Backlash for NBC After Rachel Maddow Named Presidential Debate Moderator

For NBC, the recent decision to name controversial anchor Rachel Maddow as a moderator for the first presidential debate is causing mounting backlash.

In a recent interview, media studies professor Jeff McCall implied that American voters “would be better served” if Maddow and other opinion-based hosts “were kept out of moderating campaign debates.”

Conservative pundits reacted to the news with indignation, pointing to Maddow’s fixation with the now-debunked “Russian collusion” allegations which plagued President Trump throughout the first years of his administration.

From The Daily Caller:

MSNBC prime time anchor Rachel Maddow was named Tuesday as one of the five moderators for the first presidential debate, and it’s caused some commotion on the right.

Co-anchor of “TODAY” Savannah Guthrie, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, moderator of “Meet the Press” and NBC News political director Chuck Todd and “Noticias Telemundo” anchor José Diaz-Balart will moderate with Maddow on June 26 and 27.

Her inclusion as a moderator is raising eyebrows because she’s not viewed as an impartial host.

Jeff McCall, a media studies professor at DePauw University, told The Daily Caller:

I think the voting public would be better served if hosts of opinion shows were kept out of moderating campaign debates. That’s not to say that an opinion host such as Maddow couldn’t generate helpful questions, but the appearance is that an advocate is helping to referee the contest. Certainly, reporters also have their own values and perspectives, but the public normally expects reporters to come at any news event with some degree of objectivity. That is not the case for an opinion show host such as Maddow. NBC is, of course, trying to give their highest rated MSNBC host a promotional platform on this debate stage. I understand that, but it is unnecessary. Maddow already has a high profile among Democrat voters.

He also noted that Maddow’s selection is not unprecedented. During the GOP primary debates in 2015 and 2016, they had multiple “opinion-based panelists” including Hugh Hewitt and Mary Katherine Ham, adding that, “Their roles were rather limited, but they did participate on the panel. That was not a good idea either.”

The two-night debate will feature a maximum of ten candidates per night with each lasting two hours. Holt will be the only moderator present from start to finish. Guthrie and Diaz-Balart will be alongside Holt for the first hour and then be replaced by Todd and Maddow, according to NBC News.

“Fascinating that Democrats would have one of the leading conspiracy theorists of the day moderating their first debate. It really does show you where the party is at right now,” Ned Ryun explained to The Caller.

Eddie Scary, a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner, also told The Caller, “Rachel Maddow spent the last 2 years talking about Russia, which turned out to be a bust, and Trump’s taxes, which no one cares about (did any normal person give a shit that Bernie Sanders released 10 years returns?). I don’t mind if she moderates a Democratic primary debate but her co-moderators might help her come up with questions that people actually care to hear the answers to.”

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