CNN’s Political Director Warns: Debates Not Ideal for Live Fact-Checking


Ahead of the highly anticipated presidential debate on Thursday, CNN’s political director, David Chalian, warned that the format is not conducive to live fact-checking. This comes as a reminder of the network’s previous struggle to effectively fact-check former President Donald Trump during a town hall event.

Chalian’s comments likely refer to the controversy surrounding CNN’s Kaitlan Collins’ failed attempt to fact-check Trump during a town hall event last year. The audience’s enthusiastic response to Trump’s performance led to widespread criticism of Collins.

Meanwhile, CNN’s aggressive reporting style was on full display when network correspondent Kasie Hunt cut off an interview with Trump campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt after Leavitt highlighted co-host Jake Tapper’s past criticism of Trump. Tapper will be joining the debate as a co-host on Thursday.

The debate is taking place during a challenging time for CNN, which is reportedly facing its lowest-rated month in prime time since 1991. The network has averaged fewer than 100,000 viewers in the 25-54 age range in recent nights.

President Joe Biden is expected to take a confrontational approach during the debate, according to a Biden campaign official. The campaign’s debate strategy memo revealed that Biden will portray Trump as a would-be dictator who prioritizes the wealthy over the middle class and seeks to eliminate women’s rights.

Despite the debate’s format, which favors Biden, voters will be eager to see if Biden can provide clear and coherent answers on pressing issues such as rising costs and migration. A recent Reuters focus group indicated that voters are concerned about these issues and will be watching the debate closely.

Wendell Husebo
Wendell Husebo
Former GOP War Room Analyst and founder of Healthy Living Magazine.

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