Head of Commission on Presidential Debates Doesn't Want Moderators to Fact-Check Candidates
Moderators of the three presidential debates likely won't be encouraged by the committee that selected them to call candidates out for lying.
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It looks like Donald Trump is getting his wish: Moderators of the three presidential debates likely won't be encouraged by the committee that selected them for the job to fact-check the candidates when they lie on stage.
Head of the commission Janet Brown told CNN reporter Brian Stelter on Sunday that she didn't want the moderators to "serv[e] as the Encyclopedia Britannica.” And Brown isn't alone in that belief. Fox News's Chris Wallace, who is hosting the third and final debate, is already there—he told Fox earlier this month that it's not his job to fact-check candidates because he's "not a truth squad."
It would be safe to hazard a guess that this will frustrate Hillary Clinton's campaign, considering that only four percent of her opponent's claims that have been fact-checked by the Pulitzer Prize-winning website Politifact have been rated completely true. (To dig deeper: Only 15 percent of Trump's comments have been ranked 'true' or 'mostly true,' compared to Clinton's 50 percent.)
The news comes just hours after Trump campaign spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway told a reporter from ABC News that she “really do[es]n’t appreciate the campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers.” She then pointed to an interview Trump did with Matt Lauer this month, in which Lauer famously declines to challenge Trump's assertion that he has always opposed the war in Iraq, as an example of an interview done right.
"We thought he did a great job,” Conway told the reporter.
All debates will start from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET and will air on C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, among others. They will be live streaming on YouTube and Twitter. The first presidential debate is on Sept. 26. The second presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 9 and the third will be on Oct. 19.