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Why you can’t make everyone happy with a presidential debate moderator

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CNN correspondent Candy Crowley speaks on stage during the 34th Annual AWRT Gracie Awards Gala at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 3, 2009 in New York City.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for AWRT

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Last week a group of anonymous female journalists and former ABC News anchor and presidential debate moderator Carole Simpson demanded that at least one of this year's presidential debates be moderated by a woman. That hasn’t happened since 1992, when Carole Simpson moderated the debate between George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Three 16-year-olds from New Jersey also gained notoriety on the subject when they posted the online petition, “It’s Time for a Female Moderator,” and got more than 100,000 people to sign in support. When they tried to deliver the petition to the Commission on Presidential Debates, they were told no one was available to meet with them. Today the Commission announced Jim Lehrer of PBS, Bob Schieffer of CBS, Candy Crowley of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC will be the moderators. Critics still think Crowley got the short end of the stick; she’ll be moderating the Town Hall debate, which relies almost entirely on audience questions.


What do you think of the moderators for this years presidential debates?


Robert Thompson, professor of Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, where he is also the founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture