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Moderator Lester Holt works to keep control of debate

NBC's Lester Holt struggled to keep control of the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, learning the dangers of fact-checking in the midst of a tense confrontation being viewed by tens of millions of people.

The NBC News veteran was moderating his first general election debate Monday night, making him solely responsible for the questions asked each candidate and for steering the conversation. He asked tough questions on the birther controversy, Donald Trump's decision not to release tax returns and Clinton's e-mail scandal.

His tensest confrontations came with Trump, and some of the Republican's supporters rushed to defend their candidate online.

At first, Holt let the conversation flow and the candidates go after each other. It's a strategy many debate moderators prefer but left him vulnerable to criticism that he had lost control of the action. The first subject area that Holt introduced, intended to last for 15 minutes, stretched for nearly 45 minutes.

He constantly needed to remind the candidates to stick to time limits, which was tough when they decided to steamroll over him. At one point he said, "20 seconds" when Trump tried to make a point, but it stretched to 55 seconds before Holt could get in another question.

Later in the debate, Holt interjected some fact-checking, raising Trump's ire in the process. That had been a major issue going into Monday evening, with the Clinton campaign arguing that fact-checking should be part of a moderator's job and the Trump campaign saying it should be left up to the candidates.

Holt's NBC colleague, Matt Lauer, was criticized for not challenging Trump at a forum earlier this month when the candidate said he had opposed the war in Iraq — when there is interview footage from 2002 that shows otherwise. The issue came up again Monday, with Trump saying it was "wrong, wrong, wrong" that he initially supported the war.

"I was against the war in Iraq," Trump said.

Replied Holt: "The record shows otherwise."

"The record shows that I'm right," Trump argued.

When Trump advocated for the "stop-and-frisk" police policy, Holt told him that it was declared unconstitutional in New York largely because it singled out black and Latino young men.

"No, you're wrong," Trump said, adding that he believed the court decision would have been overturned on appeal.

Holt later brought up the issue of Trump's questioning whether President Barack Obama had been born in the United States, and asked him what made him conclude this month that Obama was indeed a legitimate citizen. Trump twice did not address the question, and cut Holt off when he tried a third approach.

"What do you say to American people of color..." Holt started asking.

"I say nothing," Trump replied.

Republicans criticized Trump after the debate for bringing up more issues that were damaging to Trump and ignoring issues that would have reflected more poorly on Clinton.

"Lester Holt clearly heard cries of his colleagues in the liberal media to be tough on Trump and ease up on Hillary loud and clear," tweeted Brent Bozell, president of the conservative media watchdogs Media Research Center.

In an interview after the debate, however, Trump said he thought Holt "did a really good job. I thought it was great." He said he thought a lot of good and important topics were brought up.

One media observer, columnist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, tweeted that "Lester Holt has done a fine job as moderator. Not too intrusive, moving things along, fact-checking when necessary."

In a reflection of the attention paid to Holt, his voter registration became an issue last week.

"Lester is a Democrat," Trump said in a Fox News Channel interview. "It's a phony system. They are all Democrats."

Holt, however, is a registered Republican, according to New York state voting records.

Asked about the misstatement on Monday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC that it wasn't a lie because Trump didn't know Holt's voter registration.

CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz will team up to moderator the second presidential debate, with Chris Wallace of Fox News in charge of the third.

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Follow David Bauder at twitter.com/dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder

Whitney Rose Releases New Song, 'My Boots' [Listen]

Whitney Rose is sharing her first new track since the release of Heartbreaker of the Year in 2015.

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Martin Bashir returning to BBC as religion correspondent

The BBC says journalist Martin Bashir is rejoining the broadcaster as religion correspondent after many years in the United States.

Bashir said Monday he was "delighted" to return to the BBC as religious affairs correspondent, covering the major issues affecting different faiths in Britain and around the world.

Bashir gained fame for a 1995 BBC interview with Princess Diana in which she discussed the breakup of her marriage to Prince Charles.

His 2003 documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" aired on ABC in 2003 to a huge audience.

Bashir joined ABC in 2004 and in 2010 moved to NBC as an MSNBC anchor and a correspondent on the "Dateline" program. He resigned from MSNBC in 2013 after graphically disparaging a comment former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made about slavery.

Martin Bashir returning to BBC as religion correspondent

The BBC says journalist Martin Bashir is rejoining the broadcaster as religion correspondent after many years in the United States.

Bashir said Monday he was "delighted" to return to the BBC as religious affairs correspondent, covering the major issues affecting different faiths in Britain and around the world.

Bashir gained fame for a 1995 BBC interview with Princess Diana in which she discussed the breakup of her marriage to Prince Charles.

His 2003 documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" aired on ABC in 2003 to a huge audience.

Bashir joined ABC in 2004 and in 2010 moved to NBC as an MSNBC anchor and a correspondent on the "Dateline" program. He resigned from MSNBC in 2013 after graphically disparaging a comment former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made about slavery.

Thomas Rhett Upgrading 'Tangled Up' Album With Deluxe Edition

Thomas Rhett is celebrating the success of his latest album Tangled Up by re-releasing it.

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Molly Ringwald eyes return to stage in a classic title

"The Breakfast Club" star Molly Ringwald will return to a New York stage in an adaptation of another classic 1980s film — "Terms of Endearment."

59E59 Theaters said Monday that Ringwald will star in the bittersweet story of a mother and daughter that was turned into an Oscar-winning film by James L. Brooks. Performances begin Oct. 29.

Ringwald, who starred in the films "Pretty in Pink" and "Sixteen Candles," is no stranger to the stage, having been on Broadway in "Cabaret" and "Enchanted April." Off-Broadway, she has been in "Modern Orthodox," ''How I Learned to Drive" and "Tick, Tick ... Boom!"

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Online:

http://www.59e59.org

Springsteen's 'Born to Run' takes readers on riveting ride

Bruce Springsteen's life is now officially an open book.

The autobiography "Born to Run" takes readers on a riveting ride through the everyman rock star's deeply lived existence.

Springsteen, who scrawled his story in longhand over seven years, begins with an exquisitely detailed child's-eye view of his 1950s working-class neighborhood. He weaves an American Land tapestry populated with his colorful Irish-Italian family. Then come the musical musings:

— Young Bruce, "on fire" after seeing Elvis on TV, quickly chafed at "stupendously boring" music lessons. "I still can't read music to this day."

— Once, in his early band, the Castiles , "we were being spit on, literally, way before it was a punk badge of honor."

— Mature Bruce worked to capitalize on his strengths while compensating for imperfect vocal tone.

— Among the bucket moments: realizing a "teenage daydream" while playing with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Springsteen's California phase yielded picture-perfect landscape descriptions, though readers will spend more time hanging out in — no surprise — a different state.

Gauzy, dreamlike photos inside the covers depict a vanished era in Asbury Park, New Jersey, the hugely symbolic seaside city of Springsteen's formative musical years. In one, a Ferris wheel stands proud behind the historic Palace Amusements building.

Readers may need to buckle up for parts of this 508-page spin. He contemplates some deeply personal topics as a way of providing context for his art.

Springsteen, 67 — who had an integrated band back when that wasn't always popular — reveals what he wishes he'd said after the beloved Big Man was subjected to a sickening racial slur. He also shares the heart-wrenching hospital scene when Clarence Clemons drew his last breath.

Then he candidly discusses his own harrowing health battles.

After scary surgery, he defied doctors' orders and crowd-surfed in Australia.

Quitting his longtime antidepressants prompted crying jags: "'Bambi' tears. ... 'Old Yeller' tears. 'Fried Green Tomatoes' tears ... 'I can't find my keys'" tears. He broke down at the beach and was comforted by "a kindly elderly woman walking her dog."

"It would've been funny, except it wasn't."

His wife and new medication pulled him out of the mental abyss that his father had also known all too well.

The salted wounds are soothed with sweetness: snapshots of his Growin' Up family, and the one he created with the musician Patti Scialfa .

With Scialfa's guidance, he learned to reconnect amid the musician's life: padding into the kitchen overnight to get milk for their littlest one, then tucking him in with a story; learning to make pancakes for their brood.

Over time, he realized that "a song will always be there for me."

But "your children," he says, "are here and gone."

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Online:

http://brucespringsteen.net/

Tyler Farr, 'Our Town' [Listen]

Tyler Farr's "Our Town" is a straight-forward country lyric that seems to be more relevant with each passing day. Continue reading…

Kacey Musgraves Embarking on First Christmas Tour

Kacey Musgraves is releasing her first Christmas album -- A Very Kacey Christmas -- in October, followed by her first headlining Christmas tour.

Continue reading…

Variety to host diversity conference, Pharrell to speak

Variety will host a conference of film executives and stars to discuss solutions to Hollywood's lagging record in diversity.

The conference, which Variety is to announce Monday, will include keynote conversations with Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Studios, and Pharrell Williams. The singer-producer is co-composing the score for the upcoming "Hidden Figures," a film about African-American mathematicians working for NASA in the early 1960s.

Dubbed "Inclusion," the conference is to be held Nov. 1 in Beverly Hills, California. It will include a number of panels focused on finding ways to support underrepresented groups in film and television.

"There is no issue in Hollywood more important and relevant than diversity and inclusion," Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, group publisher of Variety, said in a statement.

Age discrimination is also a planned discussion topic at the conference, co-sponsored by AARP. As a way to combat age discrimination, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation to require websites like IMDb to remove an actor's age upon request.

"We hope the dialogue at the Variety conference will lead not only to greater awareness of the issue, but to more and better opportunities for talented actors, producers, directors and others in the creative community — whatever their age," said Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP chief executive.

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