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CNN’s Town Hall Fallout, and Justice Kagan Narrowly Avoids a Breakfast Ethics Scandal

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Townhall Media


Gilded Reframe – CNN

  • Well, the important thing is you did not change anyone's mind.

In this, the aftermath of the Donald Trump town hall, there are still people talking about it, but little of that talk is positive. In fact, nobody seems at all interested in what was said during the event. No real newsworthy moments took place, no new information was learned, and it seemed primarily the job of Kaitlan Collins to rehash years-old charges and accuse Trump of lying. Again.

However, we learn from Oliver Darcy that one group that has reacted to the appearance has been CNN employees. And they are not pleased. At all:

Twenty-four hours after CNN's town hall, it's all anyone is talking about. Throughout the day, in fact, we heard from dozens of network staffers — ranging in seniority and positions across the organization — who all expressed dismay by what they saw transpire on their television screens.

Demo-lition Project – CNN

  • The question becomes, what was actually accomplished Wednesday evening?

It would appear that a realization has come over CNN that they may have made a grave error by hosting Trump. Anderson Cooper opened his program by addressing the blowback directly, a sure sign that the response to this point has been overwhelmingly negative.

Coop makes a number of declarations to justify the town hall, all while sophomorically never alluding to Trump by name. (He resorts to using "someone" or "this person," as if the former president is Voldermort.) Most telling is that Anderson actually mentions that people are fleeing the network in the wake of this event:

You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again.

First Amendment Strike Force – THE WHITE HOUSE

Flashback, if you will, to the time when CNN's Jim Acosta had his White House credentials stripped after he acted in a rude and offensive manner during a White House event. There was quite a loud bit of wailing from the press corps about how it was a First Amendment violation and our nation was going to be rendered as a result. 

Now listen in on the silence you hear this week. Earlier, we learned how the administration refused to allow the New York Post to have their correspondent attend an event. Next came word that the White House would institute new rules of conduct on the press, with the announcement that press credentials could be revoked if journalists are declared to act in an unprofessional (read: Acosta-like) fashion.

Presentation Paradox – CNN

There go those Republicans trying to kill Big Bird once again! 

In Oklahoma, Governor Kevin Stitt vetoed a spending bill that was going to fund the state-supported public television organization. Oliver Darcy delivers all of the familiar outrage, such as saying Stitt is waging a war, but he delivers something else unintentionally.

In the course of his condemnation, Oliver provides the funding numbers in Oklahoma, and we can see that they receive far greater amounts than defenders of PBS and the like care to admit. Recall last month, all those who announced that NPR and PBS only receive about 2% of their budgets from the government. 

In Oklahoma, the state alone provides nearly one-third of the funding, which is before the federal money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is rolled in. 

Thanks, Ollie! 

Pulitzer Prize Nomination – THE FORWARD

  • A liberal Justice avoids a breakfast scandal!

The desperation of the press to attack the Supreme Court has turned from desperate to downright hilarious. As the media outlets attempt to have Justice Clarence Thomas delegitimized over financial gifts, they continue to bypass Justice Sonia Sotomayor possibly having worse ethics issues. But that is not to say they are ignoring the liberal justices entirely. 

In a desperate dose of contrasting stories, the Jewish outlet The Forward has a report – one pushed by MSNBC – that Justice Elena Kagan faced her own financial ethics question; the only difference is she passed. Some high school friends of Kagan wanted to send the Justice a gift basket of bagels and lox from a New York deli, but Kagan demurred over the possibility of there being a problem ethically – by accepting a breakfast basket.

The writer Sarah Schulman, who also went to Hunter, posted on Facebook on May 6 that the care package for Kagan was envisioned 'as a sign of support for the nightmare of having to go to work with Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch every day. Compare that to Thomas, Schulman added, with “his real estate, fancy travel and cold hard cash. Lox!'

"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage of the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation, where Brad Slager looks to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.


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