I wrote this column for PolitiFact reflecting on what I’ve seen fact-checking debates since 2007.
Do you yell at the TV when you see an interviewer letting a politician get away with spinning the truth? I know I do. But let’s admit the reality: Questioning candidates on live TV is harder than it looks. And moderating a presidential debate is probably the hardest.
Just look at the typical criticism of debate moderators. They ask dumb questions. They ask inside-baseball questions. The questions are too tough. The questions are too soft. They don’t follow up. They flog a pointless line of questioning.
This will be my third time fact-checking presidential debates, and while criticizing the moderators is common, I’ve seen a few things that make a difference between good moderating and lousy moderating. MORE ...