WaPo: CNN coached audience to cheer for Hillary during town hall event

posted at 7:01 pm on June 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

When CNN rolled out the red carpet for Hillary Clinton’s town-hall interview with Christiane Amanpour, they did more than just build a set and invite an audience to participate. According to the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who attended the event, CNN warmed up the crowd for Hillary and even coached them on how to cheer and make noise to demonstrate enthusiasm for the former Secretary of State. Note the whoops at the beginning of the broadcast, and near the end of this clip when Amanpour asks about her decision on running for President — cheers that were part of the coaching Wemple reports:

To add “energy” to its show (attended by the Erik Wemple Blog), CNN deployed an enthusiastic stage director who coached the audience to applaud at various points throughout the broadcast — not in a partisan manner for Clinton, but for the sake of the town hall’s television optics. Approximately 15 minutes before the show, the producer ran the audience through a practice round of applause and noise-making. The results of the audience-prodding turn up in the show’s video.

Just how difficult was it for CNN to find a naturally enthusiastic audience, anyway? The event was staged in Washington DC, which as Wemple notes isn’t exactly a hotbed of conservative politics:

The event took place at the Newseum, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington between the Capitol and the White House. The District is a blue jurisdiction that turned out 91 percent for President Obama in the 2012 election, and it’s surrounded by places like Arlington County, Va., and Montgomery County, Md. — also very blue spots.

If CNN is this worried about audience reaction to Hillary in this district, she’s in deep trouble indeed (as her less-than-enthusiastic ratings and book sales elsewhere indicate). So is CNN’s credibility, which Wemple skewers in his conclusion:

Whatever the optics, here’s the deal: If you’re a possible Democratic candidate, with or without a book to promote, and you want an experience that will elevate you, push for a CNN town hall in Washington. It’s hospitable turf.

No kidding. This wasn’t a daytime talk show on a broadcast network — like The View on ABC, for instance, which is entertainment and not news programming. This was on a cable news network and featured one of the network’s most high-profile reporters and news analysts. Instead of having an audience respond naturally and honestly, this news network instead chose to actively influence the audience into more positive and affirming responses for a politician on the cusp of a presidential campaign. Would they have coached an audience for a townhall interview with Mitt Romney, or Ted Cruz? Let’s just say it’s highly doubtful.


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Miss Lamar

Schadenfreude on June 22, 2014 at 1:20 AM

It’s an uphill battle for any R, as we are losing all demographics except white men. Maybe white women, although the female vote overall is more D than R.

cat_owner on June 21, 2014 at 10:04 PM

There’s a stark reality that we have to understand. If the parties get more racially polarized, Republicans… WIN. And win big.

That’s because a few percentage points move upward in our white vote numbers would mean incredible landslides for us, yet a couple of percentage points move downward, and we’re done. Also, our electoral success would increase dramatically if we just got white women to match white men in their votes, and this would tend to happen if polarization increased.

One issue that is very important that we need to keep active is amnesty, er… immigration reform. Don’t pass it! Many say it behooves us to give in and fold on that issue, but that is exactly 100% wrong. With amnesty gone as an issue, our white vote drops and we slide closer to becoming lost in a politically correct mire or bog where we are about the same as the Dems, except worse. Not good. And by the way, I don’t think amenesty would get us any additional Hispanic votes (it didn’t in 1986 when Reagan passed amnesty). Even if it did, it would be at best a marginal increase in the Hispanic vote and would be a miniscule drop in the bucket compared to the lost white vote. That’s a sharp but essential truth.

On another thread a commenter said: “Either way, it [passing immigration reform] takes off the table a toxic issue for the 2016 election.” That a HUGE miscalculation. Amnesty is the opposite of toxic for us. It is only because we tend to fall ourselves into a kind of politically correct hypnosis or catatonia that we feel compelled to do things, at the behest of the liberals, that will hurt us at the ballot box. Keep in mind that not a single Democrat is against amnesty. Not one. There’s a reason for that, and that’s because they know amnesty would be their winning ticket. My response to that comment:

I don’t agree that amnesty is a toxic or even a net negative issue for us. Especially now with the hordes flooding across the border, the people, independents and even many Dems, are going to want a candidate that will stand up boldly to the illegal menace. For those that say a meager or non-existent gain in the Hispanic vote will help us, it won’t if immigration reform takes a big chunk out of the anti-amnesty vote that is propping up our white vote. Take immigration off the table, that is gone. We lose. Plus tons of Republicans would be totally miffed if the bill was seen as amnesty, and stay home. We doubly lose.

anotherJoe on June 22, 2014 at 2:16 AM

I should add that my comment above concerned how amnesty or immigration reform would wreak havoc with our white vote. And how it will not increase our Hispanic vote. It is a consideration of the short-term or immediate effect of passing amnesty. Very negative. But I didn’t even bring into the equation the longer term point that the massive numbers of currently “undocumented individuals” (I believe WAY underestimated at 11 million) would, when they became “documented,” vote Democrat in even higher percentages than current Hispanic citizens (as the current illegals would be lower income and thus more likely to gravitate to the Dems). Look what the 1986 amnesty did to California. California had voted Republican virtually every year before 1986, going back to 1950. Think what a 2015 amnesty would do to Texas. And with another amnesty, California itself would become so blue that it would be more red than China. And nearly every state in the union would be significantly more blue. And Republicans will never be able to compete for the future Hispanic vote by offering more freebies and more easy migrations than the Dems will offer. Period.

anotherJoe on June 22, 2014 at 2:46 AM

And by the way, I understand there is only one R senator that voted for Rubio’s amnesty bill, and that is up for a primary election soon, and that’s Lamar Alexander of Tennessee on August 7th. He also goes totally left on Common Core, climate change & is in agreement with Obama’s insane anti-coal agenda: http://www.redstate.com/diary/jayp/2013/07/27/senator-lamar-alexanders-fishy-voting-record/

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/06/15/Joe-Carr-Lamar-Alexander-Allowing-Illegal-Immigrants-to-Assault-U-S-Sovereignty

anotherJoe on June 22, 2014 at 3:09 AM

I think it will be. The MSM will be foaming at the mouth over another ‘historic’ election.

We should counter that with our own female nominee.

cat_owner on June 21, 2014 at 8:24 PM

I’m down with that.
As long as it’s not Lindsey Graham.
I can’t stand her.

justltl on June 22, 2014 at 5:19 AM

its not question time, that’s for sure.

It will take all the tack and gear the msm have to drag that old horse across the line.

Lonetown on June 22, 2014 at 6:38 AM

I watched a part of it and Hillary has kind of weird-looking goo-goo eyes…

albill on June 22, 2014 at 7:07 AM

Darth Vader: I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master.

Obi-Wan: Only a master of evil, Darth.

[lightsabers clash]

Stepan on June 22, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Wait. The same people who led the cheer for Barack Obama, coached him through the debates, ignored his actual lack of accomplishments and haven’t sought truthful answers for the American people in six years are now doing the same for Hillary?

Wow. Count me as shocked.

But they are going to be a little more retrospective or something next time.

The biggest enemy in America today is the media.

Marcus Traianus on June 22, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Of some note:

Which VA Hospital did they get paid overtime to do this gig, and are they also some of the ones who got Goverment Union bonuses for the wait list trick also……

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 22, 2014 at 7:58 AM

CNN is going to run this “The 60″s” crap to gin up the commie hate America anti war base of the commie thugs for the Nov. elections.

Commie News Network same old John Kerry Jane Fonda shIz.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 22, 2014 at 8:03 AM

No draft cards to burn,, what to to, what to do????

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 22, 2014 at 8:09 AM

I watched a part of it and Hillary has kind of weird-looking goo-goo eyes…

albill on June 22, 2014 at 7:07 AM

I think she’s had some work done since she left the SoS job. She’s got the Nancy Pelosi bug-eyes.

TarheelBen on June 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Sooooooooo, even in the rancid cesspool of DC, the thought police were unable to fill the seats with authentic leftist garbage? They had to bus in some rancid overflow?
Can anyone tell me again why most repubes are afraid of Hitlery? He approval ratings remain high until she starts belching out barely coherent sentences. Then suddenly, people remember why they threw the old white hag overboard 6 years ago.
As painfully stupid and ignorant as ALL Demoncrats are, will they really go from voting and supporting a reality tv star to a woman resembling their angry grandmother?

acetylene420 on June 22, 2014 at 8:30 AM

It is both interesting and instructive that here we have the Washington Post sniping at CNN for partisanship in reporting.

We’ve seen a lot of this lately.

The MSM’s business model is one of niche marketing, as liberals crave affirmation for their failed worldview. The MSM gives them this in spades. They’re not interested in a conservative audience, always preaching to the choir. The model is economically viable until credibility is lost, and the market begins to shrink. This is when you get this kind of sniping among the players in the market.

The MSM is truly bleeding, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

gwood on June 22, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Something is up with that left eye.

ctmom on June 22, 2014 at 9:35 AM

think winning the electoral college is still possible but it will not happen if conservatives squishy progressive Republicans do not turn out for the GOP strongly conservative candidate because they do not think he or she is too conservative enough. The perfect cannot be allowed to be the enemy of the good.

KW64 on June 21, 2014 at 11:34 PM

FIF all you Dem-lite GOP types who want to blame conservatives for the miserable failure of your establishment Presidential candidates.

Tell me… couldja do it? Could you hold your nose and vote for Sarah Palin? Ted Cruz? Mike Lee?

Or would voting for an extremist just be too much for you?

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 9:36 AM

This kind of crap is why Hillary wins if she runs.

As we saw in 2008 and 2012, if the media REALLY wants a candidate to win badly enough, that candidate will win. Add in the very-favorable-to-Dems demographics in the important electoral states and she’s a lock.

mypalfish on June 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

I watched a part of it and Hillary has kind of weird-looking goo-goo eyes…

albill on June 22, 2014 at 7:07 AM

I think she’s had some work done since she left the SoS job. She’s got the Nancy Pelosi bug-eyes.

TarheelBen on June 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Yep, blepharoplasty (eye job) and brow lifts often leave older women with that wide-eyed, perpetually-startled look about them.

AZCoyote on June 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM

I understand they had to promise a special appearance by President Jugears to coax them

Brock Robamney on June 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM

This kind of crap is why Hillary wins if she runs.
As we saw in 2008 and 2012, if the media REALLY wants a candidate to win badly enough, that candidate will win. Add in the very-favorable-to-Dems demographics in the important electoral states and she’s a lock.
mypalfish on June 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

A clapping seal can defeat Shrillary. Which is why the GOP will nominate Jeb Bush and encourage him to play nice and not to criticize any of her positions, so then he has the best chance if winning. Then the GOP will call us purists for not going along with the next sacrificial lamb to the DNC slaughter. And no matter how many times we point out their flawed strategy is déjà vu again. It’s like the GOP saying go ahead and stick your finger in the socket, everything will be all right. We get shocked, ok, now do it again!!

Brock Robamney on June 22, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Has anyone here indicated that they were surprised?

Midas on June 21, 2014 at 8:29 PM

The fact it’s a post indicates someone was a bit surprised.

Might as well post a Water is Wet article today.

ButterflyDragon on June 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

The fact it’s a post indicates someone was a bit surprised.
Might as well post a Water is Wet article today.
ButterflyDragon on June 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Water is Wet. Unexpectedly

Brock Robamney on June 22, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Today they coached an audience in a TV studio.

Tomorrow, they will coach you and me at home.

They will have to coach us in order that we will properly and sufficiently love and adore Hillary.

She is, you know, the next ruler of the United States (the massive numbers of illegal aliens being assigned and delivered right now to carefully chosen voting districts around the U.S. will ensure a Hillary win in ’16).

Determined not to allow so-called “president” Hillary to be disrespected the way so called “president” Obama has been, the Left will pass laws requiring residents of each neighborhood to assemble in the public square every morning before work or school to pledge allegiance to Hillary (this will follow a mandatory 15 minutes of calisthenics, as required under Michelle’s soon-to-be-universally-mandatory “Let’s Move” healthy lifestyles program).

It is during these morning assemblies that you and I will receive the coaching we require.

I hope you like arising early.

FlameWarrior on June 22, 2014 at 12:16 PM

The Dems were on top of their game when they villainized and marginalized Sarah Palin from Day One, once she was chosen for the VP slot in 2008.

After all, Sarah Palin is the ONLY nationally known GOP figure who has been consistently rallying against the crony capitalism and GOP ruling elite. She had to clean them all out in Alaska, and that is a small population state. Can you imagine the entrenched toxicity in DC and how long that would take to completely get rid of it? Hell, even the people in her own party were complicit in stabbing her in the throat in 2008. They didn’t even have the courtesy to stab her in the back.

The only one in Congress who is consistent to try to get us back to the constitutional conservatism and preservation of our country is Ted Cruz. Rubio almost was, but he blew it on Amnesty. Rand Paul is all over the place in foreign policy and amnesty. The trolls running the House are hopeless.

Sad, very sad. If Palin had a way to bypass the liberal elite’s grip on popular culture and the media, similar to how Reagan did when it was just the press back then, and people really HEARD her unfiltered, it would change a lot of minds about her.

My heart aches for our country. Instead, a dishonest soul-less person like Hillary is held up as our next great hope by the media. Disgusting.

karenhasfreedom on June 22, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Tell me… couldja do it? Could you hold your nose and vote for Sarah Palin? Ted Cruz? Mike Lee?

Or would voting for an extremist just be too much for you?

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Of course I would vote for them with pleasure; and especially so against a candidate like Hillary. Would you vote for Jeb Bush or Chris Christie? That is the issue I was getting at.

KW64 on June 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM

The Commie News Network is a revolting cabal of leftist hacks masquerading as journalists.

Whitey Ford on June 22, 2014 at 2:17 PM

……………………………………………………………..

Hillary Rodham TAPES — GAME CHANGER ?

Hillary Clinton Speaks of Defense of Child Rapist

……………………………………………………………..

The Hillary tapes they don’t want you to hear
In 1975, before she married Bill Clinton,

Hillary Rodham defended a child rapist in Arkansas court.

……………………………………………………………..

An ambitious young lawyer,
Hillary agreed to represent the accused child rapist.

Hillary Rodham attacking the credibility of the 12-year-old victim
on the one hand, and questioning the chain of evidence on another,

Clinton got a plea-bargain for her client. He served ten months in prison.
The victim, now 52, has had her life irrevocably altered—for the worse.

……………………………………………………………..

http://freebeacon.com/columns/hillarys-people/

http://freebeacon.com/politics/audio-hillary-clinton-speaks-of-defense-of-child-rapist-in-newly-unearthed-tapes/

……………………………………………………………..

Washington Free Beacon
http://FreeBeacon.com

www. RealClearPOLITICS.com

www. RealClearMARKETS.com

www. RealClearWORLD.com

www. ZeroHEDGE.com

……………………………………………………………..

Global HAWK on June 22, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Tell me… couldja do it? Could you hold your nose and vote for Sarah Palin? Ted Cruz? Mike Lee?

Or would voting for an extremist just be too much for you?

Dolce Far Niente on June 22, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Name an extremist – you know, like Hillary, Obama, Fauxchohantas – and I’ll tell ya straight up; no, I couldn’t vote for them.

But Palin/Cruz/Lee? Absolutely – in a heartbeat.

Midas on June 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

CNN is an entertainment network, that needs to sell advertising to stay in business. If the “news” needs better packaging and delivery to keep it engrossing to the audience, that is what will happen.

Why leave anything to chance? The story sounds better when CNN uses professionals rather than amateurs.


CNN Interviews

b4its2lt on June 22, 2014 at 5:23 PM

This is why whoever the Republican nominee is should refuse to do a debate against Hillary on CNN unless Jake Tapper is moderating. Last thing the Republicans need is another Candy Crowly who would do what she could to cover Hillary’s lies.

mattmillburn on June 22, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Child rapist lawyer.

John the Libertarian on June 23, 2014 at 2:11 AM

Obama does this every time he has his staged speeches and fundraisers. Oh, and you have to show a photo ID to get in, and then you are instructed what to do and not do when he is there. Ridiculous.

Amazingoly on June 23, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Politics is like professional wrestling where the outcome is pre-ordained. CNN is but one tool working hard to ensure the outcome despite having a “sure thing” audience. Nothing to see here folks.

geezerintraining on June 23, 2014 at 2:42 PM

CNN is becoming the cable news answer to reality TV.

And no, I’m not being complimentary.

s1im on June 23, 2014 at 7:08 PM

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