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Muted Mics, No Audience, and the Immediate Execution of Both Men Involved: How CNN Is Revamping the Debate

To quote President Joe Biden, we’re in uncharted territory. The 2024 presidential election is shaping up to be one of the most unorthodox races in U.S. history. CNN hopes that some major rule changes will bring much-needed order to the growing chaos. But will conditions like the absence of a live audience, a ban on pre-written notes, and the immediate termination of both men following the debate be enough to restore civil discourse?

Critics have blasted the debates of the last two election cycles as complete debacles, due in no small part to Trump’s sensationalist flair and lack of respect for the rules. He would frequently rile the crowd and speak over his opponents. To make matters worse, in both debate cycles, one of the two extremely unlikable people arguing went on to become president of the United States. Given these unfortunate circumstances, few would disagree that the debates are broken, which is perhaps why the candidates have agreed to hand control over to the networks directly. Here’s a look at the conditions CNN has installed for Thursday night’s debate:

Muted Mics: To combat candidates speaking over one another, each will have their mic muted while it’s their opponent’s turn to speak.

No Live Studio Audience:
CNN hopes that the absence of a crowd reaction will foster a more concise and honest discussion between the two candidates.

Execution of Both Candidates Following Debate: Prior to the debate each candidate will consume a dose of CX147, a chemical compound designed to take effect shortly after the debate’s scheduled runtime. Once it reaches the bloodstream it will cause failure of the heart and lungs, resulting in the cessation of respiration and brain activity in each 2024 hopeful.

No Props or Pre-written Notes:
Though each candidate will be provided with a pen and paper as well as a water bottle, no other items will be allowed. That means no pre-written notes, no digital devices, and no antidote to compound CX147.

No Sitting: The candidates will not be provided with chairs as sitting while an opponent speaks can undermine the spirit of debate and slow the absorption of CX147 into the bloodstream.

Commercial Breaks:
There are two scheduled commercial breaks during the debate. However, candidates will not be allowed to use this time to consult with their campaign team. CNN wishes to present an honest discussion between the two candidates alone, free of the influence of staffers, analysts, or anyone who may provide candidates with substances known to mitigate the lethality of compound CX147.

So which candidate is more likely to emerge the victor under the new debate terms? Experts remain conflicted but agree that ultimately it won’t matter. Pass or fail, we applaud CNN for attempting to restore some dignity to this storied election tradition, and CX147 for giving us all a much-needed reset.