WATCH: MSNBC Debate Melts Down Over Hot Mic Disaster


MSNBC’s coverage unraveled midway through its first opportunity as Democratic debate host after several hot microphones from first-half moderators Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie and Jose Diaz-Balart continued to echo through the hall and the audio feed after they had left the stage.

Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow began a question about guns, but soon even the candidates were laughing at all the backstage chatter from Guthrie that could be heard. Todd then tried to get the control room to cut their mics and the audience mics to no avail.

“Everybody’s mics are on. I think I heard that, too. That’s okay. We had a mic issue in the back,” Todd complained.

After Todd finished the question, the off-camera hot microphone talk continued, however, prompting a perplexed Maddow to ask, “What’s happening?!”

“We are hearing our colleague’s audio,” Todd explained, before admonishing his production crew. “If the control room can turn off the mics. If the control room can turn off the mics of the previous moderators.”

A laughing Maddow said, “You know, we prepared for everything, but we did not prepare for this.”

Frustrated, Todd said the network would cut to a commercial to try to solve the problem: “Guess what guys. We are going to take a quick break and get this technical situation fixed. We’ll be right back.”

The embarrassing technical problem wasn’t overlooked by the TV watcher-in-chief, who quickly pounced on the mistake and used it as a chance to bash NBC and MSNBC as “fake news.”

This post has been updated.

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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