Lester Holt was widely praised as a fair journalist to moderate the first presidential debate in the general election, but the debate did not turn out to be fairly moderated.
Holt went after Donald Trump four times on tough “gotcha”-type questions, while only bringing up Hillary Clinton’s emails when asking her to respond to Trump. All four questions led to Clinton smashing Trump on an issue she has been using on the trail against him.
Holt asked about Trump’s tax returns, with a follow-up question. Clinton then hit Trump on the same issue.
Holt asked Trump about the birther issue, with a follow-up question. Holt then tried to fact check him, and Clinton then hit Trump on that issue.
Holt asked Trump if he wanted to apologize to Clinton for questioning Clinton’s looks and stamina. Clinton hit him on women’s issues.
Holt asked about a somewhat obscure “No first use” (NFU) policy to try to stump Trump. Ironically, neither candidate responded directly to his question.
Did Holt ask Clinton about her emails? He only asked her to respond to Trump’s accusations.
Did he ask about her misleading statements on her health? No.
Did he ask about the suspicious donations to the Clinton Foundation? No.
Did he ask her about FBI Director James Comey saying she didn’t follow federal laws? No.
The overarching theme was that Holt brought up every major attack the Clinton campaign has been running on. He brought up no Clinton scandals. Not once.
Moderators almost always lose when they moderate debates, but Holt brought this on himself.