Ahead of Thursday night’s (22 October) debate between Trump and Joe Biden, it was announced on Tuesday (20 October) that organisers will mute the candidates’ microphones in order to allow each two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment.
Discussing the news on late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel joked that the mute button had been introduced to cut down on all of the “Potus interruptus” of the first debate and avoid the event becoming “another senior citizen bum fights video”.
However, Kimmel admitted that he was sceptical about the technique’s effectiveness, saying: “Muting the mics, it’s the same strategy my daughter’s teacher uses for Zoom kindergarten.
“Would a mute button even work for Donald Trump?,” he questioned. “I feel like if you turn off his microphone, he’ll just pull another one out of his hair or something.”
Is muting Donald Trump even possible? pic.twitter.com/CXIa1BsQBs
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) October 21, 2020
Kimmel also shared footage of Trump claiming in interviews that his microphone had been “modulated” or “oscillated” during previous debates, including in the run-up to the 2016 election.
“They oscillated it, they modulated it, they constipated it,” Kimmel joked. “These microphones are out to get the President. It’s a total pitch hunt.”
The decision to mute Trump and Biden’s microphones came after the first debate was universally criticised for the manner in which it unfolded.
At one point Democratic candidate Biden asked Trump: “Will you shut up man?” after he was repeatedly interrupted.