Former PBS NewsHour host and presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer stopped by Morning Joe on Monday, where he and the show’s hosts discussed the (internet) backlash Lehrer received after Wednesday night’s debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Mike Barnicle lamented the “viciousness and anonymity” of the criticism of Lehrer, adding that “we do not live in a nation of 300 million newspaper columnists, ok? Put your name on it. If you’re going to make a personal assault on someone’s ethical bearing, professional bearing or whatever, put your name on it.”
Lehrer reiterated that, in this style of debate, his role is not to encourage “canned” responses, but to essentially stay “out of the way” and allow each candidate to address the question at hand. “It’s not about me,” he later added, “it’s about this format” of debate.
Scarborough expressed his disappointment in the President’s supporters who, unhappy with their candidate’s performance, went after Lehrer as if Obama is unable to defend or fend for himself.
It’s up to the individual candidates to bring up things like, say, Romney’s “47 percent” comment, said Barnicle, it isn’t the job of the moderator.
Have a look, courtesy of MSNBC:
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