Amanpour Rips Her Own Network's Trump Town Hall In Commencement Speech

May 18th, 2023 1:27 PM

The internal dissent at CNN over the town hall with Donald Trump erupted into public view on Wednesday as Christiane Amanpour accepted the Columbia Journalism Award during the school’s commencement ceremonies. During her speech, Amanapour also encouraged the graduates to put neutrality aside in the pursuit of liberal ideas, or in her words “truth.”

Amanpour, whose CNN International show is simulcast on PBS, recalled discussing her objections with CEO Chris Licht and disagreeing with the idea Trump is a candidate for president and therefore having a town hall with him is necessary for voter education, “For me, of course, the fact that the American people voted three times against Trump and Trumpism: 2018, 2020, 2022 also speaks volumes… people have had the opportunity to make their choices and they have done it.”



Still, Amanpour had a suggestion for how to deal with Trump: blacklist him, “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.”

In 2016, Amanpour hosted a town hall with Hillary Clinton that was complete with a stage director and similar to the recent one with Trump. The Washington Post even labeled CNN as “hospitable turf” for Democratic candidates. In 2008, Amanpour was “surprised” there “wasn’t this sort of euphoria” for Barack Obama’s Berlin speech and after his election, claimed America looked like “a foreign country having its first-ever democratic election”



Moving on from Trump, Amanpour urged the audience to "be truthful, but not neutral. Bothsidesism... is not always objectivity. It does not get you to the truth. Drawing false moral or factual equivalence is neither objective nor truthful."

There are two main problems with this advice. The first is that Amanpour’s example was truly terrible “look at the damage that has done in the climate debate.” Climate skepticism or even non-alarmism was then compared to moral relativist comparisons between Serbian dictator convicted of genocide Slobodan Milošević and Bosnian Muslims or between Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imperial war of aggression and Ukraine defending itself.



The second problem is that Amanpour vehemently objects when this standard is thrown back at her, as her April 2022 interview with Israeli Prime Minsiter Naftali Bennett showed when he accused her of lying with anti-Israel spin.

Despite all the problems facing journalism, Amanpour made clear “I still love this job… this activism, this responsibility… I still do believe that when we do it well, we can be a force for change and improvement in the world. More and more, I believe this profession for advancing human rights and democracy and defending both.”

Sounds good, until you remember that Amanpour thinks her job is to be an activist and then you’re reminded that, for her, “human rights” includes abortion and social and sexual liberalism. As for the lack of trust in the media, Amanpour’s proposed solution was to double down on “facts,” to do otherwise “is lazy and it is ultimately a self-fulfilling prophecy… our motto, like doctors, should be ‘do no harm’”

Amanpour may have been talking about COVID vaccines and the 2020 election, but when you previously lump in climate skeptics, who simply point out all the alarmists' incorrect predictions, with Milošević and Putin apologists, it is fair to question if your commitment to facts is as strong as you claim it is. After an entire talk of urging journalists to take sides, Amanpour lamented that some journalists are choosing to do harm “those who have weaponized and monetized rage and grievance and lies… and who have divided our society.”

Naturally, Amanpour wasn’t talking about CJS dean Jelani Cobb, who was sitting right behind her, but “the tabloid and populist press” that rely on clickbait and demonizes everyone from “refugees to welfare recipients… thus providing politicians with better cover often heartless, destructive, cruel policies.”

If Amanpour seriously believes doubling down on taking sides on the environment or welfare policy is going to get Americans to trust the media again, she better be prepared to be seriously disappointed.