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Chris MacKenzie,
U.S. PIRG, Democracy Campaign

Holt fails to deliver on debate questions

Thousands of viewers demand money in politics coverage, Holt fails to deliver.
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Tuesday evening, NBC anchor Lester Holt faced backlash after providing zero coverage of money in politics issues at the first presidential debate of the general election. Prior to the debate, viewers delivered 44,000 petitions to Holt requesting that he ask questions related to money in politics. The debate lasted over 90 minutes and featured no questions from Holt on campaign finance.

“Lester Holt told viewers we’d hear candidates debate America’s direction.” said Dan Smith, Democracy Campaign Director for U.S. PIRG Education Fund. “Then he failed to cover a core issue facing our democracy. That just doesn’t cut it. This year, record spending by super PACs and mega-donors has made money in politics a top issue. We deserve to hear from our moderators on campaign finance.”

On September 22, a broad coalition of over 30 organizations delivered 44,000 petitions to Lester Holt urging debate coverage of money in politics and other democracy reforms.

The first primary election debates on the Democratic and Republican side also failed to provide coverage of money in politics. The presidential election will feature three more debates, two presidential and one vice presidential, with moderators from ABC, CNN, Fox, and CBS.

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With public debate around important issues often dominated by special interests pursuing their own narrow agendas, U.S. PIRG Education Fund offers an independent voice that works on behalf of the public interest. U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer Americans meaningful opportunities for civic participation

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