CNN reporter Oliver Darcy was “visibly shaken” after being scolded by new boss Chris Licht, who characterized Darcy’s coverage of the network’s Trump town hall event as “emotional.”
According to multiple sources, Darcy was summoned to a meeting with Licht due to his coverage of the event. Licht reportedly took issue with the framing of supposed backlash against the network, particularly from liberals. Darcy appeared to agree with those sentiments and was critical of the network in his “Reliable Sources” newsletter, which was released after the town hall.
“It can’t be based on emotion, it’s got to be based on fact,” Licht reportedly told Darcy, according to a report from Fox News citing sources familiar with Licht’s thinking. The source told Fox that CNN multiple staffers were “appalled” by Darcy’s newsletter, which prompted Licht to call the meeting.
“It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN Wednesday evening,” wrote Darcy in the newsletter. He went on to complain that Trump’s “lies” could not be fact-checked by moderator Kaitlan Collins, yet “CNN aired it all.”
“I’m asking you to not be emotional,” the source paraphrased what Licht said to Darcy.
Puck News was first to report on the meeting, which reportedly took place after Licht stood by the Trump town hall on CNN’s Thursday morning editorial call.
“Darcy stood by his work and pushed back on the ‘emotional’ characterization, one source with knowledge of the meeting said. But afterward two sources who heard about the meeting described him as visibly shaken. ‘They put the fear of God into him,’ one source said,” Puck News journalist Dylan Byers reported Friday.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 11, 2023
The reported scolding of Oliver Darcy comes as the new CNN boss is attempting to rebrand the network. In addition to massive presentation overhauls, Licht has been asking CNN employees to report the news in a more straightforward fashion that is devoid of emotion or opinion.