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CNN Makes Announcement About Collins as Trump Town Hall Backfires On Network

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


CNN CEO Chris Licht prepared to announce that 31-year-old Kaitlan Collins will take over the network’s 9 PM ET primetime slot, which was previously occupied by Chris Cuomo before he was fired.

“CNN, which has endured some of the worst ratings in its history under Zaz’s hand-picked C.E.O., Chris Licht, is now poised for a brief taste of the same power and influence that it enjoyed in the old days. And it will achieve that massive audience, of course, via the very same mechanism that fueled the Zucker years: Donald Trump,” Puck News reported.

News of Collins’ meteoric rise at CNN comes as she hosted what many are calling a “disastrous” townhall in New Hampshire on Wednesday night with former President Donald Trump.

In a statement, a CNN spokesperson told Mediaite: “Tonight, Kaitlan Collins exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist. She asked tough, fair, and revealing questions. And she followed up and fact-checked President Trump in real time to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as the Republican frontrunner. That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”

Many liberals sounded off on CNN for hosting Trump for the town hall ahead of the 2024 presidential election and spent most of the night raging and complaining.

New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez flamed CNN, tweeting: “CNN should be ashamed of themselves. They have lost total control of this “town hall” to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim. The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host. This falls squarely on CNN. Everyone here saw exactly what was going to happen. Instead they put a sexual abuse victim in harm’s way for views. This was a choice to platform lies about the election & Jan 6th w/ no plan but to have their moderator interrupted without consequence.”

Several other liberals couldn’t hide their disdain:

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Below are just a few examples of Trump hitting back at Collins and firing up the crowd during the town hall:

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Trump issued an ominous warning ahead of the CNN town hall, writing on his Truth Social account about how it could have been a “disaster.”

“I’ll be doing CNN tomorrow night, LIVE from the Great State of New Hampshire, because they are rightfully desperate to get those fantastic (TRUMP!) ratings once again. They made me a deal I couldn’t refuse!!! Could be the beginning of a New & Vibrant CNN, with no more Fake News, or it could turn into a disaster for all, including me. Let’s see what happens? Wednesday Night at 8:00!!!” he said.

There were many liberals who were furious with CNN for hosting Trump. Still, Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav defended the decision when he appeared on the CNBC show “Squawk Box” and spoke to Joe Kernan.

“Because I want to talk about CNN and I want to talk about the cable news wars and what former President Trump is going to be on CNN?” the host said.

“Yeah, he should be,” the CEO said.

“You should be. You know, you’ve already gotten criticism. Remember what John Malone said. Let’s get some real journalists. Now you try to get some real journalists and you’re getting hit by CNN for getting rid of them,” the host said.

“CNN has the world’s greatest journalists and the largest group of journalists in the Ukraine, Poland, and Russia. We have over 86 people on the ground. We’re not reporting from a desk,” the CEO said.

“Do you see an opportunity, given what happened at some of your competitors?” the host said, a reference possibly to Fox News host Tucker Carlson being axed at Fox News.

“We have a divided government. Right? We need to hear both voices. That’s what you see. Republicans are on the air on CNN, Democrats are on the air. All voices should be heard,” the CEO said.

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