Whatever reaction CNN was hoping would happen with Wednesday night’s town hall featuring former President Donald Trump, this wasn’t it.
It became apparent right out of the gate that the event, with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins at the mic, was set up as a hit job on the 45th president and his re-election plans.
But judging by the response from Trump supporters, the impact was exactly the opposite.
“Thanks, CNN” isn’t the usual sentiment in MAGA world for the notoriously liberal network. (It’s usually more along the lines of “CNN sucks” — or worse.)
But during the town hall and in the hours after, it was a trending theme for Trump voters on social media.
“Trump just won the presidency. Thanks CNN,” one Twitter user declared shortly after the festivities opened with Trump calling Collins a “nasty person.”
CNN tried to lay a trap and President #Trump just walked all over it.
You’re a nasty person” — Trump to Kaitlan Collins (the audience cheers)
— ThePatriotRoom (@ThePatriotRoom) May 11, 2023
“Donald J. Trump just won his THIRD Presidential Election tonight,” wrote another.
Donald J. Trump just won his THIRD Presidential Election tonight…
Thanks CNN! pic.twitter.com/LEfuz1CJBs
— Anthony J. Franco (@anthonyjfranco) May 11, 2023
And as another put it: “Trump DOMINATED tonight. Thanks CNN!”
Trump DOMINATED tonight. Thanks CNN! pic.twitter.com/CHC5jKR5Ib
— TEAM USA (@__TEAM_USA) May 11, 2023
It’s way too early to be declaring Trump the victor of the 2024 presidential election, of course.
While he’s the front-runner for the GOP nomination at this point — by a good bit, according to RealClearPolitics poll averages — he still has to win it.
And that’s just the beginning of the general election campaign, presumably against President Joe Biden, who will have — as he did in 2020 — the overwhelming support of the nation’s establishment news media (the major networks, New York Times-style major newspapers), the cultural influences of Hollywood and late night television, much of social media (though hopefully not Twitter this time around), the liberals in charge of academia, and, of course, the dishonest bureaucrats and intelligence operatives of the deep state.
Tuesday’s jury verdict in the civil suit filed against Trump by a writer who claimed he raped her in a Manhattan department store around 1996 certainly didn’t help.
The jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation in the case.
(Not to make light of any accusation, or of any verdict reached by an American jury, but it would be dishonest not to point out that this was a civil case brought against Trump that was decided by a jury in Manhattan, a deep blue bastion where Donald Trump is loathed. If Biden got sued by Tara Reade in rural Alabama, on a similar accusation with similar evidence, it’s a pretty good bet how the jury would go.)
But there’s no doubt that Trump’s performance at Wednesday night’s event, with the undeniably hostile Collins, resonated with his fans.
The reaction from the American left was predictably furious.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York blew up at CNN while the show was still on.
“CNN should be ashamed of themselves,” she wrote. “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.”
(You can practically hear her whiny, pseudo-superiority coming through the screen.)
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.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 11, 2023
“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.”
Nikole Hannah Jones, the leftist academic who’s found fame and fortune with the pile of lies knows as the the “1619 Project,” was equally disgusted.
Unbelievable that @CNN is running this town hall.
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) May 11, 2023
“Unbelievable that CNN is running this town hall,” she wrote.
If any more proof was needed that American politics is an upside-down world in 2023, the scene of Trump supporters praising CNN while leftists savage the network should do the trick.
Some liberal news sources, like MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” tried to spin the event as posing potential problems for Trump, implying he might have incriminated himself on the question of classified documents that were at his home in South Florida’s Mar-a-Lago Club:
One thing that is clear, though, is that boosting Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was not what Kaitlan Collins & Co. had in mind when this town hall came together.
But judging by the reactions across the political spectrum Wednesday and Thursday, that’s exactly what happened.
Thanks CNN. Trump’s Back! MAGA! pic.twitter.com/r4BYWx0AhP
— Jacqueline (@Jacqueline__us) May 11, 2023
“Thanks CNN. Trump’s Back!” as one Twitter user wrote.
It’s going to be a long, strange trip to 2024.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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