Twitter Erupts Over Tension, Tone of Second Presidential Debate

It was a debate that was at many times more about the tenor and tone of the campaign than the issues, where many tuned in to see how Donald Trump would respond to a leaked videotape from 2005 in which he appeared to advocate and admit to sexual assault. Half the evening played out on social media, with much of America watching with one eye on the stage and the other on instant public commentary flooding across Facebook and Twitter.

The firestorm began before the debate with Trump calling an unusual press panel with three women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. As news broke of the unprecedented move, some criticized it as a transparent ploy to deflect attention from Trump’s own problems with women. Readers of the news mocked the effort roundly:

Trump also received scathing criticism for the way he handled a question about the leaked videotape. “This was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologized to my family and I apologized to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk,” he said. Current and former professional athletes expressed their dissatisfaction with Trump’s response. NBA player Kendall Marshall scoffed at Trump’s characterization before taking Trump to task on the matter of consent:

Chris Conley, a wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs, tweeted that he is “in locker rooms every day” but that he never hears men talk the way Trump alleged they do:

Star Trek actor and LGBT activist George Takei also weighed in:

Trump veered away from his comments on the tapes midway through his response to launch into a discussion about ISIS and violent threats on American lives. “There’s more important issues to worry about,” he said. Trump’s dismissal drew the ire of writer Rachel Simon, who noted that according to RAINN, “one out of every six American women has suffered an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime” and that

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