David Simon says CNN staffers should quit over town hall with ‘fascist’ Trump
Author and journalist David Simon has called for CNN staff to quit their jobs over Donald Trump’s town hall with moderator Kaitlan Collins in New Hampshire.
The former president unleashed an avalanche of lies on Wednesday night in front of a friendly audience of Republicans on GOP-leaning voters as Ms Collins attempted to fact-check him.
CNN was widely criticised for hosting Mr Trump both before and after the event took place as Mr Trump doubled down on his many false claims.
But as Garrett Haake of NBC News noted, “If you haven’t been paying attention to Donald Trump for a while, the CNN town hall is a reintroduction to what he’s been telling his supporters for two years”.
Mr Simon urged CNN staff to walk out.
“When I did the job, I’d imagine being a decent line reporter at a Fox outlet, or the WSJ, or NY Post and having my best work adjacent to miserable editorial stances and choices? What, I wondered, might compel me to resign? Well, If I worked at CNN today, I would quit. Honestly,” he wrote.
NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss tweeted: “While running for President in 1968, [President Richard] Nixon appeared in question-and-answer broadcasts paid for by his campaign. Directed by Roger Ailes, they featured a friendly moderator (Bud Wilkinson) and [a] carefully-chosen studio audience.”
Mr Simon retweeted Mr Beschloss, adding: “There is a reason the oldest profession is that. #CNN”
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted: “Can you imagine CNN hosting a town hall with [Vermont Senator] Bernie [Sanders] and the audience being filled with socialists who booed Dems and Republicans alike, cheered Bernie when he attacked the media, and applauded every reference to Medicare for All and justice for the Palestinians?”
“It’s funny that when the ‘liberal media’ shows ‘balance’, it’s only ever indulging *the right*,” he added.
“CNN is dead to democracy,” Mr Simon wrote on Wednesday night.
One Twitter user responded to him, writing, “This is the process. He’s a former president and the leading GOP pres contender by a mile. He should be questioned by voters and the media on a national stage. If it’s a shitshow let everyone see. We shouldnt want some executive deciding who we are and are not allowed to hear from”.
“He’s a fascist who refused to peacefully relinquish power, provoked coup and constitutional crisis,” Mr Simon responded. “Addressing this within the normal construct of our political contests is relentlessly naive and destructive.”