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How CNN Just Boosted Trump

Posted on Friday, May 12, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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This week, former President Donald Trump appeared on a CNN town hall. That day, he trumpeted the upcoming event on his social media platforms. “I’ll be doing CNN tonight live from the great state of New Hampshire because CNN is rightfully desperate to get those Trump ratings back,” Trump said with a wry grin. “They were ratings like none other, and they want them back. They made me a deal they couldn’t refuse. It could be the beginning of a new and vibrant CNN with no more fake news, or it could be a total disaster for all, including me. Let’s see what happens, tonight at 8 o’clock!”

Trump pitched the event like a WWE Monday Night Raw.

And it was.

It was kayfabe of the highest order. And it helped Trump immensely.

CNN pitched the event as a kickoff to primary season. In that spirit, they invited Republican primary voters from New Hampshire to fill the auditorium. Moderator Kaitlin Collins, presumably, would ask questions that Republican voters cared about. They would then be able to use Trump’s answers to gauge whether to vote for him.

That’s not what happened.

Instead, Collins asked a series of questions only Democrats care about. She asked about Jan. 6. She asked about Trump’s election denial. She asked about classified documents. She asked about E. Jean Carroll. In short, Collins provided Trump with precisely what he wanted: an adversarial CNN foe he could absolutely pummel, to the delight of the friendly crowd. The entire event played to Trump’s strengths: he was aggressive; he was funny, and transgressively funny at that (of E. Jean Carroll, he noted disbelievingly, “her cat was named Vagina!”); and he refused to give an inch on any of his positions.

Trump under fire from the Left draws nothing but admiration from most Republicans, who constantly feel that they are scurrilously attacked but rarely see a defender willing to go dirty to defend them. Trump defending himself deploys the methodologies they wish Republican politicians would use to defend them. And so, CNN boosted Trump.

CNN found itself on the wrong end of the outrage machine from the liberal commentariat. The irrepressibly insipid Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., tweeted, “CNN should be ashamed of themselves…Everyone here saw exactly what was going to happen.” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough likened the event to Jan. 6. The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona related that a CNN on-air personality couldn’t stop lamenting the “Trump infomercial.”

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But was the event bad for CNN? Not really. As Trump – who always says the quiet part out loud, for good and ill – stated, CNN brought in the ratings. What’s more, CNN wants Trump to be the nominee, for both fiscal and political reasons. Trump does indeed mean eyeballs, and eyeballs mean cash. And coincidentally, top Democrats want Trump to be the nominee; President Joe Biden tweeted minutes after the town hall, “It’s simple, folks. Do you want four more years of that?”

For now, Trump is the clear front-runner among the Republican candidates. Perhaps his star will dim as he focuses consistently on his own personal Festivus grievances. Or perhaps the media will continue to boost him, providing him with just the adversarial opposition he needs in order to appeal to his base. If the past is any guide, the latter seems far more likely. And then we’ll find out whether the Republican base, which apparently believes in Trump’s electoral invulnerability despite the elections of 2018 and 2020, is correct – or whether the Democratic base and the media, who apparently believe Trump can’t possibly win despite the election of 2016, are mistaken.

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.”

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Thanks CNN U did this No 1 else did
Good to see Trump in fighting form
Thanks

Ann S
Ann S
1 year ago

Finally the sheep got to hear what the truth is in America. MSM wouldn’t even report on it. Why not? The sheep are not allowed to hear the truth.
This was a masterful step Trump did. And shook MSM and the DNC to the core.
MAGA

Joe from Las Vegas Nevada
Joe from Las Vegas Nevada
1 year ago

Do you notice that the narrative about Hunter’s laptop, and the Biden’s bank deposits has shifted away, and all the news cycles are about this CNN townhall? Right out of the Democratic Play Book.
Here is my Town Hall: “How many people are better off now, than two years ago?” If you say you are, prove it…you’re lying.

Nick Gilliam
Nick Gilliam
1 year ago

Of course they want to retain the White House and hopefully both houses of Congress and Trump has the greatest negatives of all the Republican candidates and potential candidates and so is the most easily defeated. Therefore they boost him.

Gabe Hanzeli
Gabe Hanzeli
1 year ago

The CNN crowd got bit by their own arrogance. they did all the props correctly: female host wearing good guy white with long black hair to imply non-white. . that way if trump picked on her it woudl be viewed as abusive. She was certainly wearing an ear bud so the panel off camera could give her talking points.

Yet trump mopped the floor with her while not being too abrasive and entertaining the audience to the point they were cheering for him.

CNN looks more foolish for their anti trump position then they ever have.

Honey
Honey
1 year ago

Do everyone a favor. Shapiro is one of those yes, but sort of anti Trumpers. Please have a good solid pro Trump person evaluating the CNN appearance. Let Shapiro push for Jeb Bush or whatever nice guy he supports. He is not wanted here to assess Trump’s chances. At least not by me.

Gary
Gary
1 year ago

I watched the debate. Once again , Trump won . And, what amazed me , was the cheers and applause Trump got from a CNN audience ! I heard on the news that CNN’s ratings rose fior the night of the debate but have quickly fallen back down . Maybe CNN should consder debating Trump more often . That way , both Trump and CNN win .

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

What does CNN stand for? . . . I propose: “CERTAINLY NOTEWORTHY NITWITS”!

Alfred
Alfred
1 year ago

… LGBTA, BLM, ANTIFA, the eco-fascists, the limousine liberals, the mainstream media, and America’s national socialist feminists have atritted our once proud democrat political party, of its left leaning moderates. Conservative democrats, antecedents of our Reagan democrats are hopelessly marooned, alienated, complete strangers to the systematic mendacity of America’s wholly unrecognizable democrat political party –

MaryBea
MaryBea
1 year ago

Yes – to answer Biden…We most DEFINITELY do want 4 more years of that!!!!!!!!!!

I do not always agree with President Trump, but one point stand out over, over, and over. He stands up for the forgotten Americans. The ones that the so-called “president” Biden does not even know exist.

Gonzo
Gonzo
1 year ago

… I’m afraid that was pretty much it. What little unsalvagable capital left remaining, Wednesday night with President Trump proved the nail in the coffin, of CNN’s journalistic credibility –

Larry Mace
Larry Mace
1 year ago

Of course, they boosted Trump — DELIBERATELY. The Created Nonsense Network not only depended on their anti-Trump broadcasts for ratings, but they are also furthering the interests of their left-wing fascist allies, The Democrap Party. They beat Trump in 2020, and they stand a much better chance of beating him in 2024, than they stand of defeating DeSantis. (Trump shares their fear of Governor Ron, because he, too, knows that DeSantis can win.)

Jerry
Jerry
1 year ago
  • It seems that every time I respond to these items on AMAC it posts, but when I go back to see any replies , my post is gone. I never have any vulgar language and I am a member of AMAC. I will not waste any more time typing responses to AMAC.
David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

I didn’t know Communist News Network (cnn) was still allowed on the air.
But it was GREAT on how well President Trump did from what I read. Best part was when he FACT Checked Communist News Network against their lies by pulling out his receipts.
The American people got to see and hear reality on today’s problems facing our country instead of FAKE news and the Socialist, Communist, Fascist democrats narrative.

Eric
Eric
1 year ago

“President Joe Biden tweeted minutes after the town hall, “It’s simple, folks. Do you want four more years of that?”

Yeah, sure he did. Way past the dementia puppet’s bed time. Who actually tweeted the message?

Steven Tapper
Steven Tapper
1 year ago

I would take 20 more years of Trump and other common sense Presidential candidates to one more minute of the Obama/Biden train wreck!

B Davenport
B Davenport
1 year ago

Thank you, Ben Shapiro, for another insightful and accurate commentary. Enough is enough with Brandon and his merry band of lunatics, morons, and communists.

Zue
Zue
1 year ago

It is an uphill battle for Republicans. Voter ID is not enough. Do you realize that a drivers license ense used for voter ID does not indicate you are a US citizen. Does every state require a certified birth certificate to get a photo ID?

Tom
Tom
1 year ago

Personally Traitor Joe, I’d like a hundred years of men like Trump, to persecute corrupt traitors like you, and communists, to extermination. ????

PIDL
PIDL
1 year ago

I am a retired engineer. Without facts an evidence, I cannot believe rumors.

In Kokomo, Indiana there were many engineers. All one had to say was that they were an engineer to get out of jury duty. As soon as I said that I was relieved of jury duty. They do not want the possibility of the truth getting out. They want the jurors to think with their hearts, not be muddied up by the facts.

It seems like many of the responses from the Alinsky crowd are just rumors because they never have facts to back them up.

Kip
Kip
1 year ago

Anderson is CNN’s biggest embarrassment over & above it’s own embarrassment

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

I think that Trump lost big with this admission: If you are a star, women will let you grab them **** and do whatever you want, has been that way for million years fortunately or unfortunately , and then to top it off — moderator had him admit that he is a star. I cannot believe that women voters are going to accept & believe that behavior is okay. Trump came across very bad in this entire questioning in my opinion & I ask would you want your daughter to be around anyone with this attitude?

Rab
Rab
1 year ago

AMAC why on earth can you allow mental deficit people as up to come to this site to insult people?

Rab
Rab
1 year ago

Deficient nyp that should be

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
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