Right-wing media figures criticized presidential debate moderator Lester Holt for interrupting Republican nominee Donald Trump more than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Yet Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times -- three times as often as Clinton interrupted Trump -- and repeatedly went over his allotted time and made numerous factually inaccurate statements.
Trump Repeatedly Goes Over Allotted Time, Lies, And Interrupts Clinton During First Presidential Debate
Vox.com: Trump “Interrupted Clinton 51 Times -- Whereas Clinton Had Interrupted Trump Just 17 Times.” A Vox.com analysis found that Republican nominee Donald Trump interrupted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton 51 times during the first presidential debate, moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt, while Clinton interrupted Trump 17 times. The report found that “some of Trump’s interruptions of Clinton featured outright lies” about his record, while others were “petulant asides,” and still others “turned into loud, insistent filibusters.” From the September 27 report:
Counting the interruptions of both candidates by moderator Lester Holt, Clinton was interrupted a total of 70 times, and Trump was interrupted 47 times.
Some of Trump’s interruptions of Clinton featured outright lies, like insisting that he never said climate change was a Chinese conspiracy, or denying that he ever said some of the offensive things about women that Clinton called him out on saying.
Some of his interruptions were petulant asides; at one point he even threw in a one-word, schoolboy-like “Not.”
Other interruptions turned into loud, insistent filibusters, with Trump barreling over Clinton until she finally smiled and relented to let him keep talking — or until Holt interjected to insist that Trump give Clinton her allotted two minutes to talk.
It was a pretty stunning display, even for Trump. [Vox.com, 9/27/16]
CNN’s Dylan Byers: “Trump Went Over His Allotted Time More Often And Said More Statements That Were Factually Inaccurate.” CNN media reporter Dylan Byers noted that although Holt “interrupted Trump more often than Clinton and fact-checked Trump more often than Clinton,” Trump “went over his allotted time more often” and made more “factually inaccurate” statements than she did. [CNN Money, 9/27/16]
NY Times: Trump Interrupted Clinton Three Times More Than She Interrupted Him. A New York Times “by the numbers” piece counted less total interruptions throughout the debate than Vox but reported a similar pattern of interruptions, finding that Trump interrupted Clinton three times as much as she did him. [The New York Times, 9/27/16]
Right-Wing Media Figures Complain That Holt “Interrupted Trump Much More” Than Clinton
Fox Contributor Laura Ingraham: Holt “Kept Interrupting Trump.” While appearing on Fox News’ post-debate coverage, contributor Laura Ingraham argued that Holt “kept interrupting Trump, and rarely interrupted Hillary Clinton.” From Fox’s September 26 presidential debate coverage:
LAURA INGRAHAM: Lester Holt, and I always liked Lester, I used to work over at that network a long time ago. Always liked him, but did you notice that he kept interrupting Trump, and rarely interrupted Hillary Clinton? [Fox News, First 2016 Presidential Debate, 9/26/16]
Fox Host Ainsley Earhardt: Holt “Interrupted Trump Much More” Than Clinton. Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt lamented that Holt “interrupted Trump much more” than Clinton. Co-host Steve Doocy responded that Holt had been accused of “auditioning for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s press secretary job.” From the September 27 edition:
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Now, Lester Holt interrupted both of the candidates several times last night but interrupted Trump much more. Interrupted Clinton 19 times and interrupted Donald Trump 30 times.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Todd Starnes put out something about, he felt that Lester Holt was auditioning for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s press secretary job. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/27/16]
Daily Caller: “Holt Was Much Harsher” On Trump And “Interrupted Trump A Record 41 Times.” A Daily Caller article asserted that Holt “was much harsher” on Trump during the debate, interrupting “Trump a whopping 41 times” and interrupting Clinton seven times. From the September 27 article:
Moderator Lester Holt was much harsher on Republican nominee Donald Trump than he was on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the debate Monday evening.
Holt interrupted Trump a whopping 41 times, either to “fact-check” the Republican nominee, or to ask a follow-up question. Clinton was only interrupted seven times during the course of the 90-minute debate. [The Daily Caller, 9/27/16]
Commentator Richard Grenell: Holt “Consistently Interrupted Trump, But Not Hillary.”
Drudge Report Repeats Daily Caller Analysis: Holt “Interrupted Trump 41 Times, Clinton 7.”