TV Rivals Pan Jim Lehrer At First Debate

The longtime presidential debate moderator let the candidates push him around repeatedly on Wednesday. posted on

DENVER, Colo. — PBS host Jim Lehrer, the familiar face behind the desk at many presidential debates, was head-scratchingly absent from the first debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama, and drew scathing reactions from television figures from David Gregory to Lou Dobbs.

Their criticism: Lehrer let both candidates run roughshod over his time limits and efforts to push them into different topics and segments. His style allowed the candidates to repeat their points at will with hardly any interruption — but at times failed to forced them to truly debate each energetically.

Lehrer’s defenders pointed to a meaty debate that didn’t lack for contrast, but his peers were harsh:

This isn't a debate, it's just a polite exchange of views. Come on Jim, get in there and rev things up a bit! #PMTdebate" target="_blank">http://twitter.com/search?q=%23PMTdebate">#PMTdebate

But, seriously, Jim Lehrer who has been unconscious for at least 15 years, has to be dealt with. This is a national problem.

RT @MSignorile:" target="_blank">http://twitter.com/MSignorile">@MSignorile: Jim Leher is a disaster, really. Generally like him. But... Why is he moderating this? #2012debate." target="_blank">http://twitter.com/search?q=%232012debate">#2012debate.

Jim Leher is a disaster, really. Generally like him. But... Why is he moderating this? #2012debate." target="_blank">http://twitter.com/search?q=%232012debate">#2012debate.

Jim Lerher has become The Larry King of PBS #MockTheVote" target="_blank">http://twitter.com/search?q=%23MockTheVote">#MockTheVote #Debates" target="_blank">http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Debates">#Debates

SNL writers thanking GOD everyone is being so mean to poor Jim Lehrer!

Lehrer isn't doing well, Romney is aggressive in the nicest way, and the President blowing hard.

Hey Lehrer, you're the fucking ref, stop letting the Mittbot bully you - he can't fire YOU

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