October 21st, 2020

Presidential debate commission to mute candidates’ mics during parts of final debate to prevent interruptions

Ø  On Monday, Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Joe Biden and Donald Trump would have their microphones muted during part of the second and final presidential debate on Thursday night.

Ø  Both the candidates will get two minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of each 15-minute segment in the final debate. To effectively enforce this rule, the microphone of the other candidate, who does not have the floor, will be muted. The 90-minute debate is divided into 15-minute segments on the six topics.

Ø   The Commission decided on this new rule after taking into consideration how the first debate between Biden and Trump went.  

Ø  “We are comfortable these actions strike the right balance, and that they are in the best interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held," the Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement.

Ø  Trump complained that this new rule to mute the microphone and also objected to the topics chosen by the moderator. “I will participate but it’s very unfair that they changed the topics and it’s very unfair that again we have an anchor who’s totally biased,” he said.

Ø  The commission informed that moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News selected the following topics for the Thursday debate - climate change, national security, leadership, American families, fighting COVID-19, and race in America.

View Analysis

Left View

A Gift for All 

2008. Senator and Presidential candidate John McCain was on stage in Minnesota. A woman in the audience expressed fear that Barack Obama was an Arab. McCain calmly told her she was wrong but was very clear that he didn’t think Obama should be president:

“I just happen to have disagreements with [Obama] on fundamental issues. That’s what this campaign is all about.”

That is what democracy is all about. Many of us disagree on fundamental issues. Debates are supposed to illuminate those differences, which then allows the electorate to make an informed choice.

During the last "debate," Trump’s constant interruptions were potent fuel for the dumpster fire of obfuscation, but I was disappointed in Vice President Biden as well. “Will you shut up, man” looks great on a T-shirt but does little to advance the political discourse.

Voters deserve to know what both candidates are planning to do for our beautiful country in crisis. We all deserve to hear each candidate speak without interruption, and state their stances on fundamental issues. I’ll be listening to the Vice President as closely as I do Trump. It might be difficult to discern a plan in the chaotic word salad that The Donald employs, but it’s worth a shot.

Just in case he wins.

Trump has predictably complained about the rules, as well as the topics: climate change, national security, leadership, American families, fighting COVID-19, and race in America. He has also thrown a mini-tantrum about the moderator, Kristen Welker.

I hope he stops complaining and starts preparing. Sure, the Trumplicans watching the debate will think him brilliant no matter what he says. But the rest of the country deserves to hear both candidates’ plans. Anyone who objects to two minutes of uninterrupted political discourse is uninterested in democracy.

So thank you to the Commission on Presidential Debates. You had a rough start here in 2020, but I applaud your effort now.

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Right Response

Response to "A Gift for All"

I agree with the essence of what you say here. It might surprise you to know that I prefer Trump to STFU and be professional and Presidential (like, say, VP Pence) but we both know that's not his personality. It is what it is.

I actually do hope muting the mic allows him to focus on a better attack after each Biden 2 minute interval. I actually believe Trump has the necessary substance and content to win any debate with Biden if he chooses to. Still, I was disappointed in his first debate performance just as many other Republicans were (but didn't necessarily say so); Trump just could have done a lot better on multiple levels.

However, where I differ is on the issue of bias in the selected moderators. In retrospect, Wallace was ridiculously unprofessional in how he debated Trump himself. And the selected moderator for the next/last debate is not a balanced choice from everything I've read about her. The commission on Presidential Debates needs to really clean up its act for 2024.

I for one hope Trump takes Biden to task on the current FB and Twitter censored "laptop scandal" which the mainstream media doesn't want to touch with a 10 foot pole. If it was Trump's laptop (instead of Hunter's) complete with pictures of Trump similarly spread across hundreds of tawdry, tacky pictures, with emails between him and the wife of the former Mayor of Moscow, or emails arranging meet ups for Ukrainian Gas executives and shady Chinese government officials, the whole left would be lit up like a giant neon sign right now. It would dwarf the Jeffrey Toobin "shit, I'm still on Zoom" moment by comparison. You know it and I know it. But because it's Biden, the left looks the other way; it's the sources not the evidence, always.

I pray we stop the pink and green hair liberal set before they ruin this country with their stupidity. Biden will be bad, but should Harris ascend during Biden's first term it will be the biggest liberal shit show in US history.

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Right View

Nothing Moderate About the Moderators  

If you re-watch the first 2020 presidential debate, it was moderator Chris Wallace and Joe Biden who set the tone. It was both Wallace and Biden who interrupted the president first and it was a foreshadowing for what was to come.

Registered Democrat Wallace at times completely veered off his role of moderator and join forces with Biden to interrupt what appears to be a shared arch-nemesis.

It may not necessarily turn out to be a bad decision to mute the mics, but it is more of the principle of "why" they chose to do so.

CNN reported the reason being: "They decided that the changes were needed because of how the first debate between Biden and Trump devolved into chaos, with the President frequently interrupting the former vice president."

The news network fails to report on the number of times Wallace and Biden interrupted Trump - which far outweighed Trump's interruptions against the former vice president.

To make matters more seemingly unfair to the president, the final debate moderator, NBC News reporter Kristen Welker, has significant ties to Democrat activism and has been caught on camera “tipping off” a member of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign about “at least one question” that was going to be asked.

"Welker comes from an established Democratic family — who have poured cash into party coffers, and to Trump opponents, for years," The New York Post reports.

Since both mainstream and social media are deliberately against the Trump administration, it would possibly be in the president's best interest for him to bring his phone and tweet during the time he is muted. At least that way, the American people would be given a chance to fully hear from President Trump without as much bias infiltrating the situation.

But with Twitter's heavy censorship of conservatives and Trump, it seems likely Jack Dorsey would swiftly shut that down. Just take what the social media site did to the Hunter Biden laptop revelations that came to light - Twitter completely censored and took down the article tying the disgraced Biden to sheer corruption.

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