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Lester Holt joins Brian Williams' team of honest jouralists


When Matt Lauer asked Hillary Clinton tough questions he was clobbered by his colleagues in the media. Lester Holt decided not to take that risk.

In this Oct. 28, 2015, file photo, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt arrives at the 9th Annual California Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the California Museum, in Sacramento, Calif. Holt will moderate the first scheduled presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2016 with ABC's Martha Raddatz, CNN's Anderson Cooper and Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace lined up for others. (Jose Luis Villegas/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool, File)

It may have just been a coincidence, but the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico and the Los Angeles Times all had huge stories last weekend about Donald Trump and lying.

As luck would have it the Hillary Clinton campaign spent the week concentrating on the same thing.

The entire Clinton campaign apparatus and a servile media then piled on Lester Holt, the moderator of Monday night’s debate, and insisted that he involve himself in the debate by fact-checking Trump.

The MSM’s passion for fact-checking politicians is a recent development. I don’t remember them calling for fact-checking Secretary Clinton or President Obama on Benghazi when the entire world knew at the time that they were lying.

(Jose Luis Villegas/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool, File)

They were lying to hide what was going on in that facility, why the ambassador was meeting with the Turkish diplomat privately in the evening, why the facility’s security had been drawn down, what the president was doing during the attack, what Hillary was doing during the attack, who came up with the video story, why the effort to scramble a rescue team was stopped, why the CIA operatives in Benghazi were told not to go to the ambassador’s aid, why we were keeping the survivors from talking to the press or Congress, why the terrorists were flourishing after we killed Gaddafi, who the terrorists were and where they got their weaponry.

Those questions remain unanswered. The media remains uninterested.

I know. I know. Benghazi was just a Republican conspiracy to smear the most qualified person to run for president in the history of our country. Those questions aren’t as important as Trump’s charitable contributions.

But for the families of the four dead Americans, and for the many who think that a constitutional republic must be based on honest discourse, we should expect integrity from both our leadership and our press.

I have been following presidential debates since the Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960. I don’t ever recall moderators being expected to become participants.

Candy Crowley started this by interrupting Mitt Romney in his debate with President Obama. She not only said that Romney was wrong, but happened to have in her hand a transcript of the event in question to prove her point.

It was almost as though she was expecting the matter to come up and was prepared to put Romney in his place. In a discussion on CNN later that evening, after that vast majority of viewers had tuned out, she admitted that Romney had been right in his comment. She did not apologize.

We may not be as sharp as Lester Holt – or Candy Crowley for that matter – but they would do us all a favor if they would just let us draw our own conclusions.

It is the job of the moderator to draw out of the candidates their responses to the issues of the day. Their answers, both verbally and stylistically, tell us what kind of person each is. We will make our own judgments as to their integrity and temperament.

The Clinton/MSM campaign was a huge success. Lester Holt fact-checked, interrupted and challenged Donald Trump six times. Hillary Clinton was not challenged once.

Trump was pounded on the birth certificate controversy and on his tax returns. Holt insisted that Trump was originally in favor of going into Iraq, but said nothing about Clinton voting to go to war.

Clinton took credit for tough sanctions on Iran that were begun by Jimmy Carter. Her only discrete decision on Iranian sanctions was to exempt Swedish giant, Ericsson, after Bill Clinton was paid $750,000 for a speech and the Clinton Foundation opened a Swedish branch that received $26 million. Holt let that one go too.

Clinton was not asked about emails, Benghazi, her failure in Libya, Clinton Foundation donors getting access to the State Department or Russia getting control of 20 percent of our uranium production.

Immigration policy has become an important aspect of our concern about home grown terrorism. Clinton’s open border policy didn’t come up.

Neither candidate won the debate. Clinton proved that she was a professional at this game. Trump proved that he was not. We’ll find out in about seven weeks which attribute is more appealing.

Lester Holt may have won the admiration of his colleagues in the media for teaming up with Clinton against Trump, but he forfeited his stature as a journalist and he was the big loser last night.

If you would like to be added to John Linder’s distribution list please send your email address to: linderje@yahoo.com or follow on Twitter: @linderje

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