The Washington Post

Debate commission defends Jim Lehrer

In a statement, the Commission on Presidential Debates declares, in the face of criticism, that PBS' Jim Lehrer "implemented the format exactly as it was designed."

The full statement:

"The format for the first and fourth presidential debates calls for six 15-minute segments on topics selected and announced in advance by the moderators. After the moderator asks a question, the candidates each have two minutes to answer. After their answers, the moderator’s job is to facilitate a conversation on the topic for the balance of the 15 minutes before moving to the next topic. The Commission on Presidential Debates’ goal in selecting this format was to have a serious discussion of the major domestic and foreign policy issues with minimal interference by the moderator or timing signals. Jim Lehrer implemented the format exactly as it was designed by the CPD and announced in July.

Lehrer himself on the blowback: "So what?"

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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