David Brock, Founder of Media Matters and a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has written a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates demanding that Chris Wallace of Fox News not be allowed to moderate the third presidential debate.
Wallace has already stoked a great deal of controversy by saying it is not his job to push the candidates if he feels that they are not telling the truth. Wallace believes it is the job of the voters and not the moderator to discern who is telling the truth. There has been little objection to this position from the other scheduled debate moderators.
Brock’s letter, which has been published on Politico, not only criticized Wallace for his position on the role of a debate moderator but has drawn a line which he considers to be a conflict of interest for Wallace. The Conflict? Donald Trump is officially being coached for his debates with Hillary Clinton by former Fox News President Roger Ailes. Brooks says it is inappropriate for Ailes to be coaching Trump while also being paid as a consultant to Fox New Chief Rupert Murdoch. He further finds a conflict of interest that Murdoch is Wallace’s boss at Fox News. Roger Ailes stepped down from Fox News in July over claims he sexually harassed multiple women during his tenure at the news station. Fox News recently came to a $20 million settlement with Gretchen Carlson concerning the harassment by Ailes.
Recently, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met in a debate where they did not share the same stage. Debate moderator Matt Lauer has taken a great deal of heat from Clinton supporters for his performance during this event, called the Commander-in-Chief Forum. In the Clinton camp’s complaints, Lauer is accused of spending an inordinate amount of time asking Clinton to clarify what she has said about her email scandal and very little time fact checking Donald Trump on his stance on the war in Iraq.
Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he had been against the War in Iraq since the very beginning. He has consistently faulted Hillary Clinton for her vote in the Senate to authorize President George W. Bush to use American military power in order to stop Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program. It later turned out that President Bush acted on faulty intelligence, and Iraq didn’t possess weapons of mass destruction.
It is clear that shortly after the war began, Donald Trump made many statements saying the war was a mistake, and he indicated he did not support American involvement in the conflict. The issue at hand is Donald Trump’s interview with Howard Stern before the war began when he was asked if he supported President Bush in invading Iraq, and he replied, “I guess so.” Trump has also repeatedly said that after the war had begun, he did not support removing American troops until they finished the job. Hillary Clinton has often called her vote in favor of the Iraq War her biggest political mistake.
During one of the debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney, moderator Candy Crowley of CNN was roundly criticized for coming to the President’s defense during a back and forth about when Obama first mentioned Benghazi was an act of terrorism. Her intervention was seen as a partisan act as opposed to non-partisan fact checking.
In response to David Brock’s letter, The Commission on Presidential Debates released a public letter supporting all of the moderators chosen for the three debates that will take place before the election and said they had full confidence in their impartiality.