By muting Trump’s interruptions, the commission will show the American people a sanitized, false picture of this President. As we saw in the first debate last month, he is rude, raging and red-faced. An honest debate should reveal that. His 128 interruptions revealed the true Trump. Muting him only protects him from the consequences of his out of control behavior.
Of course, even with the camera focused away from Trump, it is likely that live microphones on Joe Biden and on the moderator, NBC’s Kristen Welker, might pick up Trump’s interruptions. But the sound will be muffled, muted and less authentic to this President. The audience at home might even find the low-level buzzing of any interjections more distracting than the full-throated interruptions, or wonder if perhaps a stagehand was making the noise.
Trump’s outbursts will be heard by Biden and Welker, however. Thus, Trump will have the power to potentially throw Biden — or Welker — off their game, without viewers realizing why. This, it seems to me, is the best of all worlds for Trump: He can work to discombobulate Biden or Welker without viewers blaming him.