Thursday night was originally slated as the virtual debate date between Joe Biden and Donald Trump (after the latter candidate’s Covid-19 diagnosis) but ended up being a network television face off between the sitting president and former VP.

On the ABC network, Joe Biden calmly responded to questions pitched by George Stephanopoulos from a socially-distanced in-door arena in Pennsylvania while Donald Trump sparred with NBC news co-anchor Savannah Guthrie from an outdoor venue in Florida. The former Vice President took a handful of questions from a number of politically diverse voters on a range of important topics and sometimes straying from the original question, Biden held his own through the end of his event. On the other hand, Trump came off as typically aggressive, answering questions about how he might operate during a second term, despite being peppered with inquiries and interruptions regarding his own COVID-19 diagnosis, his tax returns, and immigration by The Today Show moderator.

As the two town hall events started at 8pm EST TV viewers were forced to make a logistical choice, causing a perfect storm for some independent content creators, who were able to cash in on the political boxing match, switching back and forth between events, providing their own commentary on each candidate.

The Donald Trump show was preempted by a cease and desist order from Phil Collins for his use of the iconic “In the Air Tonight” at a campaign rally: not the first time the President has faced this legal issue. Conversely, Joe Biden’s camp got a boost from Big Tech as legally-obtained material concerning Hunter Biden’s business dealings and their connection to Joe himself were exposed in a New York Post piece that was subsequently barred from being posted and shared on Facebook and Twitter.

The final Trump / Biden in-person debate is scheduled for next Thursday, 10.022 from 8:00-9:30pm Central Time and we suspect the gloves will be off!

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Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls/Public Domain