CNN Primetime Trump Fest Was Of Course A Disaster
INSIDE: George Santos ... E. Jean Carroll ... Tommy Tuberville
A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Don’t Blame Kaitlan Collins
The CNN “town hall” with Trump in New Hampshire was at least as bad as expected for all the reasons that anyone with a brain could have foreseen.
The culprit here wasn’t Kaitlan Collins, who was hopelessly hamstrung by the format. The culprit is the CNN honchoes trying to repair its imagined breach with conservative viewers (or is it “its breach with imagined conservative viewers”?). The format doomed the interview from the start. It was a public disservice, a journalistic failure, and repeat of the fundamental misunderstanding of how to cover Trump that has plagued the civic square for going on almost a decade now.
I’m not going to burden you here with a complete recap. If you want one, Aaron Rupar has you covered:
A Total Bloodbath
Reaction to the CNN made-for-TV event was universally caustic:
Jeremy Barr: CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tried, and tried, to rebut Trump’s election lies
Erik Wemple: Donald Trump steamrolls CNN’s town hall
Even Joe Biden Piled On
I Have No Idea What To Say About This
Is Trump recounting her version of events? His own? Does it even matter? WTF:
Maybe Jean Carroll Can Sue Trump For Defamation AGAIN
The former president went on a rage bender on Truth Social over the $5 million E. Jean Carroll verdict.
RIP Family Values Party
Trump’s putative GOP foes give him a pass on Carroll verdict.
So Much George Santos Material!
Our team did a great job unpacking the federal indictment of George Santos. I’m not going to rehash all that again here, but if you want to go deeper on the charges, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance is there for you.
The George Santos Defense
Facts Beat Fiction Every Time
Someone had to cover the fashion angle to George Santos’ alleged criming.
Still A Lot Of Questions
Mother Jones: Santos Indictment Leaves Many Lies, Mysteries, and Scandals Unaddressed
The Mystery Of Andrew Olson
Does Santos’ current campaign treasurer even exist?
Emptywheel: Some Of George Santos’ Alleged Crimes Resemble Trump’s Suspected Crimes
Santos Indictment Not Good For Herschel Walker
The George Santos indictment accuses him of taking what were ostensibly political contributions to his campaign and funneling them to one of his LLCs instead. That sounds awfully familiar after last week’s Daily Beast scoop that failed Senate nominee Herschel Walker (R-GA) had a wealthy donor who thought he was donating to the Walker campaign wire more than half a million to a Walker LLC.
Feinstein Back In DC
The senior senator from California will be working a reduced scheduled. It’s not clear how quickly her return will clear up the Senate Judiciary Committee bottleneck on Biden judicial nominations.
Asked if white nationalists should be allowed to serve in the military, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL): “They call them that. I call them Americans.”
Missouri Jumps On The Anti-Trans Bandwagon
The state is poised to enact anti-transgender bans on gender-affirming care for minors and women in sports.
I’d Like To Thank The Academy …
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Thank you for summarizing the CNN dumpster fire, especially supporting Kaitlan Collins. I’m usually critical of her for missing the gift POTUS gave her in Geneva (I don’t know if there will be a Republican Party…), but she wore Trump out IMHO.
What on earth was CNN thinking? Who benefited from this obvious ratings stunt, other than Trump and CNN?
Journalism is going to shit. If I read one more so-called news article about Tucker Carlson, one more useless stereotypical whine about "the broken system" and how it killed Jordan Neely, or crap about Hunter Biden's business dealings, I'm just going to stop for good. I'm fed up with infotainment. And you wonder why news outlets have seen huge drops in subscribers and viewers.