Christiane Amanpour has spoken out against Donald Trump’s recent CNN town hall, where he described moderator Kaitlan Collins as 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. I would have dropped the mic at ‘nasty person,’ but then that’s me,” Amanpour said on Wednesday to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Amanpour was accepting the Columbia Journalism Award and delivering the school’s commencement speech.
Amanpour, who is CNN’s chief international anchor, said she had met with CNN chair and CEO Chris Licht earlier this week and they “had a very robust exchange of views” about the town hall. Licht “welcomed” the exchange but stood by his decision to hold the event, according to Amanpour.
“I still respectfully disagree with allowing Donald Trump to appear in that particular format,” Amanpour said, adding, “For me, of course, the fact that the American people voted three times against Trump and Trumpism — 2018, 2020, 2022 — also speaks volumes.”
On how editors should deal with Trump’s various claims, Amanpour offered, “Maybe we should revert back to the newspaper editors and TV chiefs of the 1950s, who in the end refused to allow McCarthyism onto their pages. 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.”
“So maybe less is more. Maybe live is not always right,” Amanpour said.