Lester Holt, You have embarrassed the field of journalism

The moderator of the first presidential debate abdicated his responsibility to be impartial.

Hofstra Debate, Lester Holt, CSPAN, screenshot
Hofstra Debate, Lester Holt, CSPAN, screenshot

During the presidential debate Monday night, moderator Lester Holt of NBC — someone who is one of only three major anchors of nightly network newscasts, someone who is supposed to be one of the prime examples of journalism and journalistic integrity in the United States — openly and willfully denigrated the field of journalism.

As a journalist, I’m tired of seeing people like Mr. Holt spit on my chosen career field and abdicate his responsibility to be impartial and to hold all sides of the political spectrum to truth.

The glaring incident during the debate happened when Democrat Hillary Clinton made the statement that Republican Donald Trump’s campaign was founded on racism and the “birther movement.”

That claim is entirely false. Trump has said multiple times he was running for a myriad of reasons; not one time did he say he was running because President Obama wasn’t a citizen.

Trump may have questioned it, but questioning something is not the same as founding a campaign for the presidency on it.

On the heels of Lester Holt holding Trump to the fire on issues such as his tax return (“the IRS says you can release returns even if you’re under audit”), the spotlight turned onto Holt when Clinton made her statement.

A responsible journalist, someone who strives to maintain and display journalistic integrity, would have said, “Secretary Clinton, do you have any evidence to back up that claim Trump’s campaign was founded on racism?” Perhaps a “Secretary Clinton, to say Mr. Trump’s campaign was founded on a racist belief is a strong statement. Do you have any proof that Mr. Trump said that was a reason he ran for office?”

Nothing from Lester Holt. He just turned and asked Trump if he wanted to respond…

Read the full article by Jason Wert at WesternJournalism.

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