By Jackson Richman
Former President Donald Trump, the current frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, is set to participate in a May 10 town hall in New Hampshire hosted by CNN, which he has long railed against as being part of the “fake news” media.
However, Trump will apparently cast aside his feud with CNN in the interest of his campaign to appeal to the American people.
“Going outside the traditional Republican “comfort zone” was a key to President Trump’s success in 2016. Some other candidates are too afraid to take this step in their quest to defeat Joe Biden, and are afraid to do anything other than Fox News,” a Trump adviser told The Epoch Times.
The adviser, who only agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, said that “CNN executives made a compelling pitch.” The adviser did not specify what the pitch was and what made it persuasive.
Jon Nicosia, a media analyst, told The Epoch Times that Trump’s move will help re-legitimize CNN and may be a veiled shot at Fox News.
“For Trump supporters, I’d be very concerned,” media analyst Jon Nicosia, a former editor at Mediaite, told The Epoch Times. “But when it comes down to it, Trump is a product of New York and the media. For all his ‘fake news’ talk, it appears he just can’t quit them. But the reality is he spent four years calling them fake news, and this one act re-legitimizes them overnight.”
And it’s not just about CNN, remarked Nicosia.
“It’s also a veiled shot at Fox News,” he said. “I don’t see him doing this in a world where Tucker Carlson wasn’t fired.”
Curtis Houck, the managing editor of the conservative media watchdog NewsBusters, told The Epoch Times that the town hall is about CNN as much as it is about Trump.
“This is a hail mary of sorts for CNN to even get a brief sugar high of ratings that aren’t in the basement of cable news. For all the talk about Donald Trump being a menace and danger to not only the lives of journalists, but the country and the world, it’s all a joke and show for ratings and approval from their thirsty Resistance audience,” he said.
The 9 p.m. ET town hall will be moderated by “CNN This Morning” co-anchor Kaitlan Collins, an alum of the right-wing news site The Daily Caller, at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H. While covering the White House, Collins clashed with Trump.
Nonetheless, Trump will take questions from Collins, Republican voters, and undecided voters.
“CNN has a longstanding tradition of hosting leading presidential candidates for Town Halls and political events as a critical component of the network’s robust campaign coverage,” said CNN in a statement. “This event with former President Trump will be the first of many for CNN in the coming months as CNN correspondents travel across the country to hear directly from voters in the runup to the 2024 presidential election.”
In response to questions about what was behind the town hall especially given Trump’s animosity toward the network, a CNN spokesperson echoed the aforementioned statement from the network.
Since the Trump administration, CNN has seen a leadership change with Chris Licht succeeding Jeff Zucker, who oversaw the outlet during an era of hostility toward Trump’s presidency.