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Female Debate Moderators Candy Crowley, Martha Raddatz Make THR’s ‘Rule Breakers’ List

CNN’s Candy Crowley and ABC’s Martha Raddatz were the female moderators of this year’s Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates, landing the pair on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual year-end “Rule Breakers” list. Crowley and Raddatz reflect on the experience:

Crowley, 63, maintains she didn’t think too much about breaking the decades-long dry spell, but when the letters from women — young and old — came pouring in, “It hit me,” she says. “The optics matter.” And when in pre-debate interviews on CNN and elsewhere Crowley said she would attempt to get the candidates off of their talking points by pressing them with follow-up questions, both campaigns privately protested — a move criticized as defensive and vaguely sexist.

So would the women subject themselves to the debate ringer again? “In a heartbeat,” says Crowley. Raddatz agrees. “You walk off the stage, and you say, ‘Oh, thank God it’s over.’ And then you think, ‘That was fun.’ I used to say about summer in Iraq [where she has traveled 21 times]: ‘It’s so horrible; I’m never going back in the summer.’ And then you forget, and you go back.”

Also on the list: NBC’s Bob Costas and Jim Bell, who helmed NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Olympics, and ABC’s “Good Morning America” team, who overtook “Today” to become the top morning show in 2012. The list was a topic of conversation on “GMA” this morning, with Lara Spencer calling the show “the bad boys of morning TV.”

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