Critics Question if CNN Can Host Fair, Unbiased Presidential Debate

Election 2024 Debate CNN
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

Republican critics questioned if CNN will host a fair and square debate on Thursday since the network repeatedly shows bias against former President Donald Trump.

CNN’s coverage of Trump often includes network personnel attempting to fact-check him in real-time. It also tries to fact-check Trump immediately after live coverage ends.

CNN renewed its tactics against Trump on Monday when CNN’s Kasie Hunt suddenly ended an interview with Trump campaign national press secretary Karoline Leavitt after she highlighted CNN’s Jake Tapper’s long history of criticizing Trump.

Tapper is co-hosting Thursday’s presidential debate with Dana Bash. Both are critics of Trump. They have suggested that Trump is a liar, was tougher on Democrats than Putin, pushed Russia propaganda, used rhetoric similar to Adolf Hitler, pushed falsehoods “fast and furious,” “tried to kill democracy once [and] [h]e’ll do it again,” is an antisemite, could cause a civil war, and have blamed Trump’s rhetoric for a New Zealand shooting.

“I’m sure the CNN debate will be fair and unbiased based on all of CNN’s actions for the last 8 years!” Donald Trump Jr. mocked.

“Trump’s real debate opponent on Thursday will be CNN,” businessman David Sacks posted on X.

“Americans cannot trust Jake Tapper or Dana Bash to treat President Trump fairly,” Fox News contributor Leo Terrell said.

Dana Bash “was also married to one of the 51 ‘Intel experts’ who lied about Hunter Biden’s laptop being ‘Russian disinformation,'” X Strategies CEO Alex Bruesewitz said.

“Pro tip for CNN: if you silence a guest for truthfully discussing deeply offensive commentary from a CNN host, and abruptly terminate the interview, you succeed only in calling more attention to the CNN host’s alarming bias and outrageous slanders,” senior adviser to Trump Stephen Miller said.

CNN defended Tapper and Bash by calling them “well respected veteran journalists who have covered politics for more than five decades combined,” according to a statement the Hill obtained.

The Republicans’ questions, however, appear well founded, as the debate’s optics seem to benefit President Joe Biden. Biden’s performance expectations are low, the debate rules benefit Biden, and CNN analysts will fact-check immediately after its telecast, CNN political director David Chalian vowed Monday.

Trump agreed to allow CNN to moderate the debate upon promising Biden that he would debate him anywhere, anyplace, and anytime.

Trump said he called Biden’s bluff by accepting the CNN debate, the Washington Examiner reported:

“What they did, I’m pretty sure, is that they approached me with a debate that I couldn’t take,” Trump explained. “Dana Bash, Jake Tapper” — Trump referred to the CNN anchor as “Fake Tapper” throughout — “no audience, sitting down, originally sitting down, a dead debate, turn off the mikes when you’re not speaking so I can’t interrupt him. … They knew I wouldn’t accept that because it was CNN, Dana Bash, Jake Tapper, and I like an audience and probably he doesn’t, who knows? So they thought they would present it, I would say no, and they would say we can’t debate because Trump said no. So I said yes before they even gave me the terms. So he got roped into it.”

Biden rejected participating in more than two debates. Trump said Biden had agreed to do so.

The second debate is scheduled for September.

Wendell Husebo is a political reporter with Breitbart News and a former GOP War Room Analyst. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality. Follow Wendell on “X” @WendellHusebø or on Truth Social @WendellHusebo.


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