Houston, we have a problem …
NBC/MSNBC were forced to cut to “a quick break” during the first Democrat presidential primary debate Tuesday evening because of an unexpected and embarrassing technical snafu.
The snafu attracted criticism from President Donald Trump due to the lack of professionalism it demonstrated:
.@NBCNews and @MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical breakdown in the middle of the debate. Truly unprofessional and only worthy of a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019
Others took NBC and MSNBC to task for robbing the Democrat candidates of “precious” debate time:
Major microphone technical problems in the NBC News control room. Taking another ad break to fix this. Precious minutes wasted in a debate where candidates are jockeying for 60 seconds apiece to respond to q’s.
— Matt Kwong (@matt_kwong) June 27, 2019
As the second hour of the debate began and moderator Chuck Todd tried to question candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren about gun control, voices could be heard echoing throughout the building.
Todd and fellow moderator Rachel Maddow responded by admitting to the audience that there was a microphone problem and requesting that the “control room” fix it.
But as Todd tried to question Warren again, the voices returned, prompting Maddow to exclaim, “What’s happening!?”
This time Todd had an answer.
“We are hearing our colleagues’ audio!” he said, referencing the first hour’s debate moderators Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie and Jose Diaz-Balart. “If the control room could turn off the mics of our previous moderators …”
“You know, we’ve prepared for everything,” Maddow chimed in. “We did not prepare for this.”
“Guess what guys: We are going to take a quick break and get this technical situation fixed. We’ll be right back,” Todd added right before the network cut to a commercial break.
While Trump and some critics aimed their frustration at NBC and MSNBC, others used the technical glitch to score points against the Democrat candidates.
Take the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., who was disappointed by “the bewilderment and fear” that the candidates displayed when the technical snafu occurred. They looked like deer caught in headlines.
“Watching the bewilderment and fear in the Dem candidates faces with some minor technical difficulties shows you all you need to know about how they would likely handle real issues would face as leader of the free world,” he tweeted right after the snafu occurred. “Imagine them in the situation room? Scary!!! #demdebate.”
Watching the bewilderment and fear in the Dem candidates faces with some minor technical difficulties shows you all you need to know about how they would likely handle real issues would face as leader of the free world.
Imagine them in the situation room? Scary!!! #demdebate
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 27, 2019
Some blamed the technical snafu on Democrats, though it’s unclear whether the Democrat Party was itself involved in setting up and controlling the technical aspects of the debate.
Nevertheless, critics contrasted the Democrats’ alleged inability to set up some simple microphones with their grandiose desires to run the entire country (into the ground …):
Remember, we can’t get the microphones to work for a debate with months to prepare, but we can confiscate all semiautomatic weapons from American homes.
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) June 27, 2019
The Democratic debate just had severe microphone and audio issues and had to cut to a 5 minute break to deflect from it.
— Michael Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) June 27, 2019
The Democrat debate they can’t even figure out work the microphones ?
— DownTheMiddle (@Americanlll) June 27, 2019
— THE GRIM 1 (@MRPhats11) June 27, 2019
“We can totally run a country, we just can’t run a debate without technical disasters.”
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) June 27, 2019
— Raven (@KazeSkyz) June 27, 2019
— Michael Johnson (@LeadRightWing) June 27, 2019
Some suggested the debate had been hacked by Russia:
I Blame Russia for the mic problems! #demsdebate
— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) June 27, 2019
— RestorationPAC (@restorationpac) June 27, 2019
THE RUSSIANS HAVE HACKED THE DEBATE MICROPHONES! #DemDebate
— Millennial Falcon (@andy_gt1979) June 27, 2019
The last batch of critics took aim at the Democrats’ “boring” performance and noted that the technical snafu was in reality the most interesting party of the whole event:
You know the Democrats are in trouble when the most interesting and entertaining part of the debate is when the moderators had tech problems with the microphones.
— Caiden Cowger (@CaidenCowger) June 27, 2019
The horrible technical breakdown was the debate itself…losers.
— America Proud (@DonaghyRay) June 27, 2019
Early Thursday morning, the president posted another tweet about the debate. It was a meme video created by one of his fans that depicted what “really happened” during the snafu.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019
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