Rachel Maddow did a pretty good job in questioning Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at MSNBC’s Democratic debate last night.Hunter at Daily Kos makes the obvious point:
But she shouldn’t have been on that stage as a moderator, sitting next to Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director and moderator of “Meet the Press.”
... she is an unabashedly liberal commentator who rips the Republicans every night on her program. She should not have been put in that position.
... Imagine the reaction on the left if the Fox News moderators at a debate were Bret Baier and Sean Hannity, an unabashed conservative. The criticism of Fox for fielding such a team would have been intense.
Let's look at some of the moderators for the Republican debates so far. There's conservative commenter Hugh Hewitt (multiple times.) There's Neil Cavuto. There's "Hot Air" editor Mary Katherine Ham. Did I mention Hugh freakin' Hewitt?Yes, Hugh Hewitt, author of, among other books, If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It.
Nope, nothing partisan there.
Ham has co-authored a book, too -- it's called End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun). That sounds kinda middle of the road, doesn't it?
And then -- as I noted last fall -- there was Gerard Baker, who was one of the moderators at the November 10 Republican debate on the Fox Business Network. Prior to the debate, Baker was best known in America for a 2008 Times of London column in which he mocked then-candidate Barack Obama as a Messiah, a column that went viral on the right:
He Ventured Forth To Bring Light To The WorldThis goes on for six minutes in the video version:
And it came to pass, in the eight year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness. The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical White person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.
When he was twelve years old they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: "Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?"
Also during the 2008, Baker wrote another column in which he compared Obama unfavorably to Sarah Palin:
Political BiographyAnd did I mention the chat he had with Hugh Hewitt after Palin's 2008 convention speech in which he said breathlessly, "I don't think I've seen an arrival, an emergence of someone like that on the international scene, you know, in twenty or thirty years. I thought it was just a remarkable performance"?
Obama: A classic, if unusually talented, greasy-pole climber. Held a succession of jobs that constitute the standard route to the top in his party's internal politics: "community organizer", law professor, state senator.
Palin: A woman with a wide range of interests in a well-variegated life. Held a succession of jobs - sports journalist, commercial fisherwoman, state oil and gas commissioner, before entering local politics. A resume that suggests something other than burning political ambition from the cradle but rather the sort of experience that enables her to understand the concerns of most Americans....
Obama: A very attractive speaker whose celebrity has been compared to that of Britney Spears and who sends thrills up Chris Matthews' leg
Palin: A very attractive woman, much better-looking than Britney Spears who speaks rather well too. She sends thrills up the leg of Rush Limbaugh (and me).
Gerard Baker and Hugh Hewitt React to Sarah Palin by FORAtv
I'm trying to recall any complaints from Howard Kurtz about the choice of Baker as a moderator. Nope, I don't remember any.