[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FeyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ3NDYwMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzMxNDc2OX0.tekK7P-W7CuwOsYxYMnAkm5Kfnk2-tNHYTOHUJxcZkU%2Fimg.jpg%3Fwidth%3D1245%26coordinates%3D0%2C53%2C0%2C53%26height%3D700\u0026ho=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.rebelmouse.io\u0026s=522\u0026h=218747803ded1db88723d580afd4c2d93fd74fd9adc5c8115ff6c139412eee9d\u0026size=980x\u0026c=3030471824 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FeyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ3NDYwMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzMxNDc2OX0.tekK7P-W7CuwOsYxYMnAkm5Kfnk2-tNHYTOHUJxcZkU%252Fimg.jpg%253Fwidth%253D1245%2526coordinates%253D0%252C53%252C0%252C53%2526height%253D700%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fassets.rebelmouse.io%26s%3D522%26h%3D218747803ded1db88723d580afd4c2d93fd74fd9adc5c8115ff6c139412eee9d%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3030471824%22%7D" expand=1]Wednesday night's vice presidential debate was a substantive, issue-driven, coherent political debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and a significant amount of the media discussion about and reaction to the debate focused on a fly.During the debate at Kingsbury Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah, a fly landed on Pence's head and sat there for about two minutes. A fly lands on Vice President Pence during #VPDebate. https://t.co/i0O2K6N9Yy \u2014 CSPAN (@CSPAN)1602124116.0And for a time, the fly dominated debate discussion. I couldn\u2019t take my eyes off the fly that perched on Mike Pence\u2019s head during the debate. \ud83e\udd2a https://t.co/PsY2FI12DL \u2014 Jon Cooper \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Jon Cooper \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8)1602123806.0Fly wins the night and probably the most memorable thing that happened. \u2014 Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes)1602123619.0Forever more this debate will be known as \u201cThe Fly Debate \u201c. I feel bad for Pence \u2014 Mark Cuban (@Mark Cuban)1602123635.0\u201cThe fly is the October Surprise.\u201d~@JonLemire \u2014 Joe Scarborough (@Joe Scarborough)1602123692.0the fly has won this debate \u2014 John Harwood (@John Harwood)1602123552.0this fly on his head is distracting me!!!! #VPDebate https://t.co/gd6jfXv3yR \u2014 philip lewis (@philip lewis)1602123547.0Oh my God.He\u2019s so full of crap, a fly has landed on his head. https://t.co/f61K9oIvKa \u2014 Ana Navarro-C\u00e1rdenas (@Ana Navarro-C\u00e1rdenas)1602123621.0Daily Caller reporter Andrew Kerr called out the media for its triviality.Nobody gets to complain about civility in politics anymore.We just witnessed the only coherent debate of the pres\u2026 https://t.co/zxh9wlikye \u2014 Andrew Kerr (@Andrew Kerr)1602126370.0Aside from the fly, immediate media reaction to the debate focused on the performances of the two vice presidential candidates. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow remarked that the debate reminded her of what politics used to be like, before criticizing the Trump administration. \u201cIt was like a visit to normal politics land,\u201d @maddow says of #vpdebate, "which is fine and to be expected when it\u2026 https://t.co/nOT73aalVL \u2014 MSNBC (@MSNBC)1602125396.0Maddow led a panel with MSNBC contributors Nicole Wallace and Joy Reid.Reid, after mentioning the fly, criticized Pence for interrupting Harris, accusing him of "doing a softer version of what Donald Trump did last week.""He repeatedly interrupted her, he demanded, well, he also repeatedly interrupted the other woman in the room, which is the moderator who seemed to at some point lose control of him, and he also continually demanded that Kamala Harris answer his questions," Reid said. "She was not there to answer his questions." After Reid noted how Pence apparently steamrolled the moderator and Harris, which she said will hurt Trump with women, Wallace said his performance was "flaccid and anemic," which she says will hurt Trump with men. "Vice President Pence appeared flaccid," @NicolleDWallace says of VP Pence's #vpdebate performance. "The only time\u2026 https://t.co/cwF2wML5JB \u2014 MSNBC (@MSNBC)1602125539.0Former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill later joined the MSNBC panel and called Pence "patronizing" and "boring.""Let me start with Pence. He was patronizing, which drove all the women crazy. And he was boring, which lost most o\u2026 https://t.co/eqKLr10Cus \u2014 MSNBC (@MSNBC)1602126717.0Pence was criticized by other commentators for interrupting Harris. According to CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, CBS anchor Norah Odonnell claimed that Pence interrupted Harris "twice as often" as Harris interrupted Pence.\u003e\u003e @NorahODonnell on CBS: "Our team was following it very closely, and the VP Mike Pence interrupted Sen. Kamala Harris twice as often." \u2014 Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter)1602124731.0MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski complained that Pence overran his time and was not controlled by moderator Susan Page. Why cant Susan page control this debate. She is getting run over??? Why .. \u2014 Mika Brzezinski (@Mika Brzezinski)1602123735.0MSNBC's Chris Hayes made the interruptions a gender issue. The gendered dynamics of interruption and the power to interrupt is always so in your face in these settings. My god. \u2014 Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes)1602122521.0ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos brought sexism into his analysis, accusing Pence of "mansplaining" to Harris.ABC's George Stephanopoulos:"A lot of people were noticing some mansplaining going on tonight." https://t.co/5FtQlyxL9p \u2014 Daily Caller (@Daily Caller)1602125358.0 But two independent reviews of the speaking time reveals that Harris had equal time with Pence, if not more. Pence and Harris had almost exactly the same amount of speaking time, per @CNN https://t.co/NQn43YRd1k \u2014 Andrew Solender (@Andrew Solender)1602126237.0unofficial speaking times -Pence: 35:22Harris: 38:48 via @Kjwalsh_news \u2014 Rick Klein (@Rick Klein)1602124720.0Ben Shapiro said that Pence's performance was "effective," which is why commentators assumed he spoke more.But everybody thought Pence spoke more. Which demonstrates how effective he was. Harris' performance, which will be\u2026 https://t.co/7TZOZMhwo0 \u2014 Ben Shapiro (@Ben Shapiro)1602125252.0Others said Pence performed well. CBS' Norah O'Donnell said Pence was "masterful.""You may not agree with anything his administration does, but in terms of his debating style he repeatedly did not answer the question that was posed to him about the record of the Trump administration on a number of issues, he pivoted and used the time to deliver a direct attack against Joe Biden's long record in Washington. And I was stunned because I thought that Kamala Harris, the former prosecutor and skilled debater ... would be able to make sure it was the Trump record that was on defense." "Many times it seemed like Kamala was on defense," she added.CBS\u2019s Norah O\u2019Donnell says Vice President Pence\u2019s debate performance was \u201cmasterful.\u201dHe \u201cused the time to deliver\u2026 https://t.co/bTFlnLtLzl \u2014 Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 (@Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022)1602126453.0ABC News newscaster Linsey Davis said Pence "really held [Harris'] feet to the fire" on the Supreme Court.ABC News\u2019 Linsey Davis: Vice President @Mike_Pence \u201creally held her feet to the fire,\u201d especially on the Supreme Co\u2026 https://t.co/QOlanXCFog \u2014 Steve Guest (@Steve Guest)1602126591.0ABC News contributor Sara Fagen said Pence "did a great job."ABC News contributor Sara Fagen on Vice President @Mike_Pence: \u201che did a great job\u201dhttps://t.co/UnPPEjg7Y6 https://t.co/NY6CKEm9Ds \u2014 RNC Research (@RNC Research)1602126716.0CNN contributor Van Jones said Harris was "run over" and said Pence was "masterful" and "made conservatism seem normal again." CNN's Van Jones is big mad that Mike Pence "was masterful in normalizing conservative ideas." \ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude02#VPDebate https://t.co/6z5LdMB6ve \u2014 Curtis Houck (@Curtis Houck)1602126492.0 Harris was criticized for missing opportunities to attack the Trump administration and for dodging some questions. NBC's Lester Hold and Andrea Mitchell noted Harris "didn't score" on the issue of masks. On NBC, Lester Holt and Andrea @MitchellReports regretted Harris \u201cleft on the table\u201d anti-Trump points, \u201csurprised\u2026 https://t.co/iV8ycYPT1O \u2014 NewsBusters (@NewsBusters)1602125484.0 CNN's Jake Tapper criticized Harris for dodging a question on packing the Supreme Court. CNN\u2019s Jake Tapper: Sen. Kamala Harris didn\u2019t answer questions about packing the Supreme Court, \u201cthat\u2019s significant,\u2026 https://t.co/Sy0r22RVjd \u2014 RNC Research (@RNC Research)1602125989.0 Conservatives, for the most part, say Pence won the debate. Progressives say Harris won. But if debates are won on memorability, we should all acknowledge the fly as the true winner.