The crowd at the first 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate on Wednesday night broke into laughter during an awkward technical glitch that resulted in some NBC moderators' microphones being left on while they were backstage.
As candidates were asked a question about gun control from NBC's Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddHealth officials warn against jumping to conclusions on omicron Cohen says Weisselberg not 'key' to Trump case Cohen says Trump will lose if he runs in 2024 MORE, the previous moderators could be heard in the background saying, "I need to go to the restroom" and "Someone's got my binder."
The candidates, Todd and fellow moderator Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowPaul, Cruz fire back after Fauci says criticism of him is 'dangerous' An unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Biden's safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet MORE briefly appeared confused as the comments were broadcast over the speakers in the entire arena before realizing it was a hot mic issue.
"We are hearing our colleagues' audio. If the control room could turn off the mics of our previous moderators," Todd said while laughing.
After he explained the issue, the entire arena, including the candidates, broke into laughter.
"We prepared for everything. We did not prepare for this," Maddow chimed in before the debate cut to a commercial break while the technical issue was sorted out.
The issue was quickly fixed, and the debate continued, but social media users quickly jumped on the mistake, which marked a lighter moment in the midst of some more heated policy discussions.
Democracy dies when you don’t turn off the mics of the prior moderators— Preet BhararaPreet BhararaFive faces from the media who became political candidates Former impeachment counsel launches bid for New York attorney general Whatever else he did, Cuomo did not obstruct justice by ranting to Obama White House MORE (@PreetBharara) June 27, 2019
What if everyone on stage just got real quiet and we all got to eavesdrop on the live mics for a few minutes— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) June 27, 2019
Lol, live look at whoever is in charge of cutting candidates mics. pic.twitter.com/xVcgbRVFIh— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) June 27, 2019
The hot mics Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE pic.twitter.com/pMxYCM4lNs— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 27, 2019
The issue was also noticed by President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE, who ripped it as evidence that NBC is a "fake news organization."
.@NBCNews and @MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical breakdown in the middle of the debate. Truly unprofessional and only worthy of a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019