Abrams: Amanpour takes victory lap for speaking on town hall

  • CNN's Christiane Amanpour recently delivered a commencement address
  • Amanpour criticized CNN's decision to have the Trump town hall
  • Abrams: Amanpour faked objectivity, bragged to students about town hall

(NewsNation) — Christiane Amanpour is one of the best-known journalists in the country, if not the world. She has earned, and I mean earned, numerous prestigious awards for her coverage of war-torn areas and interviews with world leaders and despots alike.

She is one of those rare journalists you really can’t criticize if you want to remain in the good graces of the media elite. She speaks at the most elite functions and has connections at the highest levels of media and government.

But see, I don’t really care about remaining in the good graces of the media elite. I own a website that critiques media. I try to call them as I see them.

While Amanpour does deserve the praise, she also has shown herself to be self-righteous and overtly liberal.

Amanpour, who is chief international anchor for CNN, delivered the commencement address at Columbia’s journalism school Wednesday, when she informed what was almost certainly an overwhelmingly liberal audience that she had confronted CNN President Chris Licht about the decision to have the Trump town hall and proudly described how she had pushed back.

She said, in part: “We know Trump and his tendencies — everyone does. He just seizes the stage and dominates. No matter how much flack the moderator tries to aim at the incoming, it doesn’t often work.”

OK, that is an entirely fair point. I agree that the format was a disaster even if you believe CNN should have had the event with former President Donald Trump as I do.

But then, she inevitably makes it about her – How she was brave enough to take on the big, bad leader of CNN for this decision.

“I have always opted to speak out when staying silent might have been easier,” Amanpour said.

Oh, please. Everyone is criticizing the guy, from the left in particular. It’s not any show of bravery to confront the CNN president on this.

“I want to do what’s right and empathize with and acknowledge all of those who need to trust us at CNN, the most trusted name in news. I understand that the town hall a week ago was for many an earthquake,” Amanpour said.

But then came the self-importance when she pronounced how she would have bravely stormed off the stage after Trump called moderator Kaitlan Collins a “nasty person.”

“I would have dropped the mic at ‘nasty person,’ but then that’s me. I’ve been in the ring for a long time with many of these people,” Amanpour said.

Please. She is basically saying she’s just better at this than Collins, much better.

Except, when it comes to U.S. domestic politics, she really may not be. She got forced out of a big job hosting “This Week” on ABC because her interviews were boring and ratings were tanking. It was when she was in that role that I got my first sense of who she is.

You see, she had done a series in 2007 on CNN called “God’s Warriors.” In the series, she looked at religious extremism in Islam, Christianity and Judaism. I went on air and criticized what I saw as bias toward Islam.

So then, I got hired at ABC in 2011 and am being shown around and am introduced to Amanpour when she was the host of the big Sunday show “This Week.”

I didn’t expect she would know or remember my critique, but she immediately asks me: “Didn’t you say something about my series God’s Warriors?”

“Yes, I did,” I responded.

She asked: “Did you like it?”

“I was critical of it,” I said honestly.

“Yes, now I recall. Funny the way life works that now I am here,” she said, turning away.

It clearly informed me that it would not help my career that she was now in a powerful position at the same network. Look, I didn’t care then and I don’t care now.

But, I do care about intellectual honesty, and she still claims to be an objective journalist.

At the commencement, she said: “Objectivity is our golden rule, and it is in weighing all the sides and all the evidence, hearing everyone, reporting everything.”

Except, apparently not everyone, as she made clear about the town hall and certainly not from Trump.

“For me, of course, the fact that the American people voted three times against Trump and Trumpism, 2018, 2020, 2022, also speaks volumes. We’ve done our duty. We have told the story,” Amanpour said.

I was critical of the way the CNN town hall played out, and I have been critical of Trump about many things on this show. I try to tell you exactly what I’m thinking on all topics, so you can decide for yourself.

Amanpour of all people has plenty of amazing stories to tell from the field to a group of aspiring journalists.

But the main reasons some people hate media is what they perceive as bias and arrogance. And faking objectivity while bragging to journalism students about how much bolder she would have been than the town hall moderator is exactly why so many non-journalists despise what we do.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

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