At a town hall featuring New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one attendee who is obviously not a fan of President Trump still took a hard shot at CNN for their town hall format, snapping that CNN’s town halls were “all fake; they already got people out in the audience already picked who they want to ask the questions.”
As The Washington Free Beacon reports, the man stood up at the Iowa Democratic Party Black Caucus Meeting to ask a question but prefaced it with a blast at CNN, stating:
If CNN is in this house, you need to take a lesson from her. This is what you call a real townhall meeting. All of that mess that CNN be doing is all fake; they already got people out in the audience already picked who they want to ask the questions. It ain’t going down like that here. So CNN need to take a lesson in this: All the signing in and all that little mess that y’all got to do, you got to have a ticket and all, showing your new phone, that “Hey, I’m here,” able to come in and all that old mess.
After Booker laughed and asked the man to offer his question, the man called President Donald Trump the "so-called president" and said he had been "lying."
CNN has been ripped for its town halls before, with their most notable example being the Parkland town hall after the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In mid March, after CNN trumpeted that the network had won the Walter Cronkite Award, administered by USC’s Norman Lear Center, for the Parkland town hall in which NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch was booed and even called a “murderer,” National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke recalled of the Parkland town hall:
This wasn’t “journalism.” It wasn’t a “town hall,” either. The name of the event was “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action,” which should give those of you who didn’t watch it an indication of what “advance the national conversation on gun control and violence” means in practice. This was the event at which the now-removed Sheriff Scott Israel had the temerity to play the put-upon hero. It was an event at which traumatized children were encouraged to scream at adults that they were literally trying to kill them. It was an event devoid of reflection, reason, thought, or facts. All that was missing was the pitchforks. This wasn’t a “conversation.” It was a cultural bloodletting, that, far from serving any public interest, just made everyone more angry with each other than they already were.
The Daily Wire noted in February 2018: “A 2016 piece by Michelle Malkin documented numerous examples of times in which CNN has stacked the audience and only allowed questions to go to people who are big-time Democrats":
CNN has a long history of allowing political plants to flourish in its public forums. At the cable station’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas in 2007, moderator Wolf Blitzer introduced several citizen questioners as “ordinary people, undecided voters.” But they later turned out to include a former Arkansas Democratic director of political affairs, the president of the Islamic Society of Nevada, and a far-left anti-war activist who’d been quoted in newspapers lambasting Harry Reid for his failure to pull out of Iraq.
And of course, there was the time in 2016 when Dionna Brazile of the Democratic National Committee was rumored to have fed the Clinton campaign a question that was going to be asked at the next day's CNN town hall about the death penalty.