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Tipsheet

'A Mutiny': CNN Anchors Lash Out Against Own Network for Trump Town Hall

AP Photo/Ron Harris

On Wednesday, CNN held a town hall with former and potentially future President Donald Trump in New Hampshire as he once again looks to seek the Republican nomination. While the town hall was the most watched program of the night, that didn't stop several anchors from losing their minds as they went after their own network. Perhaps none were as vocal about it as Anderson Cooper, however.

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Now the town hall did air during the 8pm time slot, which is when "Anderson Cooper 360°" airs, so Cooper was already likely salty about Trump taking over his time slot. Does Cooper feel that if people can't watch him at 8pm, then they shouldn't watch the network at all? That's certainly possible. CNN knows who Trump is and what he's all about and the network hosted the town hall regardless. 

Cooper began Thursday night's episode in particularly dramatic fashion. He had barely gotten out his "good evening," before complaining about the town hall. NewsBusters' Kevin Tober highlighted the segment as well as provided a transcript. 

"Before we begin with tonight's broadcast, I want to say something about what we witnessed at last night's town hall. Many of you have expressed deep anger and disappointment. Many of you are upset that someone who attempted to destroy our democracy was invited to sit on a stage in front of a crowd of Republican voters to answer questions, and predictably, continued to spew lie after lie after lie. And I get it. It was disturbing," he said, going on to list examples about what it was he and supposedly so many others found to be "disturbing." 

Where he got really bold was to excuse people who didn't want to watch CNN again because they had chose to host the town hall. "You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again." Cooper offered. 

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"But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away? If we all only listen to those we agree with, it may actually do the opposite. If lies are allowed to go unchecked as imperfect as our ability to check them is on a stage in real-time, those lies continue, and those lies spread," he went on to say. 

Media columnist Joe Concha shared a clip of the opening segment and said that if he were CNN CEO Chris Licht he would fire Cooper and Cooper's fellow CNN anchor Jake Tapper tomorrow, along with "everyone else who is attempting to drive a mutiny."

Cooper had also gone for a heavy dose of fear mongering as he reminded how Trump is likely to be the nominee, which is certainly bolstered by his poll ratings, and possibly even the president again. " And that audience that upset you, that's a sampling of about half the country. They are your family members, your neighbors, and they are voting. And many said they're voting for him," he said about his fellow Americans. 

"If you're angry or upset, I understand, but you have the power to do something about it. You can actually get involved. You can make a difference, whatever 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's coming," he also went on to say, after lambasting the very network that employs him. 

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As Concha referred to in his tweet above, Tapper similarly melted down as he complained that "the falsehoods kept coming fast and furious." He and Cooper railed against the town hall immediately afterwards, and Tapper even sounded as if he was close to tears. 

There was some recognition from the network, however, about their own bias and obsession against Trump. During a focus group afterwards, as Nick Arama at our sister site of RedState highlighted and Brad Slager in his column, a select group of audience members were asked by CNN's Gary Tuchman about Trump's focus on 2020. As Tuchman was reminded, though, Trump was actually asked about 2020.

In a particularly memorable moment, one audience member aptly pointed out that when it comes to Trump's focus on 2020, "part of it’s also the media narrative." He went on to ask Tuchman a question of his own. "Couldn’t the media ask about 2024," to which Tuchman was forced to concede, mentioning in part "but you're right, that was the first thing."

Nevertheless, as Sarah covered on Thursday night, Licht is standing by the network's decision to do the town hall and offered that "America was served very well by what we did [Wednesday] night."

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Thursday night's episode of Fox News' "Gutfeld!" also touched upon the focus group and mocked the network, as well as the particularly ignorant criticisms from the ladies on "The View."



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