CNN tried, in vain, to question disgraced con artist Donald Trump during the fake “Town Hall” meeting they, stupidly, agreed to host. Few, if anyone, found any pragmatic reason to give the criminally-indicted and jury-mandated sexual predator the time to spread his toxic lies, phony “facts” and verbal diarrhea.
Even those at CNN appear to realize that now. CNN host Kaitlin Collins tried to correct Trump’s “Big Live,” the disproven claim that his 2020 re-election effort was “stolen from him.”
“The election was not rigged, Mr. President,” she said. “You can’t keep saying that all night long.”
Of course he can. As Erik Wemple writes in his Washington Post blog:
Sure he can. He can lie about presidential documents; he can lie about his impeachments; he can lie about his record in office; and there is nothing an impeccably prepared interviewer can do to prevent any of it. She can rebut him, correct him, interrupt him and otherwise battle with him over every point, but that’s no match for ceaseless mendacity. As CNN host Jake Tapper said after the affair, “We don’t have time to fact-check every lie he told.”
CNN’s Dana Bash notes: “It’s pretty clear … the evidence is now out there … that he is going to continue to tell that lie, not just to the audience where he has an echo chamber — conservative media — but [to] unbiased, straight-down-the-middle media. The people he’s trying to get, beyond his base, now saw and heard that this is something that he will not let go of.”
This was truism disguised as political insight. Of course,Trump won’t relinquish his election conspiracy theories. Heck, the guy was pushing those lies before the 2020 election. For Bash and the CNN crew, however, it was necessary to attribute some degree of enlightenment to the 70 minutes of same-old, same-old to which CNN treated its viewers. Critics, after all, had piled on the network for presenting this event in the first place, protesting in the run-up that it was platforming an authoritarian liar who egged on the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021.
CNN did little to prove the value of this venture. John King, the network’s veteran political analyst, hinted at the emptiness of the evening: “He is who he is, and he is who he was.”
CNN repeatedly broadcast live feeds of Trump’s arena rallies during the 2016 presidential cycle, leaving the airwaves to a fellow who network executives already knew was a serial liar. Critics blamed the network for Trump’s rise, though CNN’s competitors also did a lot of the same programming. Jeff Zucker, then the network’s president, later rued the live rallies. “If we made any mistake last year, it’s that we probably did put too many of his campaign rallies in those early months and let them run,” he said as Election Day approached.
CNN is under new management now. Chairman and CEO Chris Licht has tried to cast the network in a centrist mold, an effort that has included appealing to Republicans to come on the air more often. Wednesday night marked the first time since the 2016 campaign that Trump appeared in person on CNN programming.
What we saw was by no means a fiasco of the magnitude of Zucker’s live rallies, but it had two of the same components — Trump flooding the venue with falsehoods and the audience responding with cheers. And Trump knew the crowd would work with him. Comprised of Republicans and otherwise undeclared voters planning to participate in the 2024 GOP primary, it was salted with friendlies. Trump stomached his revulsion for his network hosts in exchange for a home crowd of sorts — a group that no doubt enjoyed watching the main attraction steamroll an earnest, fact-checking network host.
“CNN hasn’t figured this thing out, Wemple adds. “it’s a good bet its competitors have no better ideas.”
Oh, we have one. Keep the criminally-indicted, jury -affirmed sexual predator off the air. What little is left of the Republican Party may have joined his treasonous cult while abandoning any true notion of serving America and it’s fraying democracy but a fake “town hall” just adds to Trump’s ability to spread his toxic lies and destructive agenda.
Why help him do it?
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1 thought on “Why in the hell did CNN help Trump spread his lies?”
This is, of course, exactly WHY you do not “debate” quacks.
It’s called the “Gish Gallop”.
They ignore or don’t answer your questions, go off on irrelevant tangents, tell lies and half-truths far faster than you can debunk each one, and generally flood the zone with shit and then claim they “won”.
You do not debate anti-vaxxers, creationists, flat-earthers, or any similar conspiracy theorist, because they will do exactly the same thing – flood everything far faster than you can shovel, and claim victory. They’re not in it for a debate. It’s not going to be a debate. It’s not even going to be a discussion. This is exactly what they want – the opportunity to just talk over you. So no. You do not debate quacks.
And no, you should not invite Donald J. Trump to anything. Ever. J.
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