Presidential Debate 2020: Did Trump interrupt Biden to get the final say? Internet asks 'where's the mute button?'

Many viewers noted the president interrupting Biden during the debate again and questioned where was the much-touted 'mute button' in this discourse


                            Presidential Debate 2020: Did Trump interrupt Biden to get the final say? Internet asks 'where's the mute button?'
Trump and Biden (Getty Images)

The final presidential debate of the year on Thursday night, October 21, appeared to have the semblance of a regular debate in contrast to the previous standoff between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, which was marred by interruptions. However, many social media users noted the president interrupting Biden during the debate again and questioned where was the much-touted "mute button" in this discourse. 

The nonpartisan commission that oversees the US presidential debates — after the first presidential debate — had announced a new measure to assist moderators "maintain order" during the discourse with the help of muted microphones. It was previously reported that each candidate's audio feed will be cut at times when the other is speaking to minimize interruptions. However, many viewers who had wanted the microphones to be muted during interruptions in the final debate were left disappointed.

One user wrote: "Where is the mute button? Why does Trump get the final word every single time?" Another suggested that they were watching the debate just to see the mute button activated: "Yes or no — Aren’t we watching this in part just to see if the mute button is activated?" A third wrote: "I don't think it was Welker's job to fight with Trump. But Trump realized he could gain the last word and drop crazy charges and lies at will, with no pushback on time limits. He was afraid of that mute button - at first - and then realized it wasn't a real threat."



 

 



 

 



 

 

There were others who suggested that since the mute button was not being used, they were resorting to the ones on their television: "Some people are complaining about the lack of a mute button but the mute button on my TV worked just fine. #Debates2020 " A fifth compared the promised mute button to Black reparation: "That mute button is like reparations for black ppl... it was promised but never showed up." Another wrote that the mute button was introduced because of Trump's interruptions and would not feature in regular debates: "Prediction: The "mute button" is not here to stay. As a political history geek who has watched decades of presidential debates, I can say with high confidence that this year's mute button was purely a result of Donald Trump. #Debates2020 "



 

 



 

 



 


It was reported before the final debate that the mute button will not be used by the moderator, but instead by a member of the production crew working for the Commission on Presidential Debates would be responsible for turning off Biden or Trump's microphone if they interrupted the other. Officials working for the commission had introduced the button, hoping it will allow for a more civilized discourse this time around between the two candidates.

The initiative to introduce a mute button was applauded by many, including the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy during the Obama White House, Richard Stengel. Stengel, the author of a book called 'You're Too Kind: A Brief History of Flattery', had said that the button was required for people who had no impulse control. "In the case of Donald Trump, you have an adult male who has no impulse control. A mute button is a form of external impulse control," Stengel told BBC. "I think it's fine."

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