Who wants journalistic respectability? Well, it starts with good sources of information, as well as good actual sources.
Are former Presidents in the mix here? Sure. But they better be actual, proven sources of information.
Sorry, this isn't Donald Trump.
In a CNN Town Hall held at a New Hampshire college, this was from Trump: The election was stolen. The January 6 rioters are good people. I do not know the woman who accused me of rape. (Isn't that my ex-wife in that picture?)
And if that wasn't enough, many of Trump's words -- or as some would say, lies -- were met with cheers or laughs from the audience --including when he called E. Jean Carroll a “whack job” this after a court found Trump liable for sexual assault of Carroll.
Nice touch. Many might say politicians aren't exactly ideal disseminators of information. But Trump's blizzard of nonstop misinformation and outright lies is way beyond any average. And he does not get a pass just because he held the highest office in the land.
Do you know what journalists do with those kinds of people -- those who consistently lack credibility? Delete the contact information from your mobile phone and elsewhere.
At best, a journalist may listen to these sources of information -- on background or whatever. But that's all.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins did ask tough questions of Trump. But Trump's responses were predictable -- and having a partisan audience in attendance with their responses offered up the wrong perspective.
More importantly, what did CNN really expect -- different answers from what Trump has repeatedly said in the past? What insight did they have that things would be different?
So then we are only left with things that can be surmised as an effort to boost ratings. And that's what CNN got last Wednesday -- with some 3.3 million average Nielsen viewers.
From a purely business perspective, let's go further. Did CNN steal some viewers from Fox News Channel or MSNBC?
Was this a good tactic? Perhaps. Live news events are unscripted and open to uncertainty.
Still, you want to cover the Presidential race to get revealing information from the candidates. How did that go?
CNN just wanted the ratings is all not big on Town Halls or debates since it's all rehashing talking points, to begin with.