Lester Holt: Debate Moderator Criticized For Lack of Control

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Last night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off for one of the contentious debates in the history of American presidential politics.

As is usually the case the morning after a debate, it seems that few minds were changed, and there remains no clear consensus with regard to who was the more impressive candidate.

Unfortunately for NBC, a network that's already been the subject of harsh criticism several times during this year's election process, viewers seem to agree that moderator Lester Holt was badly out of his depth.

Lester Holt Presidential Debate Photo

Holt made an effort to maintain order early in the evening, but he quickly became overwhelmed by Trump's barrage of interruptions during time allotted to Clinton.

As a result, one of the big questions of the night on social media (along with "which candidate lied more?") was "where's Lester?"

The 57-year-old NBC Nightly News anchor kicked off the evening by clearly outlining his responsibilities:

“I'm honored to have this role, but the evening belongs to the candidates,” Holt said at one point.

Many felt that the comment amounted to Holt prematurely waving the white flag.

One of the more popular memes of the night featured Homer Simpson retreating into Ned Flanders' shrubs as a visual representation of Holt's passive behavior during Trump and Clinton's slug-fest.

Lester Holt as Homer Simpson

"Lester Holt is like a WWE referee right now," tweeted one viewer. "He has lost total control of this debate."

In fairness to Holt, last night's debate has been described as the most tense and emotionally-charged in the history of American politics.

In all likelihood, no one could've reined these candidates in.

Unfortunately for Holt, his widely criticized performance comes on the heels of two other controversies pertaining to his network's election coverage.

First there was dust-up regarding Holt's colleague Matt Lauer and his moderating efforts at NBC's Commander-in-Chief Forum, during which many felt Lauer was unfairly harsh on Clinton, while allowing Trump to say whatever he pleased.

Shortly thereafter, NBC was once again criticized following Trump's appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Many felt that Fallon went out of his way to help "humanize" the controversial candidate for his audience.

In fairness, the late night host is not a journalist, and is known for affably lofting softball questions at his guests.

Still, all these instances of seemingly pro-Trump behavior on the part of NBC's on air talent had led many to question the network's objectivity.

Of course, they could openly start referring to him as "Future President Trump," and the candidate would still complain about receiving unfair treatment from the liberal media.

The second debate between Trump and Clinton is scheduled to take place on October 9.

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