Earlier this week, CNN aired a segment called the “Pulse of the People” that claimed to present a group interview with six independent voters talking about their views of President Trump.
But the panel was a “set up” according to the Independent Voters Network (IVN), which was asked by CNN to help with the broadcast. In a September email to IVN from a CNN staffer, he/she asked if the group could recommend independents who voted for Trump and who would be willing to participate – those who still support the president and those who regret their 2016 vote.
IVN declined and when the segment aired, in two parts, the small nonprofit group felt vindicated in their decision.
The “independent voters” piece that ran on Monday and Tuesday actually consisted of five dismayed Republicans or Republican-leaning voters who explained why they are giving up on the GOP because of Trump. The sixth panelist voted against Trump in the election two years ago.
Most of the panel members have apparently switched to independent or Democratic status. But a collection of six voters is an awfully small focus group, and certainly not a representation of voters who were independents at the time of the 2016 election.
In fact, the panelists slammed Trump’s presidency throughout the two 5-minute segments as forcefully as would many typical diehard Democrats. Yet, with the midterm elections quickly approaching, CNN host Alisyn Camerota repeatedly referred to the panel as the “all-important” independent voters.
Stefani Mills, the IVN communications manager, offered this response on the group’s website:
Independent voters come from all across the spectrum. Some conservative, some liberal. Some support Trump, some don’t. That is the point of being independent — not clinging to a label.
We’re not saying that CNN and other news outlets don’t have legitimate news and legitimate perspectives. We’re just saying that CNN’s panel has little to do with giving its viewers the actual “Pulse of the People.”