The third Republican presidential debate airs Wednesday at 8 pm Eastern time on CNBC and will be moderated by three CNBC television personalities: Becky Quick, John Harwood, and Carl Quintanilla. Quick and Quintanilla both host their own business news shows on CNBC, while Harwood is the network's Washington bureau chief and a columnist for the New York Times. Harwood is also the subject of considerable criticism in conservative media circles for his allegedly too-liberal writing and tweeting on political issues in recent months.
Who is Becky Quick? More important, how old is she and is she married?
According to Google's data, the moderator people are most interested in is Becky Quick, and they would really like to know if she is open to marrying them. She is also the host of Squawk Box, CNBC's markets-focused morning show.
I've got some bad news for America's single Squawk junkies, though. Quick (who is 43) is married to CNBC producer Matt Quayle, and they have a son together. She's also 5-foot-4-and-a-half, and while I can't tell you whether she's a registered Republican, she is the subject of a somewhat creepy fan site that, while unable to determine her marital status, did remark that "making Ms Quick appear as single is probably a great strategy for CNBC to keep as many male viewers glued to the television set as possible. After all, if bachelors watching CNBC at early hours in the morning think they have a chance with Becky Quick, then they'll keep watching and ruminating."
In addition to being the subject of idle speculation about her marital status, Quick is an experienced business journalist who got her start covering retail and e-commerce for the Wall Street Journal and helped launched the original iteration of the Journal's website in 1996. After seven years at the Journal she made the jump to CNBC and has been part of the lineup on Squawk Box, a three-hour free-for-all that runs weekdays from 6 to 9 am. She also hosts a nationally syndicated show called On the Money.
Who is John Harwood?
John Harwood is a veteran economic policy journalist, having worked at the Wall Street Journal before joining the New York Times as a columnist and CNBC as Washington correspondent.
Conservatives also really hate him. The best way to get a flavor of this is to skip past Mollie Hemingway's rambling, pointless lead in her Federalist article "CNBC’s John Harwood Has No Business Moderating a GOP Presidential Debate" and dive into the meat of her accusations.
Hemingway observes that several of Harwood's recent Times columns have tended to take a critical view of conservative claims. Consider:
- "On the economy, Republicans have a data problem"
- "Tax plans of GOP favor the rich despite populist talk"
- "Republicans vow to erase Obama's record, but such promises are rarely kept"
- "Outsiders stir politics, but often fail to win or govern well"
- "Divisions and inertia in congress may hand Obama a victory on Iran deal"
- "Angry bent of party let Trump rise"
Conservatives don't like these angles and naturally fear that they indicate Harwood will take a hostile approach to the GOP contenders. In Harwood's defense, the theses of these six stories are all clearly accurate. In principle, one could adhere to conservative ideological stances (lower taxes, more restrictions on abortion rights, less regulation, less spending) while also acknowledging the aspects of external factual reality that Harwood highlights in these pieces. Conservatives could, for example, design tax plans that sharply reduce the federal take without being so heavily tilted toward the rich. Or conservatives could push tax cuts for the rich without pretending to be populists.
In practice, however, things don't quite work out that way, and conservatives are very angry at Harwood.
Who is Carl Quintanilla?
People are least interested in searching for information about Carl Quintanilla, even though of the three moderators he arguably has the highest-profile television gig. He is a longtime CNBC correspondent, having served on a range of shows, and is currently one of the co-hosts of Squawk on the Street — CNBC's 9 am broadcast live from the New York Stock Exchange (with cuts to the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange) that focuses on tracing the first 90 minutes of market activity.
He is also the weekend anchor of NBC's Nightly News, having stepped into that role when Lester Holt became the main weekday anchor following Brian Williams's forced resignation.