For maybe the first time, the Times noticed a moderator of a presidential debate being tough on a candidate - and it just happened to be the leading Democrat, Sen. Hillary Clinton.
At the latest Democratic debate, held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Adam Nagourney and Elisabeth Bumiller were so taken back by the questioning of MSNBC moderators Tim Russert and Brian Williams that they mentioned it three times (one reference was removed from the final online version). That's not something the Times picked up on when debate moderator Chris Matthews badgered the GOP.
"Mrs. Clinton walked into the debate expecting to be the target of attacks but as the night went on, she appeared surprised by the intensity as she was challenged not only by her opponents but by the moderators, Brian Williams and Tim Russert of NBC....In an exchange with Mr. Russert, arguably her third toughest opponent on the stage, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly declined to say whether she would push the National Archives to release correspondence from Mrs. Clinton to Mr. Clinton in the White House when he was president. Mr. Russert held up a copy of a letter from Mr. Clinton asking the Archives not to release any of those documents until 2012."