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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

‘Invective and interruptions’: How US newspapers reported presidential debate between Trump-Biden

While Trump set the tone from the start badgering Biden and repeatedly interrupting him, Biden, on his part, shifted between ignoring the president and growing visibly irritated.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 30, 2020 10:32:08 pm
US elections 2020, US elections, Us mail in votes, US elections day, US mail votes, US election results, US voters, Donald Trump, world news, Indian express President Donald Trump has gone great lengths to discredit mail-in voting, claiming since July that it would increase voter fraud.

US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden began the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday with heated exchanges over health care, the coronavirus and the future of the Supreme Court.

While Trump set the tone from the start badgering Biden and repeatedly interrupting him, Biden, on his part, shifted between ignoring the president and growing visibly irritated. Amid all this, moderator Chris Wallace used a combination of pleading and admonishing Trump to allow his rival to speak.

What was very obvious during the debate was the fact that while an array of complex and substantive issues were on the debate agenda – a Supreme Court vacancy, the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s reckoning over race and police brutality – the candidates’ radically different perspectives and visions for the country were frequently overshadowed by their disdain for each other.

Newspapers across US universally cricitised the tone, tenor and tactics of the debate between the two.

Here’s how some prominent US newspapers reported the first presidential debate between Trump-Biden

The New York Times  

The New York Times front page.

“Trump’s Heckles Sends First Debate Into Utter Chaos”

The New York Times piece clearly states that Donald Trump brought chaos onto the debate stage as he frequently interrupted rival Biden multiple times clouding any substantive talk on real issues.

The Wall Street Journal 

“Trump Biden Trade Insults In Debate Full of Crosstalk”

Similar to the tone adopted by other newspapers, the WSJ too highlighted the rancour and interruptions that were visible in the debate as real issues were overshadowed by Trump and Biden’s fierce criticisms of each other and their vision for the country going ahead.

The Los Angeles Times

Front page of Los Angeles Times.

“Invective And Interruptions Mark Debate”

True to its headline, the Los Angeles Times also focused on just how Trump repeatedly interrupted and badgered Biden and pushed the debate into an “incoherent volley” as the newspaper states.

During the debate, Trump said to Biden: “Don’t ever the use smart with me. There’s nothing smart about you.”

Biden slapped back at the president’s attacks, calling Trump “a clown,” “a racist” and “a liar.” And at one point when Trump kept interrupting, Biden charged, “Will you shut up, man?”

The Washington Post

Front page of The Washington Post

“Debate Plunges Into Fiery Squabbling” 

“The presidential campaign devolved into chaos and acrimony on Tuesday as President Trump incessantly interrupted and insulted Biden…” is what The Washington Post wrote. During the first of the three presidential debates in Cleveland, Ohio, 74-year-old Trump and his 77-year-old rival Biden traded barbs about each other’s families, making it one of the most chaotic White House debates in years.

This was the first of three debates scheduled ahead of the US elections on November 3. The next will take place on October 15, followed by October 22. The Vice Presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris will be held on October 7.

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