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Debate Commission Chief: Moderators Shouldn't Serve As 'Encyclopedia Britannica'

The executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates apparently doesn't think the moderators should do their jobs and fact-check the candidates.
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The executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates apparently doesn't think the moderators should do their jobs and fact-check the candidates. We all know exactly who this benefits, don't we?

CNN: Debate commission chief: Candidates should fact-check each other:

The Commission on Presidential Debates has some advice for debate moderators this fall: leave the fact-checking to the candidates.

The Trump campaign is taking the same position. So are some former moderators, like Jim Lehrer, who has facilitated twelve presidential debates.

But many others -- including a wide array of journalists -- want the man moderating Monday night's debate, Lester Holt, to intervene if egregious lies are said on stage.

As a result, fact-checking, normally a pretty staid subject, is now the focus of a roiling debate in political and journalistic circles.

Hillary Clinton campaign aides are being outspoken about it: If moderators "close their ears to Donald Trump's lies, it will extend an unfair bias to Donald Trump. It will be the equivalent of giving him more time to speak," Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon said Sunday.

But Janet Brown, executive director of the commission, which organizes the debates every four years, said on CNN's "Reliable Sources" that "I don't think it's a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopedia Britannica."

Once the fact-checking door is open, "I'm not sure, what is the big fact, and what is a little fact?" She added, "Does your source about the unemployment rate agree with my source?"


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