Rachel Maddow was named one of the five moderates for the first two nights of Democratic primary debates on June 26-27.
Rachel Maddow named a Democratic debate moderator
NBC News announced, “Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balart will moderate the debate, which will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami over two nights on June 26-27….Both debate nights will have the same format. Holt will moderate for both hours, while Guthrie and Diaz-Balart will appear alongside him in the first hour and Todd and Maddow appear alongside him during the second hour, NBC News announced.”
NBC News deserves credit for breaking away from the traditional white male debate moderators and going with a more diverse group of questioners. Since the majority of the Democratic Party is female, it would have been reflective of the party to have more women moderators than men.
It makes sense for MSNBC to use so many moderators. Twenty candidates are a ton of candidates. The network needed to come up with something to keep the format and questioners fresh. Todd is NBC News’ political director and moderator of Meet The Press, so he was a lock to be there. Holt is the anchor of NBC Nightly News and a presidential debate veteran. He will be a good lead moderator. Savannah Guthrie is there as a way to promote NBC’s Today, Diaz-Balart is another high profile NBC Newser with debate experience who will be solid.
The real change is NBC unchaining Maddow from her role as host/anchor for big night coverage and putting her on the second-hour panel each night. The debates air on MSNBC and the second hour will fall into her normal time slot of 9 PM ET.
Maddow is the ideal choice to question these candidates. She is going to bring more depth and specificity to her questions than the other moderators. Maddow’s place at the top of the cable news ratings has finally forced NBC to let go of the too “partisan” label for mainstream promotion that they hung on her years ago and put her in her rightful place as one of the moderators of what should be a widely watched Democratic debate.
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