The next presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 15, and whether or not it happens most likely depends on how President Trump’s COVID-19 recovery goes. Assuming the debate does happen as scheduled, an interesting development has recently come to light, as debate moderator Steve Scully has been identified as having interned for then Sen. Joe Biden.
Scully is the political editor at C-SPAN and host of Washington Journal. As Scully’s bio from Columbian College states, “While attending college, he served as an intern in the office of Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden, and later a staff assistant in Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s communication office.”
This should present a problem for CNN. The phrase “conflict of interest” almost seems like it was invented for a situation like this. On the surface, It would seem hard for a moderator to come off as impartial after actually working as an intern for one of the candidates. It also leaves the door wide open for questions about the integrity of the moderator.
Would Scully leak questions ahead of time, similar to what happened in the 2016 debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? Donna Brazile worked for CNN at the time and after revelations surfaced that she had leaked questions ahead of time to Clinton, Brazile was relieved of her role as a CNN contributor.
There are thousands of journalists that cover national politics and, specifically, the presidential election. There’s a pretty good chance all but one of them were not former interns of one of the candidates.