HomePoliticsAfter Carroll judgment, CNN’s Trump town hall becomes more important 2023
After Carroll judgment, CNN’s Trump town hall becomes more important 2023
May 10, 2023
Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to participate in a live town-hall event on the news network whose journalists he called “the enemy of the people” during his campaign and presidency.
Trump has been incensed with Fox News, a Republican Party cornerstone, and its controlling owners Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, who have been auditioning Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a GOP presidential contender before Fox audiences for months.
Trump and CNN had high stakes before the jury foreperson announced the judgment Tuesday in Lower Manhattan
Trump wrote an angry post on Truth Social about the Murdochs, Fox corporate director Paul Ryan (“Worst Republican Speaker ever”), the Wall Street Journal, and Fox, which he called “rapidly disintegrating” hours before Tuesday’s verdict in E. Jean Carroll’s civil suit against him.
Since firing Tucker Carlson late last month, its primetime ratings have plummeted, but Fox management say they will recoup once a permanent successor is selected.
Trump appeared on CNN to show his independence from a network his people like. Trump has interviewed conservative Fox commentators Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Carlson before his departure this year.
CNN must also prove itself. In his first year as chairman and CEO, Chris Licht has tried to rid the network of Trump’s constant criticism in reaction to his administration’s crises and problems. Republicans say CNN was overly ideological.
Licht dropped Reliable Sources and moved Don Lemon from primetime to mornings. Both hosts had denounced Trump. Lemon was dismissed this spring for misogyny on-air and against his female co-hosts. Lemon’s lawyer disputes the claims. Licht told his employees they’re rebranding the station.
He’s echoing CNN’s parent firm Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
“The U.S. has divided government,” Zaslav stated last week on CNBC. “We need both voices. CNN airs Republicans. Democrats air. CNN needs all voices.”
“Our network is about the best version of the facts,” Zaslav remarked. “This is a new CNN.”
CNN risks a live Trump town hall.
Liberals and journalists questioned CNN’s decision to carry Trump’s town hall live. Trump’s 2015–2016 White House campaign was poorly covered by the press. Reporters couldn’t digest his rapid-fire bombast and glibness with incorrect assertions and downright falsehoods.
MSNBC presenter Mehdi Hasan opposed inviting Trump. If that failed, he said CNN had to address the former president about his record and character in and out of government. CNN should question Trump whether he disqualified himself from the president for his conduct before the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol and subsequent statements that appeared to justify “terminating” portions of the Constitution.
At St. Anselm College, CNN will host Republican and undecided New Hampshire voters. Kaitlan Collins moderates. Former CNN White House journalist, Trump knows her.
CNN political director David Chalian claimed the network saw Trump as a “unique candidate” since he’s the only former president to run for president in almost a century.
Chalian noted another difference. Trump shattered governance. The U.S. Senate did not convict him after two House impeachments.
He’s indicted in one instance. “He’s under investigation in several other cases, and then there’s the insurrection – January 6th – and how Donald Trump left office,” Chalian told NPR before Tuesday’s Carroll judgment.
“Our job is to do what we do best, which is to ask him questions, follow up, hold him accountable for his words and actions, and in this case, convene this conversation that he’s going to have directly with voters as well.”
Moderator Kaitlan Collins fought Trump as a White House correspondent.
Collins was a Daily Caller reporter, created by Carlson, and conservative. She wasn’t ideological as a CNN White House reporter. She was no pushover. Trump advisers dissatisfied with her coverage barred her from a news conference. (The Trump White House unsuccessfully sued to withdraw her colleague Jim Acosta’s credentials.)
That’s Trump and CNN’s usual dynamic. He previously accused the network of “anger and hatred” and stated it opposed his government.
He now recommends watching Wednesday night. “They made me a deal I couldn’t refuse!!!” Trump shared on Truth Social. “Could be the beginning of a New & Vibrant CNN, with no more Fake News, or it could turn into a disaster for all, including me.”