I interviewed a boxing referee once for a story for a local newspaper once about thirty years ago, and one of the things that they always told me was that they tried not to speak with fighters unless they were directly in contact with the trainers from each camp.
The point is, let’s say that a boxer wins on what could be looked at as a disputed finish. If both camps can attest to the legitimacy of the referee, there’s no issue.
However, can you imagine what would happen if a guy got fast counted, and then it came out that the referee had been eating dinner with the other fighter the night before?
I knew, shortly after scheduled debate moderator and C-SPAN anchor Steve Scully claimed to have been hacked, that it was all over for him.
Scully, who had been tapped by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host the second showdown between President Trump and Joe Biden before its cancelation, was criticized on Twitter by President Trump as being a NeverTrumper. Scully, a veteran of a cable network beloved by wonks and political geeks alike, could have just about asked anyone orbiting the Beltway to advise him what to.
Naturally, what he did was confirm he was a NeverTrumper by asking onetime White House communications director and all-around human joke Anthony Scaramucci how to handle it: “@Scaramucci should I respond to trump,” he tweeted in what was apparently intended to be a private message.
Scully quickly claimed he was hacked and took his tweets private. As anyone who remembers the downfall of Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner can attest, if you’ve made a digital oopsie and need to cover your tracks, saying you’ve been hacked is the worst possible explanation — and this includes saying you’d mixed Vicodin, Klonopin and eight shots of Bacardi and had no memory of tweeting that sucker. This is because, unlike claiming you’d ingested a dangerous cocktail of intoxicants and then decided to take to social media, it doesn’t take much forensic work to disprove that you were hacked.
According to CNN, Scully issued an apology last week, saying he’d made “errors in judgment.” He’s currently on “administrative leave,” meaning he won’t be fielding prank calls on “Washington Journal,” much less moderating any debates.
Next up to the plate when it comes to debate moderators is Kristen Welker, an NBC News White House correspondent. Welker is in charge of questioning during this week’s debate, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Thursday at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Now, remember, Steve Scully — a soporific non-entity for the oatmeal of cable political channels, a man even C-SPAN watchers could only probably identify after they were told he’s the one that kind of looks like Lindsey Graham if you squint — turned out to be a biased mess. Welker is a reporter for the most left-leaning of the major broadcast networks in an era where White House correspondents are expected to behave in the combative mold of Jim Acosta. What are the odds she turns out to be less partisan?