Are Tim Russert and Brian Williams the Worst Debate Moderators Ever?

Election '08

While political observers are understandably divided about who "won" last night's Democratic debate in Las Vegas, it seems everyone who watched can come together in agreement on one underlying point: the moderators were truly awful.

About a half-hour into the debate, an angry man started shouting, interrupting the event while security personnel intervened. Usually, these protestors are easy to dismiss as random nuts, but in this case, the heckler had a legitimate beef.

About 22 minutes into the Nevada Democratic debate, a heckler in the audience interrupted the proceedings, saying "these are f**cking race-based questions coming from you two, these are race-based questions..."
There was silence from the candidates and the moderators for about eight seconds with no mention of the heckler. Tim Russert, continued with his question for Sen. Hillary Clinton which focused on her characterization that Sen. Obama "is raising false hopes."
I've seen debates in which hecklers jeer candidates, and I've seen debates in which hecklers take a stand for one issue or another, but this was the first debate I've seen in which a heckler went after a moderator. Worse, I think the guy was probably right.

Within a few minutes of the interruption, Ezra said, "It's almost impossible for me to convey the damage Tim Russert and Brian Williams are doing to the republic this evening.... It's literally the worst moderation I've yet seen. It's not moderation. It's trivialization. 28 minutes in, there's not been a question about any issue, any cause, any problem."

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by