The Washington Post

Presidential debate: McCurry says sessions should be ‘informing and entertaining’

(David Goldman/AP)

The last session, a town hall affair at Hofstra University, clearly fulfilled the latter function. The one-on-one game between Mitt Romney and President Obama, the fact-checking intervention by moderator Candy Crowley, the rules-violating applause from the audience — it all made for killer television. As for the informative part? Well, the session left hazy a number of details about Benghazi, including how the administration handled the response and how Romney sort of fumbled an issue on which he had plenty of facts on his side.

Following the debate last week, Crowley had a simple defense for why she extemporaneously fact-checked Romney and his controversial contention about Obama’s statements about Benghazi.

“It didn’t come to me as I’m going to fact check that. It came to me as let’s get past this . . . To me I was really trying to move the conversation along . . . This is a semantic thing.”

That’s what Crowley told the individuals of ABC’s “The View.

And it’s precisely the defense advanced on Fox News by McCurry, who noted the need for the conversation to move on. “Her job is to facilitate a discussion,” he said.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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