…CNN lined up [twice-impeached, once- ( so far) indicted former president Donald] Trump for its first “town hall” telecast of the 2024 presidential campaign.
[Trump]will take questions from Republican and undeclared voters in a CNN-produced event next Wednesday in New Hampshire, the state that will hold the first Republican primary next year….
“Donald Trump has spent the better part of the past seven years badmouthing CNN, attacking its reporters as “enemies of the people” and calling its reporting “fake news.” He once tried banning one of its journalists from the White House. He routinely mocks its eroding ratings.
Yet, on Monday, CNN offered to put Trump on the air live for an hour in prime time — and Trump accepted.
Norman Ornstein, the eminent political scholar, put it this way: CNN’s invitation to Trump “legitimizes a man under indictment, currently on trial, with more indictments to come, who incited a violent insurrection against the country and its constitution and democracy,” he told The Washington Post.
For Trump, he said, the invitation is “a godsend — a network he hates bowing down to him and giving him attention and airtime.””
“Defending the decision, CNN chief executive David Zaslov said, “[We have] a divided government. We need to hear both voices… Republicans are on the air at CNN. Democrats are on the air. All voices should be heard on CNN.””
Is it journalism without journalists? If CNN were to pass the mic at a political rally without the opportunity for informed context and rigorous fact-checking by trained journalists would that constitute responsible journalism?
Town halls provide the least informed members of the public 15 seconds of fame to repeat whatever nonsense they’ve picked up from social media and TV commercials.
In the midst of an authoritarian assault on facts and education, the public is not well-served by transcription journalism.
CNN and Trump set aside beef for ‘town hall,’ and both draw fire for it – The Washington Post