‘A firmer hand on the tiller’

The Democratic co-chair of the Presidential Debate Commission told Poynter that it was "unfair" for viewers to beat up on PBS' Jim Lehrer over last night's rambling, wind-baggy debate. Yet in the same interview, Mike McCurry implicitly agreed with critics that things got out of hand.

“I think Jim had a good idea on the segments that he wanted to divide up, but clearly you have to kind of discipline the candidates to keep moving through the subjects without taking up too much time on their answers,” he said. “A firmer hand on the tiller will probably be needed. But we’ll see. It’s a little too early to make a complete evaluation.”

For what it's worth, our media critic thought the debate was great — "free-flowing, multitopical, informative and civil." Even if Lehrer did get "steamrolled." 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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