The Debates: who moderates?

Finally a Fox News rep gets to handle a Presidential debate.  For the first time in the channels 20 year history of  Fox News they will have one person in charge of running a debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  And no, it’s not Bill O’Reilly.

Chris Wallace says he is thrilled to be selected to question the candidates in the final Presidential debate scheduled for October 19th.  He says it’s a great honor, great responsibility and so proud that the highest rated news channel, by far, finally gets to show what they can do in the highest stakes game of Presidential Debates.  Says Wallace he doesn’t know how he was chosen but he got the call.  And glad his answering service was not on when the call came through.

The first debate, figured to be rated the highest debate ever, will be handled by NBC’s Lester Holt on September 26th.  October 9th the questioners will be ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  Wallace may handle the most important debate being the final one before the November election November 8th.  The Vice President debate is scheduled for October 4th hosted by Chicago’s and CBSN’s Elaine Quijano.  A Pilipino American and anchor of a digital news service.

Each debate will have six topics of 15 minutes each.  The moderator will ask their own questions to the candidates given two minutes to respond. Following their answers there will be eleven minutes of open discussion.  Oh brother will the fur fly here.

These four debates, including the VP debate, may very well decide the Presidential election.  The first debate likely will have the largest television audience ever for an event such as this.  However, it will be up against Monday Night NFL football on cable TV.  In the past, the debates always overwhelm football.  However, the October 9th debate will be up against the hugely popular Sunday night NFL football on NBC.  The scheduled game at this point will be between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers.  Here could be a problem for NBC and the debate audience.  A huge New York audience against the legendary Packers will damage ratings on this one.  Likely to go on as scheduled (there always can be a change) with NBC coverage to be transferred to their poorly rated sister cable station MSNBC.

Fox News Chris Wallace is the son of his most famous father Mike Wallace.  Long time 60 Minutes correspondent known for a style of uncompromising direct questions and exposing criminal enterprises. Some would call Mike Wallace infamous.  But always entertaining.  Near the end of his life, Mike Wallace appeared with his son Chris on Fox News Sunday in an interview.  At the end, in a very touching moment, father reached to shake hands with his son and said the most wonderful thing a father can say to his child…”I’m so proud of you.”

Is there any question Chris Wallace will have this on his mind in preparation for his handling of the final debate, Oct. 19, a Wednesday?   His sentimental thoughts have to be “oh how I wish Dad could see me doing this debate.”  But, true to his profession, true to his news network, true to himself, but most of all true to his father where he learned his interviewing skills, my bet would be on Chris asking the toughest questions in what very well be the most critical moments in our Nations future.  That being the final debate.  And, somewhere, somehow, surely his famous father is more proud than ever.