On Thursday, all three network morning shows salivated at the possibility that the Commission on Presidential Debates would change the rules of upcoming match-ups in order to help Joe Biden – primarily by allowing the press moderators to cut candidates’ microphones. Given ABC, NBC, and CBS weren’t shy about blaming Trump for the first debate being a “an insult to our democracy,” reporters were clearly hoping such a rule change would muzzle the President.
“After that debate chaos in Cleveland, the Commission on Presidential Debates promising new rules to avoid a repeat,” Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos excitedly proclaimed at the top of the show. He then gushed: “Even considering allowing the moderators to turn off the candidate’s mics so they can’t interrupt each other.”
Moments later, the former Clinton operative lamented that the Trump campaign was pushing back: “The Commission on Presidential Debates is now promising new rules to maintain order next time, but the President’s team is already balking.”
Senior national correspondent Terry Moran hoped the remaining debates would be cancelled altogether:
There might not be another debate, which could come as good news to many Americans. For 30 years, the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is a bipartisan group, has managed to run the show pretty smoothly. All that ended this weekend. They are going back to the drawing board.
Following his report, Moran told Stephanopoulos: “Well, the one thing that they are talking about is giving the moderator a switch to cut off the mic of a candidate who consistently interrupts or violates the rules otherwise.” He then briefly reiterated that “the Trump campaign has already said they don’t want any changes to the rules.”
After correspondent Peter Alexander once again trashed Trump’s “combative and chaotic debate performance,” on NBC’s Today show, co-host Savannah Guthrie hyped left-wing “pressure” to change the rules: “Well, Peter, the Debate Commission has been under tremendous pressure to make some kind of changes. What’s the plan?” Alexander touted: “A source close to the Committee telling me among the changes being considered, cutting off a candidate’s microphone if they violate the rules.” Though he added: “Important to note that no final decision has been made yet.”
On CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King, a Democratic Party donor, assured viewers: “The committee in charge of these debates made it very clear yesterday that the next one will be very different. For one thing, the candidates who interrupt may be cut off.” Correspondent Paula Reid explained: “At the top of their list is going to be the ability to control the candidates’ mics so they can’t interrupt each other or the moderators.”
If the Debate Commission changes the rules, it will be caving to a barrage of lobbying from leftist media figures and celebrities demanding Trump be silenced. On Wednesday’s Today show, former Democratic Senator and NBC political analyst Claire McCaskill ranted:
I do think the Commission on Presidential Debates has to look in the mirror and decide, do you have a kill button? If the President is gonna do what he did last night over and over again, seems to me somebody’s got to turn off the microphone to allow the speaker to actually make a point without him bullying and jumping in with outrageous lies.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier that day, co-host Mika Brzezinski launched into a tirade accusing the President of “firebombing our democracy” and claimed that “the Debate Commission and the moderator allowed it.” During her unhinged tantrum she specifically wished that Trump’s audio had been cut.
On Twitter Wednesday, author Stephen King declared that the Debate Commission “needs to discuss ways of stopping Trump in the next 2 debates from the constant interruptions and hectoring,” with a suggestion that they “cut the mics.” Actress Bette Midler similarly took to social media to call on the Commission to fit the President with a “shock collar.”
If the left is unhappy, the automatic solution for them is to silence anyone who disagrees with them. The fact that so-called “journalists” and the Commission on Presidential Debates would go along with such partisan attempts to manipulate the election is truly stunning.
The lobbying for censorship on ABC was brought to viewers by Colgate, it was brought to NBC viewers by Lincoln, and it was brought to CBS viewers by Capital One. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.
Here is a transcript of the October 1 coverage from ABC’s GMA:
7:00 AM ET
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: After that debate chaos in Cleveland, the Commission on Presidential Debates promising new rules to avoid a repeat. Even considering allowing the moderators to turn off the candidate’s mics so they can’t interrupt each other.
7:03 AM ET
STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ll begin with the race for the White House, just 33 days until the final votes. And the campaign trail consumed by fallout from that chaotic debate, which drew 73 million viewers. The Commission on Presidential Debates is now promising new rules to maintain order next time, but the President’s team is already balking. Senior national correspondent Terry Moran is in Washington with the latest. Good morning, Terry.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: First Debate Fallout; Trump Faces Growing Backlash Over Cleveland Chaos]
TERRY MORAN: Good morning, George. There might not be another debate, which could come as good news to many Americans. For 30 years, the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is a bipartisan group, has managed to run the show pretty smoothly. All that ended this weekend. They are going back to the drawing board. More on that in a minute.
7:05 AM ET
MORAN: In the wake of the bedlam and rancor that dominated the stage in Cleveland.
DONALD TRUMP: There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.
JOE BIDEN: Will you shut up, man.
MORAN: Many are questioning if the first presidential debate of the year will also be the last. The moderator Chris Wallace struggled to control the chaos throughout the night.
CHRIS WALLACE: Gentlemen! I hate to raise my voice. Sir, it’s his – yeah, I understand, you’ve agreed to the two minutes so please let him have it.
MORAN: He’s now telling The New York Times the debate was a “terrible missed opportunity” and saying, “I’m just disappointed with the results. 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 Commission on Presidential Debates is now promising it will change the format of upcoming face-offs to “ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”
7:06 AM ET
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Terry, we know the Commission is now saying they’re going to come up with new rules or new ways to enforce the rules. Do we have any idea what exactly they’re thinking about and whether the candidates will accept it?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: First Debate Fallout; Commission Weighs Changes “To Maintain Order”]
MORAN: Well, the one thing that they are talking about is giving the moderator a switch to cut off the mic of a candidate who consistently interrupts or violates the rules otherwise. They are also talking about other ways of getting this thing under control. But the Trump campaign has already said they don’t want any changes to the rules.
The next debate scheduled for October the 15th. In this one, The Washington Post looked at the 90 interruptions in this debate, 71 of them were by President Trump. So it’s going to be hard to change the debate if that’s the way he wants to do it.