CNN Cuts Off Independent Media From the Presidential Debate and Demos How the Mic Muting System Works

AP Photo/Ron Harris

Happy Presidential Debate Thursday! The first (and possibly only) showdown between incumbent President Joe Biden and former President and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump will be underway this evening with no audience and no other presidential candidates. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was sanguine about being excluded and instead promoted a competing X production called "The Real Debate," which promises to show all of the candidates' viewpoints. 


This is the beauty of our technological age: You can have CNN, livestreams, and other media apps going all at once in order to not miss a beat. It can be exhilarating, as well as exhausting.  

As a preview to the debate, on Wednesday, I spent some time on the Kristian Garic Show on 990 AM WGSO out of New Orleans. Garic and I discussed the Biden crime family and all that might be expected from the CNN-hosted extravaganza. Controlling the narrative seems to be the name of the game for CNN and the Biden campaign, and I prognosticated to Garic that this is going to bite them in the hindquarters. The rules will definitely be a problem. CNN outlined the debate ground rules in a May letter to the presidential campaigns of Biden and Trump.

  1. No Props: There will be no props allowed during the debate.
  2. Muted Microphones: The microphones will be muted except when a candidate is recognized to speak.
  3. Two Commercial Breaks: There will be two commercial breaks during the debate.
  4. No Studio Audience: There will be no studio audience present during the debate.
  5. Format: The debate will be a 90-minute event hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.
  6. Qualification: Candidates must satisfy the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution to serve as president, as well as file a formal statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

With Trump's 34-count conviction in the New York trial, I am surprised that qualification No. 6 hasn't been called into question... yet. In furthering our debate conversation, Garic honed in on No. 2: the muted microphone rule.  

Kristian Garic: If you're Trump don't you want to also continue to talk when your mic is turned off, just to see if you can get Joe to have a senile moment and snap? 

Jennifer Oliver O'Connell: [Laughs] No Doubt, he probably will, and his voice is booming enough and loud enough to at least disrupt the moderators. And then they'll probably have an excuse to take him offstage or something. He probably would, I wouldn't put it past him at all.

Those folks at CNN must have been monitoring us because CNN released this "preview" video Wednesday evening, demonstrating how the debate mics will work and what the candidates can expect if they try to talk while muted.


Yeah, good luck with that. Neither presidential contender is very good at comporting themselves. Then you have the fact that Dementia Joe will be hyped up on something and may well implode at some point since he probably won't even know where he is. I made the case with Garic that this could be an essential part of a debate drinking game.


CNN also let independent media (the Instagram and YouTube political punditry crowd) know that they did not have the rights to do livestream commentary during the debate, and CNN threatened fines and legal action against anyone who attempted to do so.

The "Breaking Points" YouTube podcast hosts Saagar Enjeti and Krystal Ball fomented their outrage over this move, and rightly so.


Again, good luck with that. This is another attempt by CNN to control the narrative and the output, probably in an attempt to avoid any more "cheap fake" videos being made <insert *eyeroll* emoji>. While Enjeti has said that he will comply with CNN's edict, Louder with Crowder and Tim Pool are not known for playing along or playing fair. Cue the Streisand Effect in 3... 2... 1. 


If this debate does actually occur, keep a close eye on moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. Neither one of these "professionals" can bring themselves to even listen to a Trump speech without melting down, so how are they going to be able to stand his presence or the answers he gives to their weighted questions? 

Personally, I am stocking up on the popcorn and the adult beverages, because whether anything substantive about the economy or the Southern border actually gets discussed, if nothing else, we'll be entertained on a number of levels. Dying CNN is the main outlet that introduced this bread and circuses media atmosphere, so they're going to get it returned to them in spades.

For those interested, here's a rough audio cut of my full Wednesday conversation with Kristian Garic. His show airs at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on WGSO 990 AM New Orleans.  



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