"Jim Lehrer may be regretting his decision to come out of semi-retirement and moderate his 12th presidential debate."
The 78-year-old was essentially steamrolled by both presidential candidates. They ignored his pleas to stay within the time allotted for answers and at times just plainly ignored his questions.
The reviews were scathing. Here's a sampling collected by the AP:
"Some of the commentary on Twitter compared Lehrer to a substitute teacher who had lost control of a classroom. 'I'm waiting for one of them to throw a spitball at the teacher ... I mean Jim Lehrer,' tweeted Sherri Shepherd of ABC's 'The View.'
'Regardless of who is winning this debate, Jim Lehrer is losing,' tweeted Dan Abrams of ABC News, adding that Obama was 'not honest' when he said that Lehrer had done a good job.
"Veteran political writer Michael Tomasky of The Daily Best wrote: 'Definitely Lehrer's last debate.'"
Michael Wolff, of Vanity Fair, was less diplomatic.
"Seriously, Jim Lehrer who has been unconscious for at least 15 years has to be dealt with," Wolff tweeted. "This is a national problem."
In some ways, Lehrer's issues were exemplified when Romney said he would cut funding for PBS, which employs Lehrer.
"I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS," Romney said. "I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I'm not going to — I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That's number one."
That reference to Big Bird, by the way, garnered one of the biggest responses of the night on the Internet. Twitter reported that references to Big Bird were flying at 17,000 tweets per minute.