- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Media insiders are labeling the South Carolina Democratic debate a "disaster" following a messy and often out-of-control evening that frequently devolved into shouting matches between the candidates. The event marked CBS News' first foray into hosting a debate this election cycle, and the moderators — CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King — often appeared to be overpowered by the seven candidates they were supposed to be keeping in line.
TV regulars at rival networks, including former DNC head and Fox News contributor Donna Brazile, Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski, and The View's Meghan McCain, expressed horror over how the night unfolded:
Dear Madam Moderators: throw your shoes down.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) February 26, 2020
Does CBS have a buzzer or something to organize this??? What’s going on?
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) February 26, 2020
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) February 26, 2020
Brian Stelter, the chief media corespondent for CNN, confirmed the industry's general reception of the debate:
Debates are hard. TV news rivalries are hardcore. That said, debate pros at other TV networks are exchanging messages calling this a "disaster," a "nightmare" and worse
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 26, 2020
Sean Illing of Vox was even blunter: "These are the worst moderators in the history of moderation," he tweeted.
More stories from theweek.com
Harvard scientist predicts coronavirus will infect up to 70 percent of humanity
Israel is the first country to warn its citizens not to travel abroad over coronavirus fears
Watch Elizabeth Warren tell a Sanders supporter that Bernie helped write the delegate rules he now opposes