Forrest Sawyer Moderating West Wing Debate: Historic & Bizarre

By Brian 

The West Wing has tapped veteran newsman Forrest Sawyer to moderate Nov. 6’s “live presidential debate” between candidates Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda,” the NY Post says.

“Before joining NBC in ’99, Sawyer was primary backup for anchor Ted Koppel on ABC’s Nightline as well as other ABC broadcasts including World News Tonight and Good Morning America. He now runs a media company,” Gail Shister notes.

The producers apparently wanted a real news anchor, not an anchor, to make it more believable.

Has anything like this ever been done before?,” an e-mailer asks. “I know lots of reporter types do cameos, but I think it’s historic (and bizarre, actually) for someone of his stature to host a live debate in primetime. Then again, aren’t anchors and politicians actors anyway?”