In this week's scintillating installment of the NewsBusters podcast, executive editor Tim Graham discusses the phoniness of the "town hall" format, when networks carefully screen so-called "uncommitted voters" and then carefully pre-screen their questions, which makes it feel like a scripted event, not a free-wheeling talk with the people.
This often results in a tilt to the left, as in "town hall" presidential debates, where Republicans are assaulted with more questions from the left than Democrats are given from the right.
Managing editor Curtis Houck joins the podcast to discuss how this format was exploited by former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos in his prime-time "town hall" on ABC on Tuesday with President Trump. The president kept his cool despite the tilt. It was funny to witness reporters (sort of) praising Trump for not harassing these so-called "uncommitted voters" the way he harasses hostile reporters.