CNN faced a barrage of criticism after airing its town hall featuring Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, ABC News reported.
Wednesday’s town hall in New Hampshire was the first major television event of the 2024 election season. Billed as a Republican Primary town hall, the event quickly devolved into chaos with Trump sparring with CNN host Kaitlan Collins while the two argued about the 2020 election, the January 6 riot, and Trump’s ongoing legal problems.
And while the Trump town hall was a boon to CNN’s ratings, drawing 3.3 million viewers compared to the approximately 700,000 CNN usually draws for that time slot, regular CNN viewers and even some CNN employees were furious that the network gave Trump a platform from which to repeat his lies.
Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raged at CNN on Twitter, saying the network “should be ashamed of themselves.” She accused CNN of being “manipulated” into giving a platform to someone peddling “election disinformation” and defending the January 6 riot.
Ocasio-Cortez also took issue with Trump’s comments about accuser E. Jean Carroll, who won a $5 million award from a jury for sexual abuse and defamation the day before. She blasted CNN for allowing Trump to launch a “public attack” against a victim of “sexual abuse” and expressed disgust that the Republicans and Independents in the audience were “cheering him on.”
Joy Behar, one of the hosts of ABC’s “The View,” also expressed her disgust on Twitter, claiming that the town hall audience was “stacked with his cult.”
During his show Thursday night, CNN host Anderson Cooper ripped into Trump for his behavior at the town hall and blasted the audience for laughing and applauding Trump’s lies and his “continued defamation” of E. Jean Carroll.
Cooper expressed understanding for the anger of CNN viewers and reminded them that they have the power to do something to stop Trump from becoming president again.