When approximately 73.1 million people tuned in on Tuesday night to the first 2020 presidential debate, horror ensued.
The debate was originally planned to be made up of six 15-minute segments, which would give each presidential candidate two minutes to answer each question from the moderator. Despite the fact that both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden agreed to the terms of the debate structure beforehand, what took place during the event was anything but orderly.
From the constant cross talk between the candidates to the uncalled jabs, this debate did little to aid either candidate in their campaigns for presidency, and left no party unscathed.
This begs the question: what is the point of these debates if they are nothing more than screaming matches between candidates? It leaves the viewers confused and potentially angry that they even took the time to tune in.
Topics of discussion veered off course far more than they should have. At different segments of the debate, the candidates’ hatred for each other was practically radiating off the viewers’ screens.
Trump berated Biden about personal matters including his intelligence and most shockingly, his son’s previous battle with addiction, which was a low blow even for Trump, considering Biden’s past with the loss of loved ones.
Biden fired back calling Trump a “clown” and “the worst president America has ever had.”
The bar for basic human decency was set so low as American citizens witnessed two of the nation’s most powerful men tirelessly hurl insults at each other ad nauseam.
Chris Wallace, the moderator was caught in the verbal crossfire with nowhere to duck for cover as he attempted to take back control of the debate on multiple occasions, to no avail.
Even Wallace, a veteran Fox News anchor and the first Fox News journalist to moderate a general election presidential debate four years ago, was taken aback by the raucous nature of the event.
“I’m a pro. I’ve never been through anything like this,” Wallace said in an interview with the New York Times.
Considering the utter disregard for having a polite discourse, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Wednesday that additional changes would be made to future debates so viewers across the nation won’t have to witness a repeat of the chaotic first debate.
One of those aforementioned changes would include giving the moderator the choice to mute a candidate’s microphone when they speak out of turn, which would have helped with the first debate’s interruptions from start to finish.
While some issues brought up by the moderator were heard loud and clear with each candidate presenting their stance, some key talking points were lost amid the noise. The event’s structure fell apart soon after the cameras started rolling.
While the debate ran for 90 minutes without commercial interruption, it felt like it lasted for an eternity.
Throughout the debate, hundreds of thousands of people voiced their concerns and even joked about Tuesday night’s debacle over Twitter.
Just confirmed, debate #2 is a just a fist fight in a Chili's parking lot— omeedmalek (@OmeedMalek) September 30, 2020
Not to mention, countless celebrities, including “Star Wars” star Mark Hamill, chimed in.
That debate was the worst thing I've ever seen & I was in The Star Wars Holiday Special.— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) September 30, 2020
The first presidential debate was downright embarrassing for the millions of people watching and a disgrace to the professionalism upheld on a televised presidential debate dating back to 1956.
“I’m just disappointed with the results,” Wallace said in an interview with the New York Times. “For me, but much more importantly, I’m disappointed for the country, because it could have been a much more useful evening than it turned out to be.”
The next presidential debate is scheduled to take place on Oct. 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and will be moderated by Steve Scully, the C-SPAN political editor. It is planned to be conducted as a town hall and led by questions from attendees.
Despite the rough start, here’s to hoping the next debate won’t turn into another nightmare for the candidates, moderator and most importantly, the voters.