CNN’s Christiane Amanpour proclaimed that “maybe less is more” as she called out her network as well as its chairman and CEO Chris Licht over its town hall event with former President Donald Trump last week.
The network’s chief international anchor, in remarks to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism on Wednesday, noted that she has “always opted to speak out when staying silent might have been easier” before taking aim at her network for putting Trump on live TV.
Amanpour revealed she recently met with Licht for a “really robust exchange of views.” She said the network believed it “did the right thing” and provided a “service to the American people,” something the anchor disagreed with.
“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 said she “respectfully” disagrees with CNN allowing Trump to appear in the event before she mentioned how she would handle moderator duties in a gig where Trump called moderator Kaitlan Collins a “nasty person.”
“We know Trump and his tendencies, everyone does, 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,” Amanpour said.
“For me, I would have dropped the mic at ‘nasty person’ but then that’s me.”
She added that media outlets should “revert” to how the journalism world refused to allow McCarthyism in its publications 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.
“So maybe less is more. Maybe live is not always right.”
You can check out her remarks from the graduation, starting around the 40:05 mark, in the clip below.
Amanpour isn’t alone in questioning CNN over its event from within.
Senior media correspondent Oliver Darcy questioned how the American people were “served by” the wake of the town hall.
Darcy, in a “Reliable Sources” newsletter on Wednesday, began his newsletter by noting his “pre-planned vacation” and said he knew what readers were “thinking.”
“I’ve covered many ‘pre-planned’ vacations before. But I can assure you, this is *not* that,” he wrote.
CNN’s event has seen criticism over roughly the past week from the likes of Jon Stewart, MSNBC hosts, and CNN employees.