like the answer to a totally different question. The Ifill-run debate was a complete waste of time.

October 06 2008 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melody Warbington

I'd just like to see a moderator who might even pretend to have some semblance of objectivity instead of being in the tank for Obama. Or as someone else suggested, either have a moderator for each side or use the townhall forum with an equal number of questions from each side. Oh wait, that's what McCain proposed and Obama refused.

October 03 2008 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Katie Couric? The same condescending, blink her eyes with disbelief, "Oh come on" Katie Couric? I'd give Tom Brokaw a chance, sure he's pompous but he's got credibility, solid years of observing America at its best and worst and does a good job of masking his personal politics when he presents his reporting.

October 02 2008 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like Jim Cramer.. and Shepard Smith would be good...nothing exciting about the rest..

In the comments.. I like Lou Dobbs and John Stewart.

To that I would add maybe some big business faces like Bill Gates or Donald Trump. But I would like to see small business owners represented too.

I think a nice town hall question still but audience chosen from raffle not hand picked and canadates don't know any questions before it starts.

October 02 2008 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Katie Couric stated "I'm a Democrat" when she was on the Today show. Anderson Cooper? Yeah, I want someone who hosted "The Mole" to moderate a debate. If he weren't Gloria Vanderbilt's son he'd never even have a job.

October 02 2008 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To hell with objective journalism, I want to see not only "my candidate vs your candidate", but I want to see equal numbers of completely partisan personalities lob questions at the candidates from the other party and have a respected moderator in the middle making sure it doesn't become a circus or a screaming match. Limbaugh v Maddow? Hannity v Colmes? Hewitt v Schultz?

I'd also like to see both candidates and their VP's debate all at the same time, tag team style. And I'd like to see the questions delivered via television display, and watch them all discuss it just to see how they do when they're talking to each other about the issues and not trying to score points with the audience or the moderator.

October 02 2008 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Katie Couric?

October 02 2008 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hehe, I like how you threw in a couple of obvious joke choices like 1, 2, and 5.

October 02 2008 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Olbermann, Stewart, or Colbert. Just for the comic value.

October 02 2008 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

kevjohn: Unfortunately, as we saw in the first Presidential Debate, that doesn't always work. You can't FORCE someone to say something in a particular way, or even say it to the other candidate.

October 02 2008 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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