Even before they began, it was clear that the dueling town halls held on October 15 by ABC News for Joe Biden and NBC News for Donald Trump would create an awkward situation for voters.
Although such matters would normally be the responsibility of the Commission on Presidential Debates, CNN reported on October 9 that they would be canceling the second debate after Trump declined the opportunity to conduct it through a virtual platform.
While the separate town halls would then become an apparently necessary improvisation given the circumstances, The Washington Post reported that NBC faced backlash from journalists and other critics for starting Trump's town hall at the same time as Biden's. After all, this meant that people were forced to choose between them to actually hear any sustained discussion of the issues the country faces.
Perhaps it is a combination of the general atmosphere surrounding these difficult circumstances and the kind of spirit that saw a fly grab the social media spotlight for landing on Mike Pence's head that led Twitter users to latch onto one seemingly innocuous moment.