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CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Slams Network’s Decision to Air Trump Town Hall

CNN is still feeling the heat for airing Donald Trump‘s recent town hall, even from those who work for the news network.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international anchor, spoke about the network’s decision to broadcast the event while talking to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism on Wednesday, where she was accepting the Columbia Journalism Award.

“We know Trump and his tendencies; everyone does. He just seizes the stage and dominates. No matter how much flack the moderator tries to aim at the incoming, it doesn’t often work. I would have dropped the mic at ‘nasty person,’ but then that’s me,” Amanpour said, per Variety.

The “nasty person” comment was in reference to what Trump called moderator Kaitlan Collins during the town hall.

Amanpour revealed that she met with CNN chair and CEO Chris Licht earlier this week, stating they “had a very robust exchange of views” about the town hall. She said that while Licht “welcomed” the conversation, he stood by his decision to hold the event.

“I still respectfully disagree with allowing Donald Trump to appear in that particular format,” Amanpour added. “For me, of course, the fact that the American people voted three times against Trump and Trumpism — 2018, 2020, 2022 — also speaks volumes.”

Amanpour’s comments come after CNN faced backlash from viewers for giving a platform to Trump. Critics said Collins did not go hard enough on the former president, allowing him to lie repeatedly and even defame E. Jean Carroll a day after she successfully sued Trump for sexual assault.

Anderson Cooper defended the decision, saying listening to opposing views is necessary. “You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again,” he said. “But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away?”

But many disagreed with Cooper’s argument, stating that views based on misinformation and lies should not be platformed.

As for Amanpour’s thoughts on how editors and news reporters should handle Trump, she said, “Maybe we should revert back to the newspaper editors and TV chiefs of the 1950s, who in the end refused to allow McCarthyism onto their pages. Unless his foul lies, his witch hunts and his rants reached the basic evidence level required in a court of law. His influence gradually decreased with all but his fervent colleagues and cults.”

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