Did CNN coach people to clap during Hillary’s phony town hall?

There’s nothing more uncomfortable in politics than the “town hall” meeting.

In theory, it’s supposed to be a comfortable, open environment where people can freely share their concerns with their representatives while debating and discussing the issues.

At the Presidential level, it’s a wooden show of fake support where everyone is waiting for a “gotcha!” question, “plants” in the audience only bring up “approved” topics, and politicians sweat constantly while sputtering soundbites.

On Hillary Clinton’s seemingly-neverending book tour, CNN organized a “Town Hall” event for her to promote her book and be interviewed in the round by Christiane Amanpour.


But what happened behind the scenes is the real surprise:

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.”

This is common practice during many talk shows, but not common for town hall debates. This is CNN, after all, not Dr. Phil.

But as IJReview points out:

One can definitely see CNN hyping up the crowd in a “non-partisan way” for Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. Right? Because coaching the audience to give applause after various statements is a “non-partisan” thing to do.

Also, note the fact how the Washington Post (who wrote the original article) stressed, stressed that the applause was “non-partisan”.

If applause was necessary, why didn’t CNN just use a backing track?

Why does a serious interview need applause anyway?

If Hillary is that desperate for support and cheering, perhaps next time she should try Maury.

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