Increasingly, it seems like the only people happy with the upcoming presidential debate moderators are the four lucky people who have been chosen. Friday brought another round of complaints from every corner about the choices the Commission on Presidential Debates made.
First, there is the still-simmering question of the lack of racial diversity in the selection of Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer, Candy Crowley and Martha Raddatz. On Friday, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank aimed at improving the economic status of people of color, both spoke out publicly at the lack of African-American or Latino moderators.
This follows days of vocal protest from Univision, the largest Spanish-language network, about the situation. (Univision has called for a fourth debate to be held.)
Then, there is the disappointment among the ranks of the snubbed. NBC, for instance, has nobody represented. Nor does Fox News. A gossipy New York Times article revealed late Friday that Fox News had lobbied intensely for a slot, but had been snubbed -- and that the Romney camp had threatened to boycott the debates if anybody from MSNBC was chosen.
However, nobody appears to have been more infuriated than PBS' Gwen Ifill. According to the Times, she was shocked and "livid" to find that, for the first time in eight years, she had been left off the list of moderators -- especially since PBS colleague Lehrer had insisted that his moderating days were completely over. She admitted to the paper, "I was indeed disappointed." (Ifill can take comfort that she is making history this election cycle by being part of the first-ever all-female team to anchor presidential convention coverage.)
Oh, and of course, there's Rush Limbaugh, who trashed all four moderators as "far left" or "far far left" Democrats.
UPDATE: Ifill denied the Times report in a tweet on Sunday:
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