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Debate commission co-chair: We don't expect moderators to fact-check candidates

Presidential Debate Commission co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said Sunday he doesn't expect Fox News anchor Chris Wallace or any of the other moderators to fact-check President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden at the debates.

What he's saying: "There's a vast difference between being a moderator in a debate and being a reporter who is interviewing someone." Fahrenkopf Jr. said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."


  • Fahrenkopf Jr. said it's the role of a reporter conducting an interview to fact-check their subject. "But that's not the case in a debate. ... it's the role of the other person in a debate to be the one to raise that ... rather than the moderator."
  • "The minute the TV is off. There are going to be plenty of fact-checkers at every newspaper and every television station in the world. That's not the main role of our moderators," he continued.
  • "The commission's function is to put on television, before the people of the United States, the two candidates. They will act as they are going to act, we have no control over that, and then it's for them to make a judgment based on what they've seen."

Worth noting: Fahrenkopf Jr. dismissed the idea of the commission drug-testing either of the candidates, which President Trump said on Twitter he would be "demanding."

What to watch: The debatewill air from Cleveland from 9pm–10:30pm ET. Topics will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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