These days, CNN seems to be caught between two adages: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and “Insanity is when you do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results.”
On Thursday, the network announced that anchor Dana Bash would be hosting a Republican presidential town hall with former Vice President Mike Pence on June 7 in Des Moines, Iowa.
The announcement comes just weeks after the network’s town-hall-style event with former President Donald Trump, which critics blasted as “shameless” and “a disaster,” and which was also criticized by CNN employees, including chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour.
Considering the first town hall didn’t help CNN’s rep and that Pence hasn’t actually officially announced his 2024 presidential candidacy (or criticized Trump for allegedly expressing approval of rioters chanting “Hang Mike Pence” on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol), many Twitter users decided the only reasonable response was mockery. Pure and simple brutal mockery.
Some people wondered if CNN was going to let just anyone have one of these candidate town halls, especially since Pence hasn’t declared. Others joked about the event being called “Hanging Around With Mike Pence.”
Given that Mike Pence isn't a declared candidate for President, can anyone get one of these CNN town halls? Can I do one? https://t.co/SteLEeWt8d
— Arieh Kovler (@ariehkovler) May 25, 2023
CNN will be hosting another clown town hall with moral coward & zealot Mike Pence where he will gaslight us with his four years of tRump into something it wasn’t & where he will defend tRump for only trying to lynch him once. The show will be titled “Hanging around with Mike.”
— Marlene Robertson (@marlene4719) May 25, 2023
Interesting that CNN is describing this as a “Republican Presidential Town Hall” since Mike Pence hasn’t officially declared yet… pic.twitter.com/HeJAr2BMdH
— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) May 25, 2023
One person wondered if the fly that appeared on Pence’s head during the 2020 vice presidential debate would be there for an encore.
— CoffeyTimeNews (@CoffeyTimeNews) May 25, 2023
And the snark continued...
I am super-excited to watch Pence try to not answer the questions about Trump trying to have him murdered. https://t.co/kyYYkIm2Op
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 25, 2023
CNN is hosting a town hall for Mike Pence.
That should be one for the ages...
For the ages of 91-100.
No one else will be watching.
— Brian O'Sullivan (@osullivanauthor) May 25, 2023
"Looking forward to hosting Former Vice President@Mike_Pence" - Said no one ever? LOL
— lowkell (@lowkell) May 25, 2023
After Bash said she was “looking forward” to the event, she also got the Twitter treatment from critics, including one who called her a “paid-shill who works for a right wing network that prioritizes ratings and profits over the preservation of our Democracy.”
Of course you are. Because you are a paid-shill who works for a right wing network that prioritizes ratings and profits over the preservation of our Democracy https://t.co/t1xGi7haej
— Dash Dobrofsky (@DashDobrofsky) May 25, 2023
Others followed suit.
There is exactly one question Pence should be asked, and there is no way in fuck Dana is asking it:
"Donald Trump wanted you to be killed. Why do you still support him?" https://t.co/3S8pSIXEbC
— AttackHelikitty (@AHelikitty) May 25, 2023
Having stepped in a manure pile with Trump, why would CNN jump on it again? Its reputation is already in the toilet, does it really need to go lower? https://t.co/Yj2BmOJknT
— Bruce Bartlett (@BruceBartlett) May 25, 2023
LOL. May it be as successful for Pence and CNN as the rapist coup leader's "town hall" was. https://t.co/upmdYDaTK8
— Kat 4 Obama (@Kat4Obama) May 25, 2023
CNN, still going for lower ratings than "Wayne's World" on Aurora, Ohio cable. https://t.co/9tvNCnKyaC
— Dick Polman (@DickPolman1) May 25, 2023
According to RealClearPolitics, Pence is only polling 4.7% among Republicans, with the caveat being that he actually hasn’t declared his candidacy, something that could change before the June 7 town hall.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a tweet to former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).