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Nina In New York: The Hunt For A Better Moderator

(credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

(credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

NYC Fall

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By Nina Pajak

Yeah, I watched the debate the other night.

Though I found it to be a generally cringe-inducing experience for a multitude of reasons, I felt a sort of civic guilt that prevented me from doing what I really wanted and changing the channel to House Hunters International. At least then I could have learned something new and valuable, like what $250,000 can get you in an English village (not much!).

But I’m not here to talk politics. I’m here to talk moderators. I think we can all agree, regardless of which candidate you prefer, that poor Jim Lehrer just wasn’t up to Wednesday night’s task. Too meek, too conciliatory, too much aggrieved eyelid fluttering.

More: CBSNewYork Eye On Politics

Even before this disappointment, several people have come to the fore with petitions to enlist people like Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and, my personal favorite, Judge Judy Sheindlin. Judge Judy would regulate the heck out of a debate! I mean, she might tell them to shut up or that she’s heard enough and then have her scary bailiff collect their supporting documentation so she can dramatically tear it to shreds because SHE IS TIRED AND JUST DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR IT, SIR. SIR? SIR? THANK YOU, SIR. (Idiot). Then she might just kick them out altogether when they ignore her previous warnings only to speak within their allotted time and no money will be awarded to any parties, but that’s the way it goes in JJ’s courtroom. You know the rules before you walk through those doors. And she’s not going to break them for anybody. 

Some other potentially effective moderators:

Elmo: Aha! Bet you thought I was going to say Big Bird, and invent some sort of vengeful scenario in which the big yellow guy deliberately interrupts Romney and passive aggressively plays it off as innocent befuddlement. But no, that’s too easy. Elmo is the guy to represent the Street here, for several reasons. One, his voice undeniably carries. Try as you might, you simply cannot ignore him. And with his childlike curiosity and insistence on following through with a single thought, I highly doubt any candidate could steamroll him. Plus, I’ve always suspected that his manic glee hints at a much darker monster within, one who is capable of snapping and flying into a terrifying rage if pushed too far. Perfect!

Seth MacFarlane: Cause now he’s doing all sorts of wacky stuff, right? Plus maybe he can just break out his Ryan Lochte impression if things get tense.

Larry David: Talk about a nudge. Have you ever seen an episode of Curb where Larry backs down from a fight? Or where a simple conversation doesn’t escalate into a screaming match? Plus, he could introduce little discussed topics like candidates’ stances on whether you’re permitted to retrieve a bottle of wine you brought to a dinner party if the host never opened it.

Honey Boo Boo: This one’s not my idea. It’s been bandied about on the Internet, along with Eastwood’s empty chair. While I doubt Honey Boo Boo possesses the sophistication and book-learnin’ required of a debate moderator, it’s true that she would command rapt (if confused and reluctant) attention. Just no one give her a Red Bull, or we’ll be peeling her off the walls.

Martin Sheen: Because he is a former President. Duh.

Simon Cowell: No, oh Lord, no. Just kidding.

Kanye West: “Imma let you finish, but actually I’m not. Your time is up.”

Terry Tate, Office Linebacker: Because this is HIS house, and no one can steamroll against the threat of the pain train. WOO WOOOOO!

What did you think of the debate the other night? Who would you like to see replace moderator Jim Lehrer?