The first debate, according to the Presidential Debates Committee, made it clear that “more instruments of order” are needed. This can then lead to “a more orderly discussion.” It is not yet clear what the measures will be exactly, but that will be announced soon.
The committee complimented debate leader Chris Wallace for his “professionalism” in the debate. Wallace, one of the more critical voices on the conservative Fox News, was heavily criticized for failing to contain the debate. After multiple reprimands from Wallace, President Trump still broke the rules. Biden also crossed the line a number of times.
Some of the Americans woke up this morning with a hungover and bewildered feeling about what had happened during the debate. At the local breakfast joint in Columbus, Ohio, the debate was the talk of the town. Not infrequently, people sighed and looked hard when it was described what the customers thought of the debate. “Unbelievable” was the most common description.
There was also bewilderment in the American media. The local Cleveland, Ohio newspaper, where the debate was held, kept it simple. Above a photo of Trump and Biden, there were only two words on the front page: “Insults, interruptions.”
The New York tabloids are often the best at expressing the predominant feeling. The New York Post had “NASTY!” in large print on the front page. “First debate a terrible slugfest.” That other New York tabloid, the Daily News, talked about “rage on the stage,” rage on stage.
The major newspapers were also unambiguous about the course of the debate. The New York Times headlined “Trump’s interruptions create chaotic debate.” The Washington Post wrote “Debate descends into furious quarreling.” The Wall Street Journal looked at both candidates: “Biden and Trump exchange insults.”
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