The media have absolutely shot their already-on-the-ropes credibility this cycle by removing any pretense of objectivity. In what world are these people “moderating” anything, much less an important debate? In what world should that happen?
Remember the examples cited above, where moderators were supposed to say Obama didn’t literally start ISIS and that Trump gave a tepid “Yeah, I guess so” and a few other conflicted public remarks about the Iraq War? This would make more sense if it were a one-sided forum. But not for a debate.
In a debate, the opponent has the opportunity to call out whatever he or she wants to. And a skilled debater can use such opportunities to his or her advantage. There is no need for one candidate to be in a ring fighting both another candidate and a referee raring to go. Donald Trump is a big boy. Hillary Clinton is a big girl. They can more than handle each other face to face without running to Lester Holt or Chris Wallace and asking for help.
If more than a few journalists showed an ability to be impartial or to moderate discussions, there would be use in having them on stage. As it is, the candidates should just agree to some basic rules about topics and time limits, and then go for it.