In the aftermath of last week’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it appeared that the obvious loser – at least according to some – was moderator Lester Holt.
The mild-mannered NBC news anchor’s performance drew criticism from the left, whose partisans felt that he didn’t do enough to rein Trump in as the Republican nominee consistently interrupted Clinton. Holt also drew scorn from some on the right, who pointed out that the moderator repeatedly fact-checked and interrupted Trump, but rarely did the same with Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
Moderating a presidential debate is one of the toughest gigs in politics, and I thought Holt did a decent job overall. He seemed to be on the verge of losing control on a few occasions, but he basically let the candidates do their thing without too much interference, which I thought allowed Americans to judge the candidates on how they carry themselves in a high-pressure situation.
But independent analysis does suggest that the conservative critics of Holt were onto something.