CNN Labels Trump Town Hall Host a 'World-Class Journalist' After Event Totally Backfires
CNN’s dumpster fire of a town hall with former President Donald Trump last week was supposed to be where moderator Kaitlan Collins Spoke Truth To Power™ and “fact-checked Trump in real time.”
The network’s brass hasn’t publicly budged from its position that that’s what happened, despite plenty of evidence — internally and externally — that this wasn’t the case.
Mind you, the Trump town hall on Wednesday was a victory of sorts for CNN, which pulled in 3.3 million viewers for the event — easily winning the time slot, according to Hollywood trade publication Deadline.
However, this is the thing about dumpster fires: They do tend to burn very brightly and people can’t help but to watch, but the damage left behind proves that not all attention is good attention. (They also tend to stink.)
It was good for Trump, who went away from the event unbowed and triumphant. Regardless of whether you believed that this was because “fact-checking in real time” didn’t work (leftist commentator Mehdi Hasan’s hypothesis) or that it actually looked more like a moderator trying to pick a fight with a former president over a set of issues most Republican primary voters don’t care about (the take if many on the right), the event showed the former president was still in top pugilistic form.
Mind you, the network still called Collins a “world-class journalist” in the wake of the town hall.
“… to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as the Republican frontrunner. That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) May 11, 2023
“Tonight Kaitlan Collins exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist. She asked tough, fair and revealing questions. And she followed up and fact-checked President Trump in real time to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as the Republican frontrunner. That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account,” the network said in a statement, according to the news and entertainment site The Wrap.
And yes, that’s not a joke. This wasn’t April Fools Day.
This was not an opinion held by many. As one Twitter user tweet in response to Puck News’ Dylan Byers posting the CNN statement: “That was no Town Hall. That was ‘The Kaitlan Collins Show.’ She made herself the star. Not the audience or Trump’s responses. It was all about Kaitlan, and we saw it.”
That was no Town Hall. That was “The Kaitlan Collins Show.” She made herself the star. Not the audience or Trump’s responses. It was all about Kaitan, and we saw it.
— GrammaD (@GrammaDThatsMe) May 11, 2023
Figures on the left, meanwhile, portrayed Collins as a waif thrown to the wolves by CNN management, who apparently had no capacity to fend for herself amid what they tried to portray as an unprecedented barrage of lies:
“CNN’s Collins was forced to challenge Trump’s lies all by herself. She pushed back in some cases, but the lies kept coming, ultimately exhausting and overwhelming her..She was no match for the most energetic liar in American history”- @MarkJacob16 https://t.co/bHW0qBjwZS
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) May 11, 2023
That was Hassan of MSNBC retweeting a commentary piece from the leftist news site Courier Newsroom. Yeah, lies like, um, these facts Trump pointed out about his tweets leading up to and on the day of Jan. 6, 2021:
Former President Trump pulls out screenshots of his tweets on January 5th and 6th asking for protestors to remain peaceful. pic.twitter.com/fRxnF6QICZ
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 11, 2023
Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Also accurate was this:
CNN tried to lay a trap and President #Trump just walked all over it.
You’re a nasty person” — Trump to Kaitlan Collins (the audience cheers)
Trump just won the Presidency. Thanks CNN.#CNNTownhall Done with CNN pic.twitter.com/YGFjfRnb1Q
— ThePatriotRoom (@ThePatriotRoom) May 11, 2023
These interactions were pretty typical of the whole evening on Wednesday — or, as CNN officially called it, a “world-class journalist” doing her thing.
Yet, some of the loudest calls decrying what happened at the town hall came from inside CNN’s own house, such as a rant by Oliver Darcy — now essentially filling the role Brian Stelter had before he was fired — which included a compendium of nasty tweets about the town hall.
“It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN Wednesday evening,” Darcy wrote in piece that was published by CNN the day after the town hall.
“Kaitlan Collins is as tough and knowledgable of an interviewer as they come. She fact-checked Trump throughout the 70-minute town hall. Over and over and over again, she told him that the election was not stolen. That it was not rigged. That there was no evidence for the lies he was disseminating on stage.”
And then there was Anderson Cooper.
The veteran broadcaster farcically apologized to CNN viewers for the fact that CNN was covering real news on occasion now and wasn’t just a safe space for lefty rage:
Anderson Cooper has on-air meltdown on the verge of tears telling viewers not to watch CNN after Trump goes BEAST MODE during townhall:
“You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 12, 2023
Again, this is the one time in CNN’s history the network has vigorously “fact-checked in real time” the statements that politicians made on stage. If CNN did this with the current president, he’d let out a loud “C’mon, man!”, then depart, stage far-left.
Indeed, CNN likely wouldn’t even do this to any other Republican. Wednesday night was bear-baiting at its finest and had little to do with the issues concerning voters going into 2024.
Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, you name them — their Collins town hall won’t look like a rabid squirrel trying to pick an ideological fight with a human candidate.
But rest assured, CNN will call that “world-class journalism,” too.
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