Having to voice and argue one's beliefs on live TV can be a stressful situation, regardless of if it's the first time or the thousandth time, and sometimes that stress has a way of releasing itself without the express mental consent of the individual. Such was the case on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews recently, when an interview with Congressman Eric Swalwell was underscored by a relatively loud eruption that could only be identified as a live-TV fart. But no one is taking the blame.
Monday night's telecast was playing out normally, with California's Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell on hand to talk about President Donald Trump's impeachment hearing. In the midst of Swalwell making a declaration, a very fart-like sound trumpets through just as the Congressman pauses between the words "cheat" and "election." It momentarily appears as if Swalwell got tripped up, but he recovers instantly, causing one to wonder whether he dealt it, heard it in his ear-piece, or none of the above.
Check out the video below to judge for yourself.
The interview clip made immediate rounds after it aired, with many viewers wholly convinced that either Eric Swalwell or host Chris Matthews was responsible for the flatulence. It's the kind of sound that is so very human in nature that people inherently recognize it regardless of the context, even if that context is a live TV interview about one of the biggest political stories of the year. It's a lot of pressure, right?
In the face of the evidence on display, Rep. Eric Swalwell wasn't quick to take responsibility for the fart. He allegedly denied the possibility that his behind was the one that let loose on the air, according to a BuzzfeedNews reporter.
For what it's worth, Swalwell did reportedly claim in that text exchange that the fart moment "was funny tho." One might thing he'd be less inclined to laugh about it if he was indeed covering up for his backside's transgressions, but then maybe that's precisely how a covert gas-passer would react.
On the flip side of things, Hardball with Chris Matthews also played innocent when it came to all things flatulent. The show's account possibly took things a little too far, though, by trying to offer a substitute reason for the ear-catching noise, and it just doesn't hold up.
Ummmm... I'm pretty sure if mugs made super-clear fart noises when being scraped across a desk, no one would ever get any work done in an office setting, because everyone would obviously be held up in hysterics each and every workday. Or, at the very least, they would be sharing videos of the mug noises on social media.
That mug-scraping excuse goes back to the days in elementary school when kids would try to muffle farts by moving a chair across the ground, or clearing their throats really loudly. But it didn't work then, and that tactic seems even less credible coming from grown adults.
One Twitter user appeared intent on tipping viewers' opinions to blaming Chris Matthews for the on-air toot. In a short thread, several videos of past Hardball interviews were shared, and each seemed to contain other examples of "mystery" farts that just couldn't be held until the commercial break. Here's one of those other examples.
Hardball with Chris Matthews airs weeknights on MSNBC at 7 p.m. ET.