I am not, by any means, an expert on panels. I don't really like panels from an audience member standpoint, since I find that most artists/whatever are simply performing in safe mode, where they work hard at being audience friendly and family safe and keep their opinions to themselves (and in my limited experience of panelists who aren't like that, they're so full of shit and stupidity that you just want to crawl into the bar). However, in my experience of being on panels, which I don't mind from a performance point of view, the panels that have been absolute ratshit are the ones where the moderator had a stake in what was being said. Where the moderator, ultimately, became a member of the panel.
So I reckon the third opinion is pretty solid.