Howard Stern said Donald Trump’s controversial town hall on CNN last week was “an interesting thing to watch” — and suggested that the struggling cable network stage similar events with other GOP presidential hopefuls.
“I don’t know, I thought it was f–king — really f–king interesting and entertaining,” he said during the Monday edition of “The Howard Stern Show.”
“Everyone had their t-ts in a twist over Trump being on there [CNN], and the audience was like laughing and, you know, cheering him on, and a lot of people got upset about it,” Stern said.
“I’m pretty sure anybody who didn’t like Trump hated him even more after that,” he added, though Trump’s “fans love him,” which Stern said made the May 10 town hall “an interesting thing to watch.”
He then said CNN should give the other possible 2024 GOP nominees — namely Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott and Nikki Haley — their moment on stage.
“They should have all the candidates if they want,” Stern said during his SiriusXM radio show.
However, Stern did criticize CNN for its live audience, which was made up of New Hampshire Republican and undecided voters.
“I thought it was really weird when they were laughing at the woman who just won a sexual assault case. I thought that was really f–king strange,” Stern said during Monday’s radio show, referencing a Manhattan jury’s May 9 decision — just 24 hours before the town hall event — that the former president is liable for sexual abuse and defamation.
The decision came in a federal suit filed by E. Jean Carroll, accusing Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman fitting room decades ago and then defaming her when he publicly denied her allegations.
Carroll was awarded $5 million for sexual abuse and defamation. The nine-person jury cleared Trump of the rape claim.
Stern continued: “Some of those people in the audience looked a little bizarre, if you know what I mean. Like, maybe one or two had some issues at birth, but I don’t know.”
CNN’s hosting Trump in network boss Chris Licht’s effort to make CNN less partisan hasn’t paid off in ratings.
On Friday, the embattled cable news network drew just 335,000 average viewers during its three-hour primetime bloc — a steep dip from the 3.3 million viewers Trump’s town hall drew in just two days earlier.
During last week’s town hall, Trump reiterated conspiracy theories, including that the 2020 election was “rigged,” and pulled out receipts to prove his response to Jan. 6 didn’t encourage the insurrection.
CNN’s own longtime anchor Anderson Cooper bashed the network for filling the live audience with Trump-supporting voters.
Cooper said during the opening monologue of his CNN show “Anderson Cooper 360°”: “The audience that upset you? That’s a sampling of about half the country. They are your family members, your neighbors and they are voting, and many said they’re voting for him.”
He also cited Carroll’s suit, saying “it was certainly disturbing to hear that audience — young and old, our fellow citizens, people who love their kids and go to church — laugh and applaud his lies and his continued defamation of a woman who, according to a jury of his peers, he sexually abused and defamed.”
Cooper went on to tell viewers they “they have the power to do something” about Trump’s likelihood of getting back to work in the Oval Office. According to the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, Trump’s the preferred candidate for 62% of right-wing voters.
Trump’s support was a wide margin above No. 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had 20% support despite the fact that he has yet to announce his 2024 candidacy.
Cooper, CNN’s most-watched anchor, also told his viewers that they “have every right to be angry and never watch this network again.”
It seemed a hefty portion of his audience took him up on the offer, as Friday’s edition of the Cooper-hosted “AC360” at 8 p.m. drew 447,000 viewers — well below his usual average.
The same day, CNN’s rivals at Fox News won the primetime battle, averaging 1.44 million viewers, while MSNBC had a 1.08 million.
This story originally appeared on NYPost