Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Journalists from NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox News will moderate the three scheduled debates between U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ahead of the Nov. 8 election, the nonpartisan group organizing the events said on Friday.

NBC anchor Lester Holt will ask questions at the first debate on Sept. 26 in New York, while ABC global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will co-moderate the Oct. 9 “town meeting” style debate in St. Louis, the Commission on Presidential Debates said.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will moderate on Oct. 19 in Las Vegas, it said in a statement.

CBS journalist Elaine Quijano will moderate the single vice presidential debate on Oct. 4 between Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his Democratic rival, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the commission said.

C-SPAN’s Steve Scully will be a back-up moderator for all four of the debates, it added.

Trump, the Republican candidate, has said he will take part in the three debates but wants to see the conditions. Representatives for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday’s announcement.

The New York businessman, who has never held elected office, has had repeated run-ins with the media since launching his campaign last year, charging networks like CNN with “phony reporting,” sparring with MSNBC hosts and insulting Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly. His campaign has also black-listed several reporters and news outlets.

Clinton, the Democratic candidate, has said she will participate in all three debates as scheduled.

Separately, NBC has said Trump and Clinton will participate in a “commander-in-chief” forum focused on military issues on Sept. 7 in New York, appearing separately.

On Friday, Trump’s son Eric raised questions about ties between the anchor for that event, Matt Lauer, and the Clinton Foundation and said NBC and its cable offshoot MSNBC have been against his father.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of speculation because of his involvement with the foundation,” Eric Trump told Fox News in an interview. “I hope he’ll be fair.”

Representatives for NBC said Lauer was not a member of the foundation and that he had interviewed former President Bill Clinton for the network’s “Today” show, not on behalf of the foundation.

Trump’s reality television show, “The Apprentice,” debuted on NBC in 2004. NBC later cut other ties with the businessman, dropping his “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” pageants, and Trump sued.

NBC is a unit of Comcast Corp.. Fox News is part of the Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, ABC News is owned by Walt Disney Co, while Time Warner Inc owns CNN. CBS Corp is also publicly traded.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Photo: Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper at the CNN Town Hall at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Brewer

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


s3.amazonaws.com


Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.