Employees and contributors to CNN are absolutely beside themselves after the network decided to allow former President Donald Trump a platform during a town hall event earlier this week.
And their meltdown is glorious.
Among the highlights of the event were Trump fact-checking moderator Kaitlan Collins by pulling printed receipts out of his jacket pocket, a promise to pardon January 6th rioters, defending Ashli Babbitt and calling the police officer who shot her a “thug,” and staying on the offensive against writer E. Jean Carroll who just won a $5 million verdict after a jury found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming her.
All of it was to the delight of the very pro-Trump crowd and much to the chagrin of Collins, who tried to no avail to attack the Republican candidate.
Throughout much of the night, Collins played the role of Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips while Trump would counter with, ‘Look at me. I’m the captain now.’
Trump just pulls out receipts to disprove Kaitlin Collins’ claims on the CNN town hall… and the crowd cheers!
This is NOT going the way CNN wanted it to. pic.twitter.com/7byCeFkCHr
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) May 11, 2023
RELATED: CNN’s Kaitlan Collins Obliterated When Donald Trump Literally Pulled Receipts Out of His Pocket
CNN Town Hall Leading to an Employee Revolt?
To be clear, CNN’s employees would be having a catastrophic panic attack if any conservative voice was given a platform on their network. They’re simply not emotionally equipped to handle differing viewpoints.
But the fact that it was the uber-scary ‘orange man’ made it all the more disheartening. And the ensuing meltdown is something to behold.
Semafor reports that “five CNN employees” relayed to them “how upset and disturbed they were by the event.”
They note that CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy criticized the network openly in his Reliable Sources publication, an online media newsletter with the most inaccurate title possible.
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“It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN Wednesday evening,” Darcy wrote, seemingly unaware that his network and the propaganda newsletter he produces have been a ‘spectacle of lies’ for years.
It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN Wednesday evening. More in @ReliableSources: https://t.co/Rg44NsPLvb
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 11, 2023
In an internal call with staff, CNN chairman and CEO Chris Licht, who has insisted he is trying to steer the network away from the network’s usual hyper-partisan coverage, defended the move to have Trump appear for a town hall.
“I absolutely unequivocally believe America was served very well by what we did last night,” he said, noting that Collins allegedly held Trump accountable by countering some of his claims.
“I absolutely, unequivocally believe America was served very well by what we did last night,” said Chris Licht, the chairman of CNN. https://t.co/vn1vCZap8x
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) May 11, 2023
RELATED: Trump Defends ‘Patriot’ Ashli Babbitt at Town Hall, Slams Officer Who Killed Her as a ‘Thug’
The Rage Continued
Former media hall monitor Brian Stelter ambled in to dry up Darcy’s tears and express that “many CNN staffers appreciate” what his colleague had said.
Stelter was fired from the network for being one of those aforementioned hyper-partisan and generally uninteresting commentators.
Speaking of tears, CNN contributor Adam Kinzinger nearly reprised his role as the Michael Jordan crying meme, saying he was “not going to pretend like it was easy for me to see the former president get this forum tonight.”
Shouldn’t he be sobbing uncontrollably and telling Collins how admirable it was that she ‘held the line’ against the insurrectionist?
.@AdamKinzinger to CNN’s @jaketapper tonight:
“As somebody who spent the last two years countering the lies, I’m not going to pretend like it was easy for me to see the former president get this forum tonight — to lie to the American people over and over and over again.”
— Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) May 11, 2023
CNN anchor Jake Tapper reverted to the ol’ race playbook by asserting Trump’s criticism of the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt was due to him being black. You know, and not for the fact that he shot an unarmed woman seemingly without warning.
“He called a black law enforcement officer a thug. He said people here in Washington, D.C., and Chinatown don’t speak English. He attacked Kaitlan [Collins] as a nasty woman … he made fun of [E. Jean Carroll’s] sexual assault and many in the audience laughed,” Tapper told fellow anchor Anderson Cooper.
Had Babbitt been black and the officer white, Trump no doubt would still be calling him a thug. But, under that same scenario, you can bet your ass Tapper wouldn’t dare to respond.
Jake Tapper goes on psychotic rant about CNN’s Trump TownHall:
“He called a black law enforcement officer a thug, he said people in Chinatown don’t speak English, he attacked Kaitlan as a nasty woman… perhaps most chillingly the day after a jury found him liable for sexual… pic.twitter.com/DGiI23BBzb
— Mariana (@lonestarherd) May 11, 2023
Tapper, who must think that wearing glasses is the key to sounding smart, used to be rather reasonable (relatively) before he was broken like a bucking bronco by Donald Trump.
Cooper meanwhile delivered a town hall post-mortem speech sounding like a dog with his tail tucked between his legs.
“You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again,” he said.
Eeyore would have a tough time sounding sadder, more apologetic, and generally pathetic to his viewers.
Still, at least Cooper had the cojónes to point out that CNN viewers should stop living in a bubble of groupthink.
“But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away?” he continued. “If we all only listen to those we agree with, it may actually do the opposite.”
Yes, Anderson. Yes, your viewers do actually think conservative America will disappear if they just continue to ignore it.
If I’m Licht, I fire Anderson Cooper tomorrow. And Tapper. And everyone else who is attempting to drive a mutiny. CNN will never move remotely to the middle until getting rid of the current talent who clearly has zero motivation to avoid being activists for the Democratic Party. https://t.co/TrTCztUoMA
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) May 12, 2023
If you’re ever interested in understanding the degree to which Trump left CNN viewers and their employees completely shattered over his town hall, go on Twitter and read some of the reactions to Cooper’s remarks about living in a bubble.
It is a case study in anxiety and dementia.
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