Earlier this week was the first presidential debate between incumbent President Barack Obama and his challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. One thing that almost everyone who watched the debate agreed on was the night’s biggest loser: Jim Lehrer, the moderator.
Lehrer tried to keep the debate running smoothly, but both candidates steamrolled him. Every time he tried to stop them (as they both went over their time cues all debate), they just ignored him.
Lehrer has gotten a little defensive about his performance.
"It’s not my job to control the conversation. If the candidates gave me resistance, and I let them talk, to me that’s being an active moderator, not a passive moderator," he said.
There has even been a Twitter account - @silentjimleher - created to mock his quiet demeanor. It has almost 10,000 followers. But Lehrer thinks his moderating was just fine.
"One of the problems is that everybody is used to the old-fashioned debate system, which is very controlled, and where the moderator plays a more active role," Lehrer added.
He agrees that not everything he did was terrific during the debate though.
"So yes, I’ve heard some of the criticism, but it’s not keeping me awake at night. My conscience is clear," Lehrer stated.
Maybe he was just reeling from Romney's threats towards PBS, where Lehrer worked for many years.