Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Presidential Debates 2012: The Moderators

Photo Credit: Kevin Dietsch, UPI / Landov)

The Times checks in with the moderators of the 2012 debates and two major points become clear.

The moderator's chair is the equivalent of a journalistic tightrope:

Candy Crowley of CNN, who will moderate the Oct. 16 presidential debate, said that try as she might to tune out the negativity, the incoming fire can be difficult to absorb.
“There’s always going to be someone throwing a shoe at the television asking why don’t I know this or why I didn’t ask that,” she said.
“Mind you,” she added with a hearty laugh, “every morning I wake up, I want to throw up thinking about it.” 
Martha Raddatz, an ABC News correspondent who will moderate the vice-presidential debate on Oct. 11, said she was trying to stay off Twitter so she could avoid reading unflattering things about herself.
Not that it always works. She said her son reposted a message in which someone had snidely asked, “Who the heck is Martha Raddatz?”
And too prepared? There ain't no such thing. : 
...all the moderators have their own special preparation techniques. 
Mr. Schieffer, whose debate will focus on foreign policy, keeps a three-ring binder on his desk that gets thicker every day with news clippings on subjects like Pakistan and Israel and lists of “smart people” he can call for guidance.Whenever he sits down with experts, he brings his assistant to take notes.“I’m a very slow writer,” he confessed. 
Ms. Crowley jots thoughts and potential questions down on blue index cards, which litter her office and home. 
“You should see my desk,” she said. “It’s covered with blue cards. I even have a stack of them next to my bed and in my bathroom for when I’m brushing my teeth and think of something.”She also practices transcendental meditation, which she uses twice a day to clear her head.
Love how they keep it real with notebooks and binders(!). No iPad foolishness for this crowd.