On Friday morning, the debate moderators emerged for the long-awaited presidential brawls between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The first presidential debate will be moderated by Lester Holt of NBC News; the vice presidential debate will be moderated by Elaine Quijano of CBS News; Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN for the second debate; and finally, Chris Wallace for the third debate.
This isn’t a great list for Hillary, but it’s a worse list for Trump.
That’s to be expected, since the media heavily support Hillary. Lester Holt is perceived as more objective than most, but he still leans left in his coverage. During the Democratic National Convention, he described President Obama’s speech thusly: “The roar is deafening here in this arena. President Obama delivering a speech, a powerful arc embracing hope and optimism, a passionate endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton and at times an artful takedown of Donald Trump, a call for Americans to participate in democracy.” And here was Holt’s description of Hillary’s big moment in the spotlight at the DNC: “Tonight from Philadelphia, history in the birth place of American democracy.” Holt has also been rather tough in his questioning of Trump during Trump’s attacks on Hillary, and supremely soft on Hillary (question to Hillary months ago: “How will you move the needle on race relations? Is there a moon-shot type strategy?”).
Then there’s Quijano, whom few have heard of – but when she was working at CNN in 2008, she worked to spin for Barack Obama; she has also reported on global warming back in 2014 thusly: “A 10-foot rise in sea level would submerge tunnels and subways here in Manhattan and parts of Queens and Brooklyn. But, Scott, it would also put the entire city of Miami Beach and much of South Florida underwater.”
Martha Raddatz made headlines in 2012 when she didn’t reveal, before moderating the vice presidential debate, that she had actually invited President Obama to her wedding; her husband would then become Obama’s FCC commissioner. In 2012, she allowed Joe Biden to run roughshod over both her and Paul Ryan.
Anderson Cooper is obviously heavily biased to the left – just view his pathetic interview with Pam Bondi in Florida after the Orlando jihadist attack in a gay nightclub, in which he hammered her for the sin of not supporting same-sex marriage.
Finally, there’s Chris Wallace. Wallace is the most left-leaning of the major Fox hosts (other than Shep Smith, of course) – but he’s also been friendly to Trump, performing softball interviews with Trump and attacking his rivals.
Overall, this might be the best lineup Republicans could have negotiated. But it’s just more evidence that nearly the entire media leans left – and that those who lean right will never be tolerated by Hillary Clinton. Which means that Republicans are always at a disadvantage, and they ought to be prepared for that disadvantage.