Brian Williams on Moderation

By Chris Ariens 

He’s moderated a few, and might have one more primary debate in him (if NBC can get the Dems to commit to a face-off in the Hoosier state), so what’s Brian Williams‘s secret to debate moderation? He spoke with Time‘s Mark Halperin

Do you make small talk during commercials, or does everybody just look off into the distance?

Williams: Debates in my mind are like Vegas. What happens during commercial breaks stays in the debate hall…I always try to leave the debate hall like the Von Trapp family and get out of there.

Do you visit the candidates in their greenrooms before the debate? (Which Williams did, playing himself in a sketch when he hosted SNL last year)

Williams: First time I see them is when they walk out. I would rather, on debate night, limit the scope of our relationship and conversation to what happens onstage. I think it keeps it fresher and more spontaneous.