CNN’s Christiane Amanpour proclaimed that “maybe less is more” as she called out her network and CEO Chris Licht over last week’s town hall with former President Donald Trump.
Amanpour, the network’s chief international anchor, told a commencement audience at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism on Wednesday that she spoke directly to Licht for a “really robust exchange of views” after CNN put Trump on live TV. She said she “respectfully” disagrees with the network’s view that it “did the right thing” and provided a “service to the American people.”
“For me, of course, the fact that the American people voted three times against Trump and Trumpism — 2018, 2020, 2022 — also speaks volumes,” said Amanpour as she accepted the Columbia Journalism Award.
She also pointed out how she would have handled Trump’s “nasty person” swipe at moderator Kaitlan Collins.
“We know Trump and his tendencies — everyone does,” she said. “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.”
“For me, I would have dropped the mic at ‘nasty person,’ but then that’s me.”
Amanpour suggested media outlets cover Trump the way journalism refused to publish the wild claims of McCarthyism in the 1950s — “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,” she said of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the red-scare movement.
“So, maybe less is more,” Amanpour said. “Maybe live is not always right.”
Watch below, starting around the 40:05 mark:
Amanpour isn’t the only CNN figure questioning the network’s hosting of the Trump forum. Senior media correspondent Oliver Darcy questioned how the American people were served by the town hall. Other CNN employees also had gripes about the show.
Elsewhere, CNN has been condemned by the likes of Jon Stewart and MSNBC hosts.