Michael Fanone, a former D.C. Metro Police Officer who was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 fighting off a mob of Trump supporters, slammed CNN on Wednesday ahead of the network’s scheduled town hall with former President Donald Trump.
In an op-ed published by Rolling Stone titled “CNN Is Hosting a Town Hall for a Guy Who Tried to Get Me Killed,” Fanone lambasted the network for throwing Trump a “rehabilitation party” and normalizing what he did after the former president “tried to end democracy.”
Fanone suffered a heart attack after he was beaten by Trump supporters on Jan. 6 who stormed the Capitol to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. He later resigned after two decades in law enforcement.
Fanone, a current CNN contributor, says in the nearly two years he has been with the network he had “countless conversations with its employees, producers, hosts, journalists, cameramen, etc. They all have stories about the ‘Trump’ years. When the former president attacked them (many by name), he inspired countless acts of violence, both threatened and overt, from his supporters.”
“Many employees told me they were afraid to wear anything that identified them as CNN employees when out in public,” Fanone continued. “So why lend your network’s platform to someone like that?”
CNN announced last week that the network will be hosting a Trump town hall at St. Anselm College on May 10. It will be moderated by “CNN This Morning” anchor Kaitlan Collins.
The network said in a statement at the time that it “has a longstanding tradition of hosting leading presidential candidates for town halls and political events as a critical component of the network’s robust campaign coverage.”
However, Fanone argued that CNN is hosting the town hall to get their low ratings back up.
“I don’t believe for one second that this is about journalistic integrity. It’s about ratings and money,” Fanone wrote. “Sometimes things are exactly as they appear, and this appears to be an attempt by a major media outlet struggling with its ratings to attract disenfranchised viewers.”