CNN is holding a televised town hall Tuesday evening with probable 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The network is calling the event “Hard Choices ” — the same exact title as Hillary’s new book, raising concerns that the town hall will be more of a free advertisement than a hard-hitting news event.
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour will moderate the event at the Newseum in Washington, DC at 5 PM Tuesday — “the only network televised town hall with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” CNN boasts.
But while the meeting is part of Clinton’s ongoing tour to push her new book “Hard Choices,” one media expert believes that CNN’s decision to use the same name for the town hall blurs the line between reporting on and promoting a political figure.
“The smart move would have been to rename it,” Michael Castengera, a senior lecturer at the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism, told The Daily Caller. “Copying the exact title raises questions about their objectivity. It will be interesting to see how ‘hard hitting’ the interview and presentation is.”
The situation is compounded by a heavy advertisement campaign on television and Twitter, which has blasted Hillary’s face and book title onto the airwaves and Internet even while “Hard Choices” struggles to sell enough copies.
“The situation brings to mind an old legal quote,” Castengera said. “‘Not only must Justice be done, it must also be seen to be done.'”
“Unbiased reporting must not only be done,” Castengera explained. “It must be seen to be done. This is a situation in which many, many people see it very, very differently. That alone should’ve been a red flag to CNN.”
CNN did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the town hall’s naming and framing, which airs at 5 and 9 PM on Tuesday. The network, led by former NBC president Jeff Zucker, has moved demonstrably to the left since his tenure began early in 2013.
Zucker recently asserted his network would not be “shamed” into covering Benghazi, expressed interest in pushing more stories on global warming and promoted a man who once claimed Mitt Romney was “happy to party while black people are drowning.”
CNN’s ratings continue to suffer accordingly.