Brian Williams Talked as Much as Ron Paul at Last Night's Debate

Orange hipster Brian Williams is getting some flack today for his egregious decision at last night's GOP debate to prevent Newt Gingrich's fans from applauding. And for its deadly dullness. What's worse, though, is that Williams would not shut up. He uttered almost precisely the same number of words last night as Ron Paul, who was ostensibly there as a participant.

Williams—who is a nice guy!—really enjoys talking, and being heard to talk. It's what makes him such a smooth newscaster. But his mouthiness last night actually upended the traditional balance between moderator and debater, and Williams ended up threatening to out-talk both Santorum and Paul. With the help of Gawker intern Maeve Keirans, we scoured the transcript and tallied the total number of word spoken last night by Williams, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul. Here's the breakdown:

Mitt Romney: 4,762
Newt Gingrich: 4,165
Rick Santorum: 2,956
Ron Paul: 2,149
Brian Williams: 2,137

Paul managed to squeak just twelve words past Williams. Santorum barely got a word in edge-wise, either, with a mere 819 words (or 16 utterances of the Lord's Prayer) separating the men.

Paul is obviously not going to be the Republican nominee and shouldn't get as much screentime as the rest of the candidates. But he should still get more than the guy asking the questions.