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George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson have been taking a lot of flak over their performance as moderators of last night’s debate between Democratic presidential primary rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
“This debate was among the worst, if not the bottom of the lot. And that this is largely the fault of ABC News, ” said Mike Hoyt at the Columbia Journalism Review.
American Journalism Review’s Rem Reider took it even further: “The real loser of the Wednesday night debate in Philadelphia was journalism.”
For his part, Stephanopoulos defends the questions and the questioners:
“The vote for the president,” Stephanopoulos said, “is one of the most personal” decisions that someone makes.
“When people make that choice, they take into account how candidates stand on the issues,” he said, but also are concerned with “experience, character [and] credibility.”
“You can’t find a presidential election where those issues didn’t come into play,” he said.
Stephanopoulos explained that since the candidates are not far apart policy-wise, the “core of the nomination fight” has been about these issues.
[Continue reading Stephanopoulos Defends Performance]
Almost 19,000 comments have been posted on the ABC News site as of this writing, with negative comments against the network running 8-to-1 over positives, according to the Associated Press.