OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
A left-leaning media reporter for CNN was taken to task by the network’s CEO over “emotional” remarks he made in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s town hall on Wednesday.
Oliver Darcy was scolded by his boss Chris Licht for the appearance of public criticism over the decision to give Trump the air time, which, by any measure, was a ratings smash for CNN, whose programs usually draw far fewer viewers than rivals Fox News and MSNBC.
“Fox News Digital confirmed that Darcy was summoned for a meeting with Licht and other top CNN executives, who took exception to the overzealous framing of the fallout the network has received, particularly from liberals,” Fox reported after “Darcy appeared to join the choir of CNN criticism in his ‘Reliable Sources’ newsletter Wednesday night after the town hall.”
“It can’t be based on emotion, it’s got to be based on fact,” a source claiming to be familiar with the dressing-down of Darcy by his boss told Fox.
According to the source, Licht received a “ton” of messages from CNN employees expressing their shock and disapproval of Darcy’s newsletter. The newsletter claimed there was a great deal of backlash against CNN and Licht “internally” at the network as well as from outside the outlet.
Many of the responses to Darcy’s newsletter were like, “What the f**k,” said the source.
“I’m asking you to not be emotional,” the source characterized Licht’s message to Darcy.
Puck News reported that after Licht’s voice of support for the Trump town hall during CNN’s Thursday morning editorial call, he arranged a meeting later in the day with Darcy and his editor Jon Passantino.
Darcy was told by CNN’s top brass “his coverage had been too emotional and [Licht] repeatedly stressed the importance of remaining dispassionate when covering the news, be it CNN or any other media organization,” the source relayed.
“Darcy stood by his work and pushed back on the ‘emotional’ characterization, one source with knowledge of the meeting said. But afterward, two sources who heard about the meeting described him as visibly shaken. ‘They put the fear of God into him,’ one source said,” Puck News’ Dylan Byers reported Friday.
Fox News noted:
In his Wednesday newsletter, Darcy began, “It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN Wednesday evening.” He complained about how Trump “lied” about various topics during the town hall despite attempted fact-checks by CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins, yet “CNN aired it all.”
“On and on it went. It felt like 2016 all over again. It was Trump’s unhinged social media feed brought to life on stage. And Collins was put in an uncomfortable position, given the town hall was conducted in front of a Republican audience that applauded Trump, giving a sense of unintended endorsement to his shameful antics,” Darcy wrote. “Yes, some news was made… But for most of the night, the nation’s eyes were transfixed on Trump’s abuse of the platform that he was given.”
CNN host Anderson Cooper ripped Trump but also attempted to defend the decision for CNN to provide him a forum.
“You have every right to be outraged and angry and never watch this network again. But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away?” Cooper said, according to Fox News.
The network received a noticeable bump in ratings for airing the town hall, but it caused disarray among the staff in a phone call that was obtained by The New York Post.
“You do not have to like the former president’s answers, but you can’t say that we didn’t get them,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said to his staff on the call obtained by The Post.