Anderson Cooper Receives Backlash for Supporting CNN’s Trump Town Hall
Author: Christopher Wiggins
After resounding criticism of CNN’s decision to conduct what turned out to be an ultra-MAGA Trump rally billed as a news event, it was seemingly up to Anderson Cooper to try to smooth things over with a furious audience, and it did not go well.
There was a lot of anger during Wednesday’s polarizing town hall. Aside from viewers, this anger came from elected officials like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, and prominent members of the press who all criticized the television network for its “irresponsible” actions giving Trump 70 minutes of unfettered airtime before a fawningly friendly audience of MAGA supporters.
Cooper was criticized online Thursday after defending his network’s disastrous New Hampshire town hall event at Saint Anselm College the previous night.
After witnessing the Wednesday night fiasco, the veteran journalist began his primetime show by addressing many people’s reactions.
Despite criticizing Trump as a liar and calling his words disturbing, Cooper urged viewers not to remain in their information “silos” and ignore the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for 2020 as well as the jaw-dropping laughter Trump gave to victims of sexual abuse and misogyny as he mocked host Kaitlan Collins and E. Jean Carroll, the writer who was awarded $5 million earlier this week by a jury who found Trump liable for sexual abusing and defaming her.
“Many of you have expressed deep anger and disappointment,” Cooper began. “Many of you are upset that someone who attempted to destroy our democracy was invited to sit on a stage in front of a crowd of Republican voters to answer questions and predictably continued to spew lie after lie after lie. And I get it.”
Cooper noted that Trump called Collins nasty, as he does frequently when women stand up to him. He also called a Black police officer a thug, a term he often uses to describe Black men.
“It was disturbing to hear him speak so highly of QAnon conspirators and insurrectionists who assaulted police officers and our democracy on January 6th,” Cooper said. “And it was awful to hear him spread ridiculous lies about the election, and it was certainly disturbing to hear that audience, young and old, our fellow citizens, people who love their kids and go to church, laugh and applaud his lies and his continued defamation of a woman who according to a jury of his peers, he’s sexually abused and defamed.”
On the broadcast, Trump repeated his claim that he didn’t know Carroll and that she was fabricating the incident. Carroll may sue him again for making the same sorts of statements that led to a jury awarding damages to her.
While on television earlier in the evening, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes unknowingly defined Cooper’s following actions.
Hayes said anybody who defends CNN’s actions is probably doing so disingenuously or because CNN employs them.
“Many of you think CNN shouldn’t have given him any platform to speak, and I understand the anger about that,” Cooper said. “Giving him the audience, the time. I get that. But this is what I also get: The man you were so disturbed to see and hear from last night, that man is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president.”
He added, “He hasn’t changed, and he is running hard. You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again. But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away?”
On Twitter, CNN was criticized for several things. As a start, the network did what the mainstream media did in 2015 and 2016 when they legitimized the would-be insurrectionist president by covering his every lie as newsworthy.
Several others said that CNN positioned itself to appeal to a more right-of-center audience following the recent ownership change at the cable network and Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News.
The online reaction was loud and clear. Many indicated that the well-respected news personality had lost respect and credibility.
“Anderson Cooper really embarrassed himself with this statement. I’m losing respect for CNN journalists carrying water for their network after making a really terrible editorial decision. Normalizing Donald Trump is dangerous and dishonest,” tweeted one person.
Another pointed out why many didn’t accept what Cooper was trying to convince his audience of.
“This is disappointing. He’d have a point if the town hall featured a real audience. And if Trump’s lies were thoroughly addressed,” the person wrote.
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins