Not much has been made about this, at least from the Democratic side and with good reason at this point ("I've never seen anyone who thought they won the baseball game walk off the field complaining about the last call by the umpire," Howard Kurtz quotes an Obama spokesman). But I do want to express my own annoyance with Brokaw. To do so, I'll share these quotes from the Wash Post blog, with which I agree:
National Review's Byron York reports the anti-Brokaw sentiment from the GOP side:
" 'This was the worst-moderated debate in the history of presidential debates,' one McCain campaign insider told me just moments after John McCain and Barack Obama left the stage at Belmont University in Nashville. 'The audience and the American people should feel robbed -- that the one opportunity they had to ask questions of the presidential candidates was taken from them by Tom Brokaw.' . . .
"For much of the night Brokaw seemed to ask a question of his own for every question that came from the audience or from the Internet. If McCain's advisers were hoping for a genuine New Hampshire voter-interaction town hall experience, they didn't get it. Of course, neither did Obama, but after the debate Camp Obama didn't seem nearly as unhappy. They didn't see the debate as a true town hall -- the kind of event Obama has declined to participate in with McCain -- but they weren't particularly bothered."
At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff also tut-tuts Tom:
"Brokaw was a dreadful moderator. Instead of inviting the candidates to debate the answers their opponent gave in response to the audience questions, Brokaw interposed his own (often lame) questions. This was an impediment to real debate as well as an unwarranted intrusion by Brokaw into the 'townhall.'
"Naturally, the candidates at times brushed aside Brokaw's question and did what they were there to do -- debate each other in response to audience questions. This was one reason why the candidates kept exceeding the time limit. Brokaw should have (1) realized what was going on and stopped asking his own questions and/or (2) enforced the time limit. He did neither."