The presidential debates, in theory, are an opportunity for the candidates to be asked hard questions to which the American voters want answer—in theory.
In practice, however the first presidential debate served as an opportunity for the media to roast Donald Trump while Hillary Clinton skated by without having to answer a single question her campaign team has not already prepared answers to. In this instance, Lester Holt failed as a bastion of journalistic justice.
Hillary did not have to answer to her list of sins that are plaguing her race for the White House—the corruption during the FBI’s investigation of her email server, the ongoing investigation of her offering political favors to mega-donors of the Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State, her health issues that were revealed to the public at the 9/11 ceremony last month…
Rumor has it that CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz, the moderators for this Sunday’s second presidential debate, are duking it out over who gets to hit Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with the “hard questions.”
But CNN’s Anderson Cooper has a proven record of letting Hillary off the hook. RedState reported on a particularly embarrassing journalistic flop, detailing how “a timorous and thoroughly stump broken Anderson Cooper let Hillary Clinton tell lie after lie” about the Clinton Foundation. This interview took place this summer. Are we suddenly supposed to expect Cooper will call Clinton out when she inevitably lies on Sunday?
I sat down with seasoned investigative journalist Ed Klein to discuss the journalistic duties both Cooper and Raddatz have to the American people during Sunday’s presidential debate. Klein should know—he has been a journalist for nearly six decades—seven of those years as foreign editor of Newsweek, ten years as the editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine (during which time the magazine won the first Pulitzer Prize in its history), and twenty-seven years as a contributing editor of Vanity Fair.
I asked Klein, “What questions do the debate moderators have a responsibility to ask Hillary Clinton?”:
Will the “hard-hitting” moderators ask Hillary the questions to which the public deserves to have answers? Or will Hillary be allowed to recite her overly-rehearsed responses until she’s blue in the face?
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