Reacting to announcements that CNN will be holding town halls for 2024 GOP presidential nomination contender Nikki Haley to be followed by another one starring former vice president Mike Pence, former CNN contributor Wajahat Ali shook his head at the network execs who have failed to learn from blowback after the Donald Trump town hall.
The surprising decision to hand primetime spots to Haley and Pence -- that latter of which has yet to announce he's running -- appears to be due to the network execs "doubling down" despite the post-Trump plunge in ratings for the already beleaguered network.
Focusing on CNN CEO Chris Licht and David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, who have vociferously defended the Trump town hall -- and seem to be proud of it -- Ali wrote, "This entire spectacle is a damn shame and a self-inflicted disaster."
"I used to work at CNN as a contributor for a year. I can assure you there are people there, both journalists and staff, who worry about the rising threats of right-wing fascism, disinformation, and stochastic terrorism. They want to do their job and inform the public instead of performing bulls--t 'both sides' gymnastics."
Conceding CNN is still a strong brand internationally, he stated that the network exec's chase after conservative viewers in the U.S. is already a lost cause.
"Ultimately, when I see CNN’s self-immolation, it reminds me of friends who made the mistake of wasting years of their lives chasing a love interest who was never into them," he wrote.
"After a while, it just becomes sad and pathetic. Since the emergence of Trump, Republican voters have targeted CNN as a punchline and an enemy. By forfeiting its journalistic standards and chasing Trump for the sake of access and non-existent 'both sides' objectivity, CNN has not only lost its own viewers but also its reputation."
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