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Anderson Cooper Lives in His Own Silo

Anderson Cooper Lives in His Own Silo

Cooper

CNN gives insurrectionist, accused felon, and convicted sex offender Donald Trump a bullhorn, and the network's star journalist thinks it's fantastic.

I love Dolly Parton. But when she chose Kid Rock as one of her collaborators on her new album, I had to speak up for our community and call her out. I took no pleasure in doing so, but there was no excuse to choose a person who expresses so much hate toward us.

I also love Anderson Cooper. For years, I knew he was gay before he came out, and when he did so, I applauded loudly. Like Parton, Cooper is whip-smart, so when he does something that is the antithesis of intelligent, it boggles the mind.

Wednesday’s CNN “town hall” — actually, let’s stop here for a moment. This “town” was completely red, completely biased, and borrowed from Fox News for the night. I’d hardly call it a town hall since it was more akin to a somewhat civilized Trump MAGA rally. The only difference was that the attendees were sitting down.

Enough has been said about the unmitigated disaster CNN created by hosting Trump, who only a day earlier was found by a jury to be a sex offender. While the scumbag was alive, can you imagine if CNN hosted Jeffrey Epstein for an hour “town hall” the day after he pleaded guilty to his sex crimes? Right, you can’t imagine it, because that would have never happened.

The January 6 committee proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Trump could be charged with obstructing Congress's January 6, 2021, joint session and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Trump, a so-called American, turned on his own country.

The worst spy in American history, Robert Hanssen, also betrayed his country, spying for the Soviet Union and Russia for over 20 years. Can you imagine CNN hosting Hanssen for an hour-long “town hall” the day after he was sentenced to life in prison with no parole? Even if he was running for president? It wouldn't happen in a million years.

Here’s another way to look at it. Imagine CNN hosting a “town hall” with George Santos, with the audience being the House Republican caucus. Desperate to keep him in their razor-thin majority, the Republicans would lob softball questions at him, applauding him with every lie he uttered.The moderator would strain to keep up with his barrage of lies. Broadcasting something like this would be utter madness! But guess what? It’s a simile for what happened Wednesday night.

And here comes Anderson Cooper to the defense of CNN, the hand that feeds him. What’s troubling about his defense is that someone, like him, who is in a marginalized community, would lend support to a decision giving an avowed racist, xenophobe, homophobe, transphobe, anti-Semite, and habitual liar a platform like CNN.

Cooper said that if Trump didn’t appear, if CNN didn’t broadcast the town hall, that Trump’s lies would continue to go unchecked, but that’s what happened. Kaitlan Collins did her best, but you can’t check lies that rain down like a hailstorm, continually pounding into people’s heads. What CNN did was give Trump a bullhorn to keep that hailstorm of lies raining down. It also gave Trump the headlines, and the oxygen he needs to stay relevant.

It's baffling that CNN says that Trump was in a sense being exposed, when in reality his hate was getting exposure.

That deplorable audience also gave Trump the oxygen he needs. Cooper said, Would it be better if we all stayed in our silos? Did Cooper realize that CNN put Trump in a silo of like-minded people who were overjoyed when he called Collins a “nasty woman”? Or applauded enthusiastically when he called his victim, E. Jean Carroll, a "whack job"? And clapped wholeheartedly when he called a Black police officer a “thug”?

It's astonishing that Cooper, in his own moneyed CNN-appointed silo, wouldn’t see the contradiction in his assessment.

CNN’s excuse why Trump was given this national platform is because he is the Republican front-runner and deserves the time. That is a Trojan horse. Where is this rule written? Metaphorically speaking, if El Chapo were the Republican front-runner (and in today's Republican Party, that's not totally out of the realm of possibility), would he be given a town hall? We are a year and a half out from the election, with time for other candidates to become more viable. We likely haven't even seen Trump's last indictment this year.

Using a concocted rule that a party front-runner has earned the right to a town hall is, at its very heart, a fabrication.

And why this fascination with a town hall now?

Could it be that CNN as a network is a disaster right now? Its ratings are putrid. People aren’t tuning in because the new management is woefully tuned-out. The network is rudderless. It's trying to appear nonpartisan in an era of deep partisanship. It's inviting more Republicans on the network who are spewing lies and wild conspiracy theories. It’s as if it is seesawing from fact to fiction. One minute it’s a Democrat explaining the reality of the situation. Next it’s Republicans describing something that is unreal.

One night, CNN anchor Erin Burnett had one of those old cranks on, Republican Congressman Troy Nehls, who was spinning tall tales. As she always does, she fact checked him. He cut her off, by saying, derogatorily, “young lady.”

Its morning show is a soap opera. Its prime-time lineup is a reality show of survivors, and then there was Don Lemon, who spanned both dramas.

Cooper wasn’t honest about the real reason Trump was given the platform. As it always is, it’s about the money. For a fleeting evening, CNN had an audience of millions, mimicking its longtime rival, the cash cow that is Fox News. Just like Fox, CNN showcased lies, all the while charging advertisers exorbitant rates to be a part of a town hall sure to be a circus.

But one night of ratings and ad dollars doesn’t equal instant success. And in this case, it all backfired on the network. Fox viewers, who tuned in one night, aren’t coming back to CNN. CNN’s core audience — or at least its former audience — trusts the network to be factual. That got blown apart Wednesday night.

As a news junkie, I usually go back and forth between CNN and MSNBC. I think, moving forward, I’m going to silo myself in the trustworthy confines of MSNBC.

John Casey is senior editor for The Advocate.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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John Casey

John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. The columns include interviews with Sam Altman, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Coolidge, Kelly Ripa and Mark Counselos, Jamie Lee Curtis, Shirley MacLaine, Nancy Pelosi, Tony Fauci, Leon Panetta, John Brennan, and many others. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the Nobel Prize-winning UN IPCC, and with four of the largest retailers in the U.S.
John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. The columns include interviews with Sam Altman, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Coolidge, Kelly Ripa and Mark Counselos, Jamie Lee Curtis, Shirley MacLaine, Nancy Pelosi, Tony Fauci, Leon Panetta, John Brennan, and many others. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the Nobel Prize-winning UN IPCC, and with four of the largest retailers in the U.S.