Curtis Houck demonstrated that CNN put on a transparently friendly "town hall" event with Joe Biden last night. They placed it in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which Biden always touts as his birthplace, the source of his "working class roots." The questions slanted dramatically toward self-identified Democrats. At least there wasn't a fraudulent talk of "uncommitted voters" who sound exactly like Democrats (as in ABC on Tuesday)
About two hours after the event, Oliver Darcy put out the company talking points in CNN's "Reliable Sources" email newsletter, touting it as “A town hall like no other.” This is because they held it in the parking lot of a minor-league ballpark, drive-in-movie-style. Darcy didn't note Biden was enthusiastically applauded when he came on screen, and in the middle of some answers at the event. This felt like a Democrat campaign stop.
But Darcy dismissed any notion of liberal favoritism toward Biden as ludicrous, because Trump is America's greatest liar:
The notion that Trump should be interviewed in the same fashion as Biden is absurd. Trump has no allegiance to the truth and it shows every single time he is in front of a camera. He lies, misleads, and promotes conspiracy theories at an unprecedented rate in modern American politics. That is why the news coverage of him is more aggressive than it is with Biden. As Daniel Dale — who was actually watching the Biden town hall Thursday to fact-check it — pointed out on Twitter, "Biden had exponentially fewer inaccuracies than Trump has had at almost every single one of his unscripted events."
Dear Oliver: You can't excuse all these softball questions and CNN's gushing ideological favoritism toward the Biden-Bernie Sanders agenda, and then claim this can be explained as all about "the lies and conspiracy theories."
Brian Stelter highlighted the Daniel Dale/CNN talking point as well:
Curtis Houck noted that after the ABC event, Brian Stelter interviewed several unsatisfied Trump questioners, touting how Obamacare-promoting professor Ellesia Blaque said Trump "reanimated" her to vote for Biden. No one attempted to interview CNN's Biden questioners for their company newsletter, especially the rare ones identified as Republicans.
Like a good CNN employee, Darcy recounted a list of "Highlights from the event," meaning his favorite Biden answers:
>> Biden called Trump's response to the pandemic "close to criminal," citing Bob Woodward's interview with the President in which he admitted he knew how dangerous it was, but still continued to downplay it...
>> Biden: "I never, ever thought I would see such a thoroughly, totally irresponsible administration..."
>> Biden argued that there is a "big difference" between Trump's political rallies and protests against racial injustice...
>> Biden called Attorney General Bill Barr's comparison of the coronavirus lockdowns to slavery "outrageous..."
>> Biden lauded CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield for "standing up" for masks...
>> Biden went after Trump for trying to "throw into question the legitimacy of the election..."
>> Biden said he is "looking forward" to debating Trump...
Then Darcy linked to another happy CNN summary of Biden highlights.
Speaking of Barr, CNN inveighed against this energetically-implied moral equivalence all day. But this is the actual quote. "You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history."
CNN is shamelessly promoting Biden for President, and they're not pretending to be objective.