The first debate of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary clamored into an awkward silence Wednesday night as NBC News suffered technical difficulties.
Problems for NBC started shortly after a commercial break when microphones stopped cooperating for “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow as began they attempted to touch of the issue of gun control.
“Is there a role for the federal government in order to play in order to get these guns off the streets?” Todd asked as muffled noises cut in from the microphones of the other moderators.
The group dotting the stage — made up of 5 moderators and 10 candidates — initially attempted to laugh off the technical difficulties.
Before long, however, the awkward silence set in and Todd called out to the NBC tech crew asking for the microphones to be shut off — and fast.
“We are hearing our colleagues audio,” Todd said. “If the control room could turn off the mics.”
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) June 27, 2019
“If the control room could turn off the mics of our previous moderators,” he repeated
“You know, we prepared for everything, but we did not prepare for this,” Maddow said.
Unable to immediately solve the problem, NBC News opted to cut to a commercial break.
But the damage was done — and political commentators, news outlets and social media users were quick to mock and poke fun at NBC for the error.
So far my favorite person of the night is the guy who advised Beto to give his answers in Spanish. My second favorite is the guy in the control room who left everyone’s mics on.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 27, 2019
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
YOURE KILLING ME SMALLS WITH THESE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS!! #DemocraticDebate
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) June 27, 2019
— Ryan Huntington (@OfficialRCH) June 27, 2019
And the mockery was not confined to conservative social media users.
American television producer and Huffington Post blogger Bryan Behar was just one left-wing figure to jump into the pig-pile on NBC and the Democratic debaters.
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) June 27, 2019
“I’m shocked Elizabeth Warren didn’t jump in with a plan to fix the mics,” Behar wrote.