At CNN, the town halls keep coming. At the conclusion of its second Libertarian town hall, moderator Anderson Cooper announced that CNN will host a town hall with Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Bakara, the presumptive Green Party presidential and vice presidential nominees. The one hour town hall will air on August 17 at 9 PM ET.
A moderator has not yet been announced.
CNN has held several town halls with the Republican and Democratic candidates as well as two with the Libertarian nominees, Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Dr. Stein has openly asked for a CNN town hall, including on CNN’s own airwaves when she asked for one while being interviewed by Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources. The arrangement is a win-win for CNN and Stein as it gives the television network a ratings boost in the typically slow month of August while providing media exposure for the Green Party.
Stein typically hovers around 2% in national polls, but needs to hit 15% in order to qualify for the presidential debates. Providing more exposure for these candidates brings no loss to CNN. It allows them to emphasize their political coverage and commitment to hearing all sides and should a third party candidate or two get into the debates, they would most likely be even more of a ratings bonanza.
Compared to Johnson, there has been little coverage of Stein’s run. She most recently got attention for seemingly being anti-vaccine and for talking about the potential dangers of Wi-Fi signals. Although, the fact-checking website Snopes has said that it is false that she opposes vaccines.
CNN also has a history of giving third parties a voice. In 1980, independent John Anderson was not included in the debates, so CNN recorded him answering the same questions as President Carter and Governor Reagan and spliced the video altogether for its viewers.