“Litany of lies.”
Is there any way that you would ever hear Politico describe any Democrat, such as Adam Schiff of the fake news Trump-Russia collusion hoax fame, that way? Of course not.
However on Wednesday, just hours ahead of Donald Trump’s town hall on CNN, Politico Playbook used another alliteration to brand him as a liar. “Farrago of falsehoods.”
The network’s choice to do a live event with Trump, whose farrago of falsehoods can defy live fact-checking, has been met with sharp criticism. “I find it very hard to defend the choice to give him a live platform, no matter how it is dressed up,” MSNBC host CHRIS HAYES put it last week.
You can tell from their highly hostile (alliteration intended) reporting that Politico is not happy about CNN giving Trump a platform. They even described the town hall as a confrontational debate between Trump and the supposed CNN moderator, Kaitlan Collins, in which she will do prep in order to counter what Politico described as Trump’s “farrago of falsehoods.”
At the center of the drama will be Collins, who was famously tough with Trump and his deputies during his administration. More on their clashes from Kelly Garrity
Previewing the event, AP’s David Bauder captures the tightrope she will have to walk: “Collins must give audience members the chance to ask questions while determining when to step in with her own. She’ll weigh how to correct misinformation in a potentially hostile environment: Invited town hall participants are those who expect to vote in a Republican primary.”
We’re told Collins has been steadily prepping since the town hall, which has been in the works for months, was finally confirmed two weeks ago. The anchor has stepped away from her morning-show duties since Friday, spending hours meeting with producers, network CEO CHRIS LICHT and top execs MARK PRESTON and DAVID CHALIAN at a New Hampshire hotel.
A senior CNN staffer played Trump in the prep sessions, we’re told, and last night, Collins and team hit the stage at Saint Anselm going through staging and lighting.
Yup! That is exactly what a political opponent would do. Namely prepping as if for a heated debate rather than as mere town hall moderator which is what Collins is supposed to be.
The pressure has landed squarely on the 31-year-old Collins, but folks familiar with her prep say if she is nervous, she’s not showing it.
“She’s fucking fearless,” a person involved told Playbook yesterday evening. “I’m nervous for her, but it’s almost like I’m annoying her by asking [how she’s doing]. … She’s like, ‘I know the pressure. I’m fine.’”
It’s also a huge moment for the network, which continues to reel from the departure of longtime president JEFF ZUCKER last year, the shuttering of its CNN+ streaming service, major layoffs this year and the recent firing of star anchor DON LEMON.
Given the stakes, Licht has taken an especially hands-on role preparing for the event. “It’s like a really big moment for the two of them together,” the insider said, adding that “it’s a reset for Chris.”
But the proof will be in the viewing, and it remains unclear which Trump will show up tonight — the relatively disciplined GOP frontrunner focused on burying his Republican rivals, or the more familiar loose cannon eager to rail against Democrats, prosecutors and the media.
Notice that railing against the media makes one a “loose cannon.”
No one should have expected anything less than Collins being ready to pounce at Trump with confrontational “fact checks” to counter what Politico has described as Trump’s “farrago of falsehoods.”