CNN boss reportedly called Oliver Darcy to the carpet over ’emotional’ town hall criticism

CNN CEO Chris Licht was evidently not happy with “Reliable Sources” reporter Oliver Darcy.

Following the network’s much-criticized town hall with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday, Darcy blasted CNN for airing the “spectacle of lies.”

“It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN Wednesday evening,” Darcy began.

What followed was reportedly enough that Licht called Darcy and his editor Jon Passantino into a meeting “with himself, CNN comms chief Kris Coratti, editorial executive vice president Virginia Moseley and senior vice president of global news Rachel Smolkin,” according to Puck’s Dylan Byers.

Darcy was informed that his coverage of the event was “too emotional.” He was “repeatedly” schooled on “the importance of remaining dispassionate when covering the news, be it CNN or any other media organization,” Byers writes.

And Darcy was anything but “dispassionate.”

While he stated that moderator Kaitlan Collins is “tough and knowledgable,” he said Trump “overwhelmed” her and stole the show.

“A professional lie machine, Trump fired off falsehoods at a rapid clip while using his bluster to overwhelm Collins, stealing command of the stage at some points of the town hall,” he reported.

CNN, he suggested, was responsible for the “unhinged” spectacle.

“Trump lied about the 2020 election. He took no responsibility for the January 6 insurrection that those very lies incited. And he mocked E. Jean Carroll’s allegations of sexual assault, which a jury found him liable for on Tuesday,” he fumed. “And CNN aired it all.”

“On and on it went,” he continued. “It felt like 2016 all over again. It was Trump’s unhinged social media feed brought to life on stage. And Collins was put in an uncomfortable position, given the town hall was conducted in front of a Republican audience that applauded Trump, giving a sense of unintended endorsement to his shameful antics.”

For most of the night, Darcy lamented, “the nation’s eyes were transfixed on Trump’s abuse of the platform that he was given.”

And the buck, he made clear, stops with Licht.

“While Collins is largely receiving praise for her relentless fact-checking of the former president, she was facing an impossible task,” he wrote. “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?” he asked, adding, “For now, CNN is defending itself.”

During a 9 a.m. meeting on Thursday, Byers reports, Licht took a direct shot at Darcy’s take on the explosive night.

Licht reportedly stated that he “absolutely, unequivocally” believed “America was served very well by what we did last night.”

Cornered in the meeting with all the CNN execs, one source told Byers that Darcy reportedly pushed back against the notion that he was “emotional,” but, according to two sources who heard about the meeting, he emerged from the scolding “visibly shaken.”

As one source said, “They put the fear of God into him.”



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