CNN Chief Reprimands Reporter Oliver Darcy for Bashing Network’s Trump Town Hall, Leaving Him ‘Visibly Shaken’

Oliver Darcy

CNN Chief Chris Licht “summoned” senior media reporter Oliver Darcy and his editor to his office for a meeting with other top executives to reprimand him for his critical coverage of the network’s town hall with former President Donald Trump, according to report.

Puck News‘s Dylan Byers first reported the meeting Friday, writing:

Licht summoned Darcy and his editor Jon Passantino to a meeting with himself, CNN comms chief Kris Coratti, editorial executive vice president Virginia Moseley and senior vice president of global news Rachel Smolkin, in which they told him that his coverage had been too emotional and repeatedly stressed the importance of remaining dispassionate when covering the news, be it CNN or any other media organization.

Byers wrote that “Darcy stood by his work and pushed back on the ‘emotional’ characterization” but that two sources had described Darcy as “visibly shaken.”

“They put the fear of God into him,” Byers reported.

The coverage they were were reportedly referring to was in Darcy’s newsletter, Reliable Sources, which he took over from Brian Stelter after Licht ousted him.

Darcy had written in the piece: “It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN Wednesday evening,” adding:

CNN and new network boss Chris Licht are facing a fury of criticism — both internally and externally over the event. How Licht and other CNN executives address the criticism in the coming days and weeks will be crucial. Will they defend what transpired at Saint Anselm College? Or will they express some regret? For now, CNN is defending itself.

He then included reactions from other reporters slamming the town hall.

Darcy is not the only CNN employee reportedly unhappy about the town hall, which saw Trump dominate the stage as he was cheered on by supporters in the audience.

A “prominent” on-air CNN talent called the town hall a “total debacle,” adding, according to Mediate:

I’ve never been more ashamed to work at CNN. I don’t think anybody came out looking good. This is entirely a corporate and management failure. They should have anticipated how out of control Trump would be … to think he was going to act more presidential in that kind of setting is just naivety on a galactic scale.

Darcy had also tweeted the day after the town hall, before his meeting with Licht, that “dozens” of CNN staffers, ranging in seniority and positions across the network, “expressed dismay by what they saw transpire on their TV screens.”

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