The first 2020 presidential debate was full of interruptions. The second debate didn’t even end up happening, because Vice President Joe Biden wanted to do it virtually in response to President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. Trump was not down to argue via Zoom, which has become the new norm for Real Housewives reunions, along with a mute button. Andy Cohen had the option to mute Housewives who were talking over their co-stars. That same tactic was implemented for the third debate (sort of!), along with some new rules.
According to the BBC News, prior to the event on Oct. 22, 2020, it was announced that Trump’s audio feed would be cut when Biden starts to speak, and vice versa. After each candidate had a chance to speak, there was time allotted for a response from the other person. An off-camera member of the production crew, who works for the Commission on Presidential Debates, had control of the microphone, not the moderator, Kristen Welker.
Even though viewers couldn’t see the person hitting “mute,” they were very vocal about the button’s infrequency of use. There were plenty of opportunities where it would’ve made sense to cut out the audio, but it didn’t happen often, which is why Twitter users deemed the mute button operator as the unofficial loser of the debate.
During the debate, Twitter users wanted to hit the 'mute' button
What’s the point of having a mute button if it’s not going to be used? Did someone mute the mute button? Just, please, make it make sense. Many Americans were perplexed by the scarcity of muting during the final debate between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden. One viewer couldn’t help asking, “Mute button, where are you?” Another person wondered, “Where is the mute button? Why does Trump get the final word every single time?”
One viewer declared, “The person with their finger on the mute button needs to be replaced.” One social media user compared the person operating the mute button to a GIF of a man snoring, which was a comparison that was made multiple times throughout the night. Another person asked, “So does the mute button work YESSSS OR NOOOOO ???”
Yes, technically, the button was used, but not nearly as much as Twitter was hoping for. In essence, the mute button operator had the losing performance of the night.
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