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CNN’s Anderson Cooper Addresses Trump Town Hall Debacle: “You Have Every Right To Be Outraged”


With CNN facing a storm of criticism for its handling of a town hall event featuring Donald Trump, the network’s star anchor Anderson Cooper addressed the backlash on Thursday night.

The cable news network has been doing damage control since Wednesday night’s disastrous town hall event moderated by Kaitlan Collins, an event in which the former president repeated a series of lies about the 2020 election, the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and also the pandemic. as he spreads conspiracy theories and insults and defames a sexual assault victim who just this week had a $5 million settlement against him. Pundits across the political spectrum almost unanimously agreed that the event was a huge win for Trump and an unmitigated disaster for CNN.

On CNN Anderson Cooper 360°, Cooper opened the show by addressing the overwhelmingly negative response to City Hall directly, acknowledging that many viewers had “expressed deep anger and disappointment” at what happened. “Many of you are angry that someone who was trying to destroy our democracy was invited to sit on stage in front of a crowd of Republican voters to answer questions and, unsurprisingly, continued to spew lie after lie after lie. And I get it. It was disturbing,” Cooper said of the deluge of criticism CNN has endured in the past 24 hours.

Cooper then spent some time listing all the horrible things Trump was allowed to say live on CNN without any backlash, implicitly admitting that the network had been spearheaded by the former president. “Well, many of you think CNN shouldn’t have given him a platform to speak. And I understand the anger about that, giving him the audience time. I get that,” he said.

Echoing some of the points network CEO Chris Licht made to CNN staff earlier Thursday, Cooper then tried to twist and turn on why CNN thought it was important to beat Trump. “The man you were so disturbed to see and hear about last night, that man is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president. And according to polls, no other Republican comes even close. That man you were so upset about last night. He may be president of the United States in less than two years. And that audience you upset, that’s a sample from about half the country.”

He added: “If last night showed anything, it is that (Trump winning) can happen again. It’s happening again. He hasn’t changed and he’s running fast. You have every right to be outraged and angry today, and never look at this network again.

Cooper then bizarrely returned the burden of proof to the public so as not to remain ignorant of people on the other side of the political divide. “Do you think if you stay in your silo and only listen to people you agree with, that person will go away? If we all listen only to those we agree with, the opposite can be the case. If lives are allowed to go unchecked, as imperfect as our ability to control them on a stage in real time is, those lies will go on and those lies will spread,” he said.

He concluded his remarks by once again reiterating the implication that CNN was right to promote Trump and that it was up to the public to fight the former president’s deceit and toxicity. “If you’re angry or upset, I understand, but you have the power to do something about it. You can really participate. You can make a difference. Whichever side of the aisle you’re on after last night, none of us can say, I didn’t know what’s out there. I didn’t know what was coming.”

More to come…

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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