Debate Commission admits mic affected Trump’s audio

Daily News Article - October 3, 2016


1. What assertion did Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump make right after the first presidential debate last Monday (September 26th)?

2. a) What is the Commission on Presidential Debates?
b) What acknowledgment did the Commission make on Friday regarding Mr. Trump’s assertion?

3. What details about Trump’s audio malfunction did the Commission not provide, according to the NY Times and LA Times reporters?

4. a) When asked for clarification by reporters, how did the Commission respond?
b) Why do you think it took four days for the Commission to acknowledge there was a technical problem with Mr. Trump’s audio?
c) The Commission has not provided details to explain the statement they released and has not yet answered reporters questions. Regardless of your like or dislike for Donald Trump, how important do you think this is to a transparent and fair election process? Explain your answer.

5. Recently, two Stanford University Ph.D. candidates examined campaign finance reports and found that of the $5,650 in contributions that the debate commission members have made to presidential candidates during this election season, 100% went to Mrs. Clinton. Republican Donald Trump received no donations from debate commission members. Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who both learned the Friday before the debate that they were not eligible to participate, also received no donations from commission members.

Mr. Trump was widely mocked in the media and by late-night talk show comedians for repeatedly making a “sniffling” noise during the debate, of a “having a bad case of the sniffles.” When interviewed the day after the debate, Mr. Trump said, ”No, no sniffles. You know, the mic was very bad, but maybe it was good enough to hear breathing. But no sniffles. No cold."

Watch the video under "Resources" below. How does it sound to you? Do you think the mic picked up the sound of Trump’s breathing more than is typical or did he have the “sniffles” as the media have asserted? Explain your answer.

6. Mic .com is a media company that targets millennials. The company says the website has a higher composition of 18- to 34-year-old readers than any other millennial-focused news site, including BuzzFeed and Vice.

Following the debate, Mic questioned Trump’s assertion, writing:

“So was it a ‘very bad’ mic? We asked an expert who said: ‘The professional audio community has largely been dismissive of the possibility of a mic problem. …There's no evidence of technical problems with the microphones.’

a) The Commission on Presidential Debates has admitted that there were audio issues. What do you think: was the audio issue a deliberate malfunction to negatively affect Donald Trump in favor of Mrs. Clinton, or just a unfortunate coincidence? Explain your answer.

b) Did hearing Mr. Trump’s breathing as he was responding to questions negatively affect your view of Trump? Explain your answer.

c) Ask a parent to answer questions 5 and 6. Discuss your answers.