MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace bashed CNN for airing Donald Trump’s “misogynistic attacks” during the network’s presidential town hall event — and cited CNN’s recent firing of anchor Don Lemon over his own misogynistic comments.
“So now the company’s part of the story too,” Wallace said during Thursday’s “Deadline: White House,” suggesting CNN’s decision to axe one man over misogynistic comments while choosing to air another’s was hypocritical.
“CNN recently — very publicly — parted ways with anchor Don Lemon,” Wallace said. “It came in the aftermath of a comment he made on his broadcast that was viewed by his managers as misogynic.”
She continued: “Those very same managers are the people who aired Trump’s misogynistic attacks last night on E. Jean Carroll that could invite further defamation suits.”
Carroll was referencing an ill-famed February segment of “CNN This Morning” where co-host Lemon said 51-year-old GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley was “not in her prime.”
“A woman is considered to be in their prime in [their] 20s and 30s and maybe 40s,” Lemon continued, causing on-air tension among fellow co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins — and an uproar on social media.
Lemon was fired from CNN by April. He took to Twitter to share a fiery tweet that he was “stunned” to hear the news, and upset that he was told by his agent rather than the network. CNN tweeted a pointed rebuttal, claiming the ex-host denied a meeting with management in favor of a statement on social media.
Wallace went on to quote Trump from the town hall event saying, “I never met this woman. I never saw this woman.”
“He goes on to say, ‘What kind of a woman meets somebody and brings them up and within minutes, you’re playing hanky-panky in a dressing room, ok? I don’t know if she was married then or not.’”
Just 24 hours before the town hall, Trump was found liable of sexual abuse and defamation by a Manhattan jury in a federal suit filed by Carroll. In it, she accused 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 by Trump for sexually abuse and defamation. The nine-person jury cleared Trump of the rape claim.
Following Trump’s most recent comments about Carroll at the May 10 town hall, Wallace suggested Carroll’s lawyers could be looking at another defamation suit, although the MSNBC host called the former President’s comments a “word salad.”
During MSNBC’s Thursday episode of “The ReidOut,” host Joy Reid called the broadcast “blatant fascism meets ‘The Jerry Springer Show.’” She went on to cite a story by Oliver Darcy, CNN’s own media reporter, who said “America was served a spectacle of lies that aired on CNN,” and noted that network boss Chris Licht is “facing a fury of internal and external criticism.”
MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, meanwhile, took a hit at town hall moderator and “CNN This Morning” co-host Kaitlan Collins, who said was “put in a position to fail.”
During “The ReidOut,” Hasan called the town hall “so depressing.”
“I was one of those people who went into last night thinking this is going to be bad, but it was worse than even I thought,” Hasan said. “I thought CNN would have some kind of plan for the night.”
He continued: “You and I, Joy, we work in cable news, we work in television. If we had an interview like that, we would sit with our team, we’d say I’m going to do this, they’ll do that, what if this happens, what if this happens, have we got a plan… There was nothing.”
Hasan went on to reflect on that the aftermath of the town hall, where people were saying, “Poor Kaitlan Collins, she tried her best.” But Hasan said — despite his “great respect” for Collins — she “just wasn’t good enough.”
He then told Reid that “CNN helped” Trump by giving him a platform to speak on the 2020 election. “At one point she [Collins] says to him, ‘It wasn’t a rigged election. You can’t keep saying that all night long.’ Yes he can! And he did!” Hasan said.
Reid then claimed the town hall was CNN showing it “wants desperately to be the new home for Republican viewers. They want to be the new Fox.”
On May 10 at 8 p.m., ratings showed CNN was the home for Republicans and Democrats alike. The town hall raked in 3.3 million viewers for the network — it’s highest-rated program in years.
CNN handily beat out rival networks in the time slot, with Fox News logging 1.4 million total viewers and 125,000 viewers in the coveted demo. MSNBC amassed 1.4 million viewers and 155,000 viewers in the demo.
This story originally appeared on NYPost