The moderators of Tuesday’s Democratic debate got called out after continuously failing to keep control of the candidates on stage.
Norah O’Donnell, anchor and managing editor of “CBS Evening News” and co-host of “CBS This Morning” Gayle King moderated Tuesday’s debate, which was hosted by CBS News. “Face The Nation” moderator and senior foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan, “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker and chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett were also asking the candidates questions.
Throughout the debate, there were multiple times where the moderators appeared to lose control, and the public noticed. The seven Democrats on stage dove into squabbles and spoke over each other, appearing at times to ignore the moderators who were meant to control the evening.
Debates are hard. TV news rivalries are hardcore. That said, debate pros at other TV networks are exchanging messages calling this a “disaster,” a “nightmare” and worse
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 26, 2020
— Christian Datoc (@TocRadio) February 26, 2020
“The moderators have lost complete control of this debate,” editor and chief writer of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler tweeted. Robert Mackey, senior writer at The Intercept, declared that his motto is “No More CBS Moderators.”
These moderators might be the weakest moderators I’ve seen in a debate.
They have absolutely no control over who is speaking and they are forcing candidates to steamroll them if they want any speaking time.
This is a trainwreck.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) February 26, 2020
Matthew Gertz, senior fellow at Media Matters for America, pointed out that “the last debate also featured a lot of fighting but it seemed much more coherent.” He added that the “CBS moderators seem totally unable to keep things on track.”
Even former Vice President Joe Biden pointed out the moderators’ failure. At one point during Tuesday’s debate, he asked if “we just speak whenever we want to?” (RELATED: Joe Biden Claims A Whopping 150 Million People Have Been Killed By Guns Since 2007)
“I hope after the next commercial break there are eight more moderators,” The New Republic’s deputy editor Jason Linkins wished. “I just want this debate to end with hundreds of moderators having a Mr. Meeseeks battle.”
CBS needs this break more than the candidates. That was a chaotic start. The moderators need to step in more forcefully and regain control in the next segment.
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) February 26, 2020
Moderators are doing an absolutely awful job. I get that it’s hard to contain the six candidates who are rabidly going after Bernie Sanders but they need to take the reins. #DemDebate
— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) February 26, 2020
“Moderators have got to take control of this thing,” Krystal Ball, host of The Rising at The Hill, tweeted.