If you’re a fan of Andrew Yang, you probably weren’t a big fan of last night’s debate. Yang had very little speaking time compared to his opponents and received a direct, personal question only once. The time spoken breakdown can be seen in the following graphic, and Yang is, predictably, at the very bottom.
Andrew Yang: Mic Silenced?
What went wrong for this debate champion? According to Yang at a post-debate party, his microphone periodically lost function due to producer tampering. The other candidates had free rein to interrupt one another, while Yang was relegated to sitting in silence, waiting for his next speaking allowance.
After the debate night festivities ended, Yang spoke of the mic issues on his Twitter.
Second, I feel bad for those who tuned in to see and support me that I didn’t get more airtime. Will do better (my mic being off unless called on didn’t help) and glad to have another opportunity in July (and afterwards)!
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) June 28, 2019
If we believe Yang, it raises questions about the motivations of the media entities running the debates, NBC and MSNBC. Why was Andrew Yang, purported working-class champion and corporate cash adversary, not allowed to participate as fully as, say, two-term NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand? Throughout the debate, Gillibrand forced her way into countless discussions, a privilege Yang did not have.
Andrew Yang continued at his post-debate party, stating that he would look to be more outspoken in the next debate. He appeared frustrated, but not dispirited.
Standing at a polling average of 1.3% (slating him at 8th overall), Yang has an uphill path to claiming the Democratic nomination. But if true, mic tampering would be a disservice to Yang and his devoted Yang Gang that would handicap him on a stage meant to familiarize the public with all of the candidates.
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