MRC: Expect no moderation from final debate 'moderator'

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

NBC's Kristen WelkerOnce again, says a media watchdog, it's unlikely President Donald Trump will get a fair shake from the moderator in the final presidential debate before Election Day.

President Trump heads into the last presidential debate on Thursday night – and moderating the event will be NBC's Kristen Welker (pictured), one of the network's White House reporters and co-anchors. Welker joined NBC News in 2010 and became one of its White House correspondents just a year later.

By all accounts Welker is poised and professional – but Media Research Center's Curtis Houck says that doesn't mean she will be an impartial debate moderator.

"When the four debate moderators were announced, Welker was the one name of the four scheduled individuals that I think conservative Trump supporters and impartial observers had reason to be concerned about," the media watchdog tells OneNewsNow.

Houck points out Welker has often been critical of the president and was a strong proponent of the baseless "Trump-Russia conspiracy" hoax:

Welker: "I think what you are seeing is President Trump increasingly embattled because of the Russia investigation, and increasingly lashing out."

Houck also recalls some of Welker's past work.

Houck

"She was one of the journalists reporting on the Elizabeth Lauten situation, really doxing and then hounding a seemingly obscure Capitol Hill staffer for making comments about the Obama daughters," says the MRC spokesman. "She had insisted during the Ebola crisis that the Republicans were engaging in fear – peddling fear."

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich shares Houck's concern over Welker's potential bias. Gingrich tweeted over the weekend that choosing Welker as a "moderator" for a presidential debate "is one more example of why the Commission on Presidential Debates should be abolished and no Republican candidate should ever again agree to work with them."

Houck acknowledges it's unlikely Welker will bring up issues during the debate that may be harmful to Joe Biden, like the Hunter Biden email scandal – so he contends the president will have to find a way to interject those topics. The president is apparently expecting a tough evening, tweeting out over the weekend that Welker is "terrible and unfair."

But it was not always so. Trump was quite complimentary at a press conference when Welker was announced as co-host on NBC's "Weekend TODAY." After congratulating her, he remarked: "They made a very wise decision."

The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced that this second and final debate between the two candidates will have each nominee muted while the other delivers his two-minute remarks at the outset of each of the six debate topics. The remainder of each 15-minute block will be open discussion, without any muting, the commission said. Despite the rule change, Trump plans to be there – even though his campaign opposes the change.

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