Despite Having Two Surrogates On Staff At CNN And Receiving Nearly Three Hours Of Airtime So Far In March, Trump Threatens To Skip CNN Town Hall
Blog ››› ››› JOHN WHITEHOUSE
Citing "one-sided and unfair reporting," Donald Trump has threatened to skip tonight's CNN town hall. In reality, Trump has been interviewed for nearly three hours this month on CNN, which regularly airs the candidate's events live and also has two Trump surrogates on staff who routinely push his talking points.
A Media Matters review of CNN's coverage found that Trump has been interviewed 11 times, constituting 2 hours and 55 minutes, in March alone -- not counting debates.
Additionally, CNN employs Trump surrogates Jeffrey Lord (who is under fire for saying MoveOn.org is the "new Ku Klux Klan") and Kayleigh McEnany. Since March 22 alone, Lord has appeared six times and McEnany 13 times. Furthermore, as reported by BuzzFeed's Kyle Blaine, asked days ago about why the network regularly aired Trump events live and in their entirety, CNN's Washington bureau chief Sam Feist said that the network was providing a "valuable service" by airing events by all candidates. Blaine also previously reported that CNN participated in a conference call where the Trump campaign dictated how Trump could be shot in his events.
Just hours after Trump's complaint, when news broke of Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski being charged with battery, CNN interviewed both McEnany and Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes, with McEnany calling Lewandowski's charge "a side story."
CNN's oceans of Trump coverage have come despite protests on air at CNN and by CNN personalities. As Blaine noted, former CNN analyst and network news correspondent Jeff Greenfield complained on CNN earlier this month about the network's repeated airing of Trump's rallies. Just yesterday, CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour noted the huge advantage that Trump enjoys because interviewers allow him to call in to their shows rather than appearing on camera. And earlier this month, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo noted to Seth Meyers that phone interviews provide an advantage to Trump.
Hours after that interview aired, Cuomo interviewed Trump by phone.
This post has been updated for clarity.