Lehrer Defends Debate Performance

Pundits mostly panned President Obama’s debate performance Wednesday night, but 78-year-old Jim Lehrer was also criticized by many pundits for being too passive as moderator. Now the former anchor of PBS’s NewsHour is responding. “Part of my moderator mission was to stay out of the way of the flow, and I had no problems with doing so,” Lehrer said in an email to The New York Times. “My only real personal frustration was discovering that 90 minutes was not enough time.” The new format, which allowed for 15 minutes per topic, was about facilitating exchanges between the candidates, he added.