Friday, May 19, 2023

The Disturbing Theme Within a CNN Host's Remarks About the Trump Town Hall Event

The Disturbing Theme Within a CNN Host's Remarks About the Trump Town Hall Event

AP Photo/Ron Harris

We all know that a host of staffers at CNN are still coping with the town hall event involving Donald Trump. It was moderated by Kaitlan Collins, who now has a primetime show. How she performed during the town hall had no bearing on her appointment to Don Lemon’s old 9 PM slot. That’s probably a good thing since Trump rolled her. However, longtime reporter Christiane Amanpour probably embodied best how the anti-Trump town hall sect at CNN feels during her commencement speech to the recent graduates of the Columbia Journalism School. She rebuked her new boss, CEO Chris Licht, about the event and went off on some self-righteous tangent, where she told graduates to eschew being neutral and elaborated on the follies of ‘bothsideism.’

She also said that perhaps fewer voices, not more, is best for our society. And all of this because Trump continues to own them at their own game. Amanpour invoked how media chiefs and newspaper editors banded together to silence the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) when his communist hunts in the government went off the rails (via Reliable Sources):

While accepting the prestigious Columbia Journalism Award and serving as the school's 2023 commencement speaker, Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday became the first network anchor to publicly voice dissent with management over the town hall, which has spawned a storm of fierce backlash. 

Amanpour, CNN's chief international anchor, disclosed that she had met with CNN boss Chris Licht this week and that the two "had a very robust exchange of views" about the matter. She said that Licht "welcomed that exchange of views," but stood by his decision to hold the town hall. Licht told staffers the morning after the event that he believed it was worthwhile because it woke people up to the stakes of the 2024 election. 

After hearing out Licht, Amanpour told the Columbia Journalism School graduates that she had not been moved. 

"I still respectfully disagree with allowing Donald Trump to appear in that particular format," the veteran anchor said, contending that the American people had demonstrated with their votes in the last three elections that they are well aware of his behavior. 


During the address, Amanpour acknowledged that the press still has not quite figured out how to grapple with Trump, who has abused media platforms to spread dangerous disinformation far and wide, often overwhelming fact-checkers who have struggled to keep up with his rapid-fire stream of lies and falsehoods. 

"Maybe we should revert back to the newspaper editors and TV chiefs of the 1950s, who in the end refused to allow McCarthyism onto their pages," Amanpour suggested. "Unless his foul lies, his witch hunts and his rants reached the basic evidence level required in a court of law. His influence gradually decreased with all but his fervent colleagues and cults."   

"So maybe less is more," she suggested. "Maybe live is not always right." 


Amanpour defended CNN as an institution and implored people to give the news organization another chance, even as she acknowledged it "doesn't mean we always get everything right." 

"I can only hope that your trust in us might have been shaken, but not shattered," she said. "That you believe we can survive and rebuild that trust." 


"Be truthful, but not neutral," Amanpour urged. "Bothsidesism is not always objectivity. It does not get you to the truth. Drawing false moral or factual equivalence is neither objective or truthful. Objectivity is our golden rule and it is in weighing all the sides and hearing all the evidence, but not rushing to equate them when there is no equating." 


Amanpour said the angry debates over Covid-19 vaccines and the 2020 election results are proof that Americans now have difficulty believing basic facts. She indicated that it is the job of the press to cut through the noise, counter disinformation, and summon the public back to reality. 

She’s never been neutral. This woman had a near-meltdown on live television during the 2016 Brexit vote. The fact that she and her colleagues think that the American people can’t decide for themselves is exactly what’s wrong with American liberalism and the establishment media. Print your stories, and if no one believes you, maybe that’s because you work for CNN. When we do not kowtow to their agenda, they chalk it up as not them being wrong about certain issues but because we can’t comprehend what they’re saying or something. It’s paternalistic in the extreme, and it’s not our problem that Trump rakes you over the coals, Christiane. Also, you guys lied a lot during the COVID pandemic, and need I say more about the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense your network peddled that turned out to be a total hoax? If the only conclusion you can draw from being unable to deal with the former president’s antics or conservative opinions is to suppress them, then you’re not a Democrat. You’re an authoritarian.

 And that is the core of their frustration, folks. They can’t stand that we don’t listen to them anymore.

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