In the wake of the first presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, there has been much chatter about moderator bias and potential rigging and/or cheating to help boost the Democrat anointed one. While NBC’s Lester Holt’s treatment of Trump vs. Clinton has been well-documented, the question of whether Hillary received such favors as getting the questions beforehand or used signals to communicate surreptitiously with moderator Holt (to guide the conversation), for example, are still open to speculation.
One aspect that is no longer just speculative — but has now been confirmed — was the issue Donald Trump raised about his audio during the debate. The GOP candidate had complained earlier in the week that his microphone wasn’t functioning properly at Monday’s debate.
“And they also had, gave me a defective mic. Did you notice that? My mic was defective within the room,” he told a group of reporters afterward. “No, but I wonder, was that on purpose? Was that on purpose? But I had a mic that wasn’t worked properly, with, working properly within the room.”
Of course, Hillary Clinton mocked Trump for his complaint about the mic, quipping: “Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night.”
Well, the Commission on Presidential Debates has just issued a surprise statement which appears to suggest Trump was, in fact, right about problems with his audio.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 30, 2016
As CNN reports:
The Commission on Presidential Debates revealed in a one-sentence statement Friday that Donald Trump’s audio was impacted earlier in the week.
“Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall,” the commission said in a statement. No other details were immediately made available.
The statement provided no evidence that the audio issue affected the television audience of more than 80 million people.
Friday’s statement, however, said nothing about a microphone problem.
So, it would appear that Donald Trump’s complaint about his mic not “working properly within the room” indeed was not some made-up “conspiracy theory”; it would appear to be based on the fact — as the debate commission just confirmed — there were issues with his audio.
This is a pretty big deal — even if it didn’t affect those watching on TV. Even if the audio issue was only affecting those in the debate hall, it clearly appeared to affect — distract — Trump as he was on stage that night. Ever been on a phone call where the sound on your end is echoing or otherwise problematic? Awfully hard to focus on the content of your conversation when that’s happening, isn’t it?.So it could have been a big factor in knocking Trump off from optimal performance.
So now the question becomes, why was there an issue with Trump’s audio?
The most generous assumption is that it was an honest mistake — albeit one that has serious repercussions. For such a high-stakes event, surely there must be hyper quality checks for every aspect of the event — perhaps most importantly, sound. Where was the failure here and who is responsible?
Is there a chance this was not just an honest mistake? And, if so, who is responsible?
First and foremost, we must get to the root of the problem and ensure it does not happen again.
Of course, there is no repeat of Monday — no “do-over.” Should there be?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]