WTF Files: A Woman Hasn't Moderated a Presidential Debate in 20 Years

Election season is well underway in the US, and so far, the coverage isn’t exactly overflowing with women. As the 4th Estate reported last week,

Men are much more likely to be quoted [in election coverage] on their subjective insight in newspapers and on television. This pattern holds true across all major news outlets, as well as on issues specifically concerning women. For example, in front page articles about the 2012 election that mention abortion or birth control, men are 4 to 7 times more likely to be cited than women.

Turns out, this pattern holds true for presidential debates as well. We already know that the stage will be a total sausage fest during the 2012 debates (again), but did you know that all of the debate moderators in the past 20 years have been men? The last time a woman moderated a presidential debate was when Carole Simpson took the stage with Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and George Bush in 1992. WTF?

Carole Simpson talks into the camera at the debate
That lady in the back is pissed off in advance that it will be at least 20 years before another woman moderates one of these.

There’s a petition up at encouraging the Commission on Presidential Debates to name at least one woman to moderate one of the three upcoming presidential debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Doesn’t seem like too much to ask, right? Sign it then!

Who would you like to see moderate a debate between Obama and Romney? I vote Rachel Maddow all the way (unless we’re allowed to nominate fictional characters, in which case I’m going with Donna Meagle).

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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5 Comments Have Been Posted

I thought Gwen Ifill had but

I thought Gwen Ifill had but it turns out she just did vice-presidential debates in 2004 and 2008. Sad.

I second the Rachel Maddow

I second the Rachel Maddow nomination!


Because Maddow is the poster child of unbiased, right? I guess that means Michelle Malkin should be thrown in there for consideration then, or since you opened the door to pundits instead of journalists, Ann Coulter is eligible. The Maddow pick is just as ludicrous as Having Coulter do it.

I thought Gwen Ifill has.....

I thought Gwen Ifill has..... but now after looking it up, she moderated the 2008 VICE presidential debate.

Female moderator.

It is very strange that I did not notice this on my own so good catch to those girls who originally posted the petition....!
Rachel all the way.

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