NBC moderator Lester Holt was slammed for his lack of interaction by viewers who thought he’d walked out of the clash all together.
At the beginning of the 90-minute debate, Holt, 57, said: “I'm honored to have this role, but the evening belongs to the candidates,” which may explain why he then seemed to bow out.
However when Trump, 70, began interrupting Clinton, 68, on several occasions social media sprang to life with people asking: “Where has Holt gone?”
The anchor became the butt of numerous jokes as comments poured in on Twitter suggesting he was stuck in a long line for the restroom, and he’d been gone so long his face was now on the side of a milk carton.
Apparently Lester Holt went to the bathroom, way down the hall, and only one urinal is available and there is a line.
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) September 27, 2016
Just grabbed some milk from the fridge and sure enough @LesterHoltNBC's picture is on the side of the carton.
— Chris Sacca (@sacca) September 27, 2016
lester holt lookin good tonight pic.twitter.com/uVoxExsdLU
— Ali V. (@alivingiano) September 27, 2016
Holt did reappear to interrupt the dueling duo to fact-check, but was then accused of being biased for attacking Trump more often than Clinton.
In the final minutes of the debate he tried to regain control of the discussion, but could hardly get a word in edgewise.
“I wouldn’t want Lester Holt to even moderate a Faculty Senate meeting,” read one Twitter comment. “That guy can’t control a damn thing.”
Lester Holt is like a WWE referee right now. He has lost total control of this debate.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 27, 2016
A live look at Lester Holt trying to control Don vs Hil…
— Lilly Egan (@SheDoesSports) September 27, 2016
Another user wrote. “Lester Holt has lost all control. He’s like a cool sub teacher, he just gave up.”
While many felt he could have been more present for the political face-off, Holt was also praised for letting Trump and Clinton battle it out.
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) September 27, 2016
The second presidential debate will be held on Sunday, October 9.
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