O’Reilly: Future Debate Moderators Should Hold Candidates Feet to the Fire

Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 03:43 PM

By Stephen Feller

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Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday morning called for future presidential debate moderators to be somewhat more like Candy Crowley and Martha Raddatz than Bob Scheiffer and Jim Lehrer — forcing the candidates to defend the things they say.

Appearing on CBS This Morning, the radio and television talk show host said that candidates in the debates come in with rehearsed answers they spout but do not have to defend, regardless of the level of truth in their statements, and that the lack of fact-checking does not help Americans decide who to vote for.

“Here’s what the goal of the moderator should be: To show America who the stronger candidate is,” O’Reilly told Charlie Rose. “And you know how you do that? By holding their feet to the fire on certain things that don’t make sense.”

There were outcries about Raddatz and Crowley asking follow-up questions and, in Crowley’s case, fact-checking the candidates during the debates. Both are outside the moderator role as defined by the Commission on Presidential Debates and rules agreed to by both candidates.

There wasn’t much complaining about CBS’s Bob Scheiffer, who moderated the third presidential debate, from either Republicans or Democrats as was the case with each of the other presidential and vice presidential debates.

“Whatever his biases, and he has biases, Bob Schieffer didn’t show them tonight,” Brent Bozell, president of the watchdog group Media Research Center, told Politico. “Unlike Candy Crowley and Martha Raddatz, Schieffer managed to moderate this debate without revealing his own positions. Well done.”

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