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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Lehrer’

VIDEO: Candy Tries To Rein Them In

While the early moderator reviews reviews were much more positive than in the first Presidential debate (though admittedly not in certain parts of the blogosphere), Candy Crowley still had to face some of the same issues that Jim Lehrer did. A big one: getting the candidates to stop talking.

Both Fox News and ABC News got the same idea, and put together montages of Crowley trying to bring order to the auditorium.

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Megyn Kelly on Debate Coverage: ‘Let’s not start criticizing the moderator before she’s moderated’

The Presidential debates have brought interest in the election to a fever pitch, and for Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier — who are the face of Fox News’ political coverage — that extra push has led them to a major milestone.

More than 10 million people watched Kelly and Baier’s coverage of the Vice Presidential debate last Thursday, putting Fox News ahead of its competitors: cable and broadcast.

“It’s amazing to me,” Kelly told TVNewser Monday as we stopped by the set of her “America Live” program.

“FNC has been such a powerhouse for a long time, but it’s still a cable news operation, and people have to pay for cable, and not everybody has it. So whenever we beat the nets, that’s a big deal. That gets all of our attention.”

From her perch at the Fox News anchor desk, Kelly has had a front-row seat to the first two debates. She is quick to defend Jim Lehrer, who was widely criticized for his handling of the first Presidential debate, saying he did “exactly what a moderator should do, which is get out of the way.”

Kelly said the campaigns and the media “are not aligned in their missions when it comes to the debates,” noting the early criticism of tonight’s moderator, CNN anchor Candy Crowley, came from the campaigns’ concern that she might ask follow-up questions of the candidates.

“Let’s not start criticizing the moderator before she’s moderated! Let’s give the woman a break and let her do her job and let’s see how she does it,” Kelly said. “If she tries to make the debate all about her, and insert a bunch of Candy Crowley questions, instead of the town hall questions, that won’t be

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‘The Daily Show’ Tackles Martha Raddatz’s Debate Moderating

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” tackled Martha Raddatz and her performance during the Vice Presidential debate (and how she compared to Jim Lehrer the week before). Unlike pretty much every segment on TV news that Stewart does, he seemed to have nothing but praise for Raddatz.

“I don’t know what it was, but it was amazing. The lost language of journalism being spoken on modern television, watching her moderate that debate with, oh my God, editorial authority. Its like going to Amish country and seeing them making beautiful chairs by hand. You’re like I thought this craft had been completely forgotten.”

Of course, he was on more familiar ground when he also took the cable news analysis of the debate to task.

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Candy Crowley’s Debate Dilemma: ‘Trying to find that space between cutting off the conversation too early or letting it go too long’

Don’t look for President Obama and Mitt Romney to play “Eat the Moderator” in their rematch tomorrow night, says CNN’s Candy Crowley.

With the format a Town Hall Meeting at Hofstra, the candidates are less likely to ignore the moderator and make speeches, as they did with PBS’s beleaguered Jim Lehrer in the first debate, Crowley says.

“When you’re dealing directly with voters, you’re less likely to go on and on,” says Crowley, ‘State of the Union’ anchor and the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 20 years. “There’s a different dynamic to it. Folks want to get a chance to talk to the guys.”

In a traditional debate format, “the president and Romney are quite happy to roll over the media,” Crowley, 63, says. “There’s no price to be paid for that.”

Lehrer was blasted from all corners for having been too passive. Crowley says he did exactly what he was supposed to do under the new debate format – allow the candidates to talk directly to each other in wide-open, 15-minute segments.

Getting the candidates to engage is not always easy, however, as Lehrer discovered. For most of the debate, Obama seemed like he was having an out-of-body experience.

“As much as Jim tried to have the men engage with each other, the bottom line is that the president didn’t want to engage with Romney,” says Crowley. “The president’s campaign said he wanted to talk to the American people directly. It appears he went in with the wrong strategy. Mitt was ready to rock and roll.”

On the other hand, if candidates become too engaged, “they look mean,” Crowley says. “They don’t

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Fancy Footwork but No Knockout Blows as Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly Spar

Was it a mock debate? A mockable debate? A debatable mock?

Whatever it was, Jon Stewart’s and Bill O’Reilly’s ‘Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium’ Saturday night was a lot more fun to watch than was last week’s presidential debate.

In fact, President Obama and Mitt Romney would do well to consider bringing in Stewart and O’Reilly to prep the candidates for their next showdown, Oct. 16 at Hofstra. They could do a lot worse, and probably have.

Held at George Washington University’s sold-out Lisner Auditorium and streamed live online for $4.95, ‘Rumble’ featured equal parts polemics and poppycock about the country’s most pressing political issues. Lincoln-Douglas, it was not.

Both hosts were outside their natural habitats. O’Reilly is no standup comedian, and Stewart can bray when he overplays the righteous indignation card. Also, the two were used to going mano a mano in short segments on each other’s shows, but this event was 90 minutes. Untelevised minutes, to boot.

Still, as befits their unlikely bromance, the Lilliputian Stewart – he’s 5-foot-7 – and 6-foot-4 O’Reilly were obviously enjoying themselves at the sparring session. It wasn’t as funny as ‘The Daily Show’ or as fiery as ‘The Factor.’ It wasn’t even a rumble. But it had its moments.

Raising and lowering himself on an electric riser behind the podium, Stewart began his opening remarks with: “My friend Bill O’Reilly is completely full of shit.” He riffed about Fox

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The SNL Chris Matthews: ‘I feel bad for whoever had to move the podium afterwards because Obama took a giant dump behind it’

Rachel Maddow, S.E. Cupp, Rev. Al Sharpton and Chris Matthews all got the SNL treatment last for MSNBC’s post-debate coverage Wednesday night. “I feel bad for whoever had to move the podium afterwards because Obama took a giant dump behind it,” said the Jason Sudeikis version of Matthews.

Chris Parnell was back as Jim Lehrer in another sketch about the debate itself (after the jump).

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The First Presidential Debate: Remixed

Politics breeds creative parody, and the response to this week’s Presidential debate is no exception. Some of the prime examples:

The Gregory Brothers did their thing, and autotuned the debate:

The debate gets the Taiwanese animation treatment:
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Jim Lehrer on the Debate: ‘I understand why people were a little stunned by some of it’

Jim Lehrer to critics: Bring it.

PBS’s Lehrer today insisted that he’s unfazed by the avalanche of vitriolic responses to his moderator performance at Wednesday’s presidential debate, seen by an estimated 67 million Americans.

In Lehrer’s 12th presidential at-bat, critics blasted him for being too passive, allowing President Obama and Mitt Romney to steamroll him at will. Critics also said Lehrer’s questions were vague, and that they didn’t cover a broad enough range of issues.

“Everybody is welcome to criticize my questions, or anything else I did,” Lehrer, 78, says. “I have no problem with that. I knew, going in, this was not going to be easy. What the hell. … The next debate, people will tweet, tweet, tweet all over again. That’s terrific.”

Despite being constantly interrupted and talked over, Lehrer pronounced the new debate format — featuring 15-minute, wide-open segments for the candidates to directly address each other – a success.

“The format worked,” he says. “These guys were really talking to each other. Presidential candidates had never done that before. People, including the candidates, and including me, were used to a more controlled format, with two-minute answers.

“I played a different role than in the past. I was still the moderator, but it was a different kind of debate. I understand why people were a little stunned by some it. Over time, they’ll get used to it, and realize it works.”

The downside of the open format, Lehrer acknowledges, is that it’s virtually impossible to steer the candidates in a different direction or to get them to shut up.

“I would hope the candidates themselves would do that,” says Lehrer, ever the optimist. “Certainly,

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Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan Head To Friendly Territory For First Post-Debate Interview

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave his first post-debate interview last night on Fox News Channel’s ‘Hannity.’ Romney was joined by VP nominee Paul Ryan.

“I am happy that Jim Lehrer was willing to ask us our positions on issues, and we could describe those so it was not a big ‘gotcha’ night from the moderator,” Romney told Sean Hannity.

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Debate Ratings Update: Final Numbers Boost Broadcasters, As ABC Tops All Networks

Fast National Numbers from Nielsen moved the needle upward from the preliminary numbers we reported earlier, much to the benefit of the broadcast news organizations. All told 63.5 million Americans watched the debate last night on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Univision and Telemundo.

Update: Nielsen now says that 67.2 million people watched the debates on the rated TV networks, the most for the first debate since 1980.  That number does not include viewers watching online, or on unrated networks like C-SPAN.

In the latest debate ratings, ABC was the most-watched network during the debate, followed by NBC and CBS, with Fox News Channel fourth.

9-10:30 PM Debate:

ABC: 11.25 million total viewers

NBC: 11.07 million total viewers

CBS: 10.58 million total viewers

Fox: 6.89 million total viewers

10:30-11 PM Post-debate:

ABC: 8.86 million total viewers

NBC: 8.72 million total viewers

CBS: 7.01 million total viewers

You can see the cable debate ratings here.

2.6 million viewers watched the debate on Univision, and 248,000 on Telemundo.

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