The first Democratic presidential debate took an unplanned intermission Wednesday night, after technical difficulties with MSNBC’s microphones.
As moderator Chuck Todd asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren a question about guns, it became immediately clear that there were problems with the broadcast’s audio. The sounds of garbled conversation from people other than the moderators or the candidates began coming through. It seemed that MSNBC’s crew unintentionally left on other microphones in the buildings which picked up audio.
The moderators soon noticed the issue and paused to address the audio difficulties. "Everybody’s mics are on," Chuck Todd remarked. "I heard that too. That’s okay…I think we have the audience audio."
Todd tried to press on with his question, but MSNBC was not able to resolve the problem so quickly. Audio of MSNBC crew members talking could be heard clearly while Chuck Todd spoke, drawing laughs from some of the candidates on stage.
Chuck Todd was exasperated with the continued technical difficulties. "We are hearing our colleagues’ audio," Todd said. "If the control room can turn off the mics of our previous moderators…"
"We prepared for everything, we did not prepare for this," said Rachel Maddow before they cut to a commercial break.
The hiccup did not escape the attention of President Donald Trump, who quickly mocked them on Twitter.