Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
After a seven-year hiatus, former President Donald Trump is returning to the airwaves of the cable news network for which he’s often expressed contempt.
As part of his push for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump has agreed to appear on CNN for a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. The meeting will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. Eastern on May 10.
“‘CNN This Morning’ anchor Kaitlan Collins will moderate the event at St. Anselm College … and [it] will feature the former president taking questions from New Hampshire Republicans and undeclared voters who plan to vote in the 2024 GOP presidential primary,” the announcement article from CNN reads.
Trump has not been on CNN since his election in 2016. He famously refused to answer a question from the network during his first press conference as president, and CNN was the first media outlet Trump labeled “Fake News.”
Owing to Trump’s belief that CNN conspired against him in an effort to help Hillary Clinton and, later, Joe Biden defeat him, Trump had boycotted CNN for more than half a decade.
Now that the former president has returned to the campaign trail, he has been forced to soften his stance.
As of this writing, Trump has not commented on his pending appearance. Tuesday night on Truth Social, he plugged an appearance on Victory, a Christian channel operated by televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s ministry.
But, Trump isn’t the only party in this exchange returning to 2016 standards. For CNN, next week’s town hall represents the resumption of its hate-dependency on Trump.
There are few networks that hold Trump in lower regard, but also no networks whose ratings have dipped so severely in the post-Trump-presidency world. The network is already running hype videos for the appearance.
here's CNN's promo for next week's Trump town hall 😬 pic.twitter.com/26GbrXRvfs
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 2, 2023
This will also mark something of a risk for CNN. Earlier this year, when Trump gave a scathing speech after being indicted in Manhattan, some networks, although notably not CNN, cut away when Trump drifted into what those networks viewed as a political stump speech.
Presumably, as this is a campaign event, Trump will have the freedom to speak as a candidate, but it remains to be seen what if any, constraints CNN will place on broadcasting his fierier remarks.
There is little doubt that this will be anything but a common town hall. While Trump will, in theory, be taking questions only from the audience, the topics of his numerous court battles will almost certainly play as big of a role in the proceedings as any plank of the Trump platform.
That reality figures to give Trump an early test on handling the heat of a presidential race.