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CNN’s Donald Trump Forum Was a Preview of Political Coverage to Come


David Zaslav, the chief executive of CNN’s parent company, recently defended the network’s decision to host a live town hall with former President Donald J. Trump, calling the event “important for America.”So it proved to be, but perhaps not for the reasons Mr. Zaslav intended.In a bracing and at times bewildering broadcast on Wednesday night, Mr. Trump — appearing on CNN for the first time since 2016 — unleashed a fusillade of falsehoods, sometimes too quickly for his interlocutor, the anchor Kaitlan Collins, to intervene.Again and again, Mr. Trump falsely claimed that the 2020 election was rigged. He called E. Jean Carroll a “wack job” and attacked her in misogynist terms. He defended the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters.Ms. Collins, composed in the face of Mr. Trump’s turbulence, interrupted, interceded, corrected and called out the former president on his lies. He often responded by talking right over her. When Mr. Trump finally lost patience and derided Ms. Collins as a “nasty person,” some in the live audience applauded.This was a preview of what American journalism can expect from a 2024 campaign featuring Mr. Trump, who despite his ubiquity in political lif …

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