“Dear TV,” Stewart wrote. “The problem w the Trump Town Hall wasn’t platforming ... or a fragile siloed audience unable to be exposed to newsworthy opinions antithetical to their own ... the problem was an event that was clearly negotiated to Trump’s approval. An ode to access.”
The backlash over the town hall led to anchor Anderson Cooper’s attempt to defend the network’s decision to host Trump. Yet Cooper’s remarks were described by Twitter users as “deeply stupid” and “gaslighting” as he questioned whether it was smart for viewers who disagree with Trump to stay in their “silo” and not listen to other views.
A number of CNN staffers, including senior media reporter Oliver Darcy, have shared their dissatisfaction with the event while CNN CEO Chris Licht reportedly argued that America “was served very well” by the town hall.
“You do not have to like the former president’s answers, but you can’t say that we didn’t get them,” said Licht, according to former CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter.
Stewart, in a later tweet, mocked CNN for its invitation to the former president.
“We promise good sir ... we are no longer Fake News!!! An enemy of the people!!! Let us prove it to you!!! We are fair and good and will do this however you would like ... just come back,” Stewart wrote.
Stewart concluded that he “learned nothing” about Trump but instead learned “a lot” about CNN following the event.
“I learned nothing from this town hall about Trump and his most ardent supporters I haven’t known since 2016. I learned a lot about CNN,” Stewart wrote.