On May 10, CNN televised an hour of Trump at an alleged “town hall” in New Hampshire. In fact, the event was staged for and with republican voters. That attendance was the only reason that Trump appeared at the CNN-sponsored republican event.

It was disgusting, much like watching a series of car crashes.

The German phrase for this outrage is “zum Kotzen,” politely translated as “disgusting” but literally means it made the viewer puke.

Valiantly led by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, a gifted and prepared news person, the hour answered the question pundits posed before the show.

Which Trump would appear, the presidential candidate assaying the 2024 issues and appealing to all voters or the unhinged Trump clinging to 2020 lies and lies about his four years as president? It was the latter Trump who showed up. The hour was a display of psychiatric morbidity and incoherent allegations in sentences in which the beginning of the sentence had nothing to do with the end of the sentence as tangents were flung around mid-sentence. That’s if his palaver was delivered in sentences in the first place. (I really appreciate James Austin Johnson’s SNL spot-on imitation!)

It took a bit of thought for a viewer to understand his statement that the Supreme Court decision overruling Roe v. Wade its something that he did. He flatly said he “did it.” Because he appointed anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court, he believes that he overruled Roe and, by a parity of reasoning, the Supreme Court merely memorialized what he “did.”

After repeating the 2020 “stolen election” lies, he condemned Mike Pence for not using Pence’s (nonexistent) power to send the election back to the relevant state legislatures to reverse the “crooked” election and to install the fake electors Trump chose.

Turning to some of today’s hot issues , he declined to support a Ukraine victory and proposed default rather than increasing the debt limit unless there are budget cuts as demanded by the House’s “go nowhere” legislation.

Repeating his condemnation of E. Jean Carroll, the plaintiff who recovered $5 million from Trump after a unanimous jury found him liable for sexual assault and defamation, he again called her a “wacko” whom he never met. A first-year law student will tell you that the repetition on CNN of this libel could result in a second defamation suit against Trump. [Since this was written Ms. Carroll has announced she may sue Trump again.]

In other Trump emanations, he lied through his teeth about classified documents he took home with him and would not deny showing them to others (a new crime for that one if he did); he again claimed he made a “perfect” call to the Georgia Secretary of State asking that the Georgia official change the vote total by “finding” votes for Trump and handing Trump a Georgia victory; he condemned the pending investigations by state and federal prosecutors. These and others would engage the interest of prosecutors and Trump’s hapless lawyers.

Much has been written about the New Hampshire audience’s applause and laughter favoring Trump. I watched the audience reaction shots very carefully. Many (if not most) in the audience sat on their hands, poker-faced.

Bits of Trump’s craziness were especially revealing and disturbing even as the whole displayed him as a crock. Every time he quoted a conversation with someone, he had his conversant begin the quote with “sir,” as in “Sir, I agree with you.” He hasn’t been president for two and a half years but his delusions of grandeur and his grandiosity require that we all believe that anyone who talks to him does so in subservience to his vaunted position as the president in waiting. “Sir” indeed.

Now to CNN. Chris Licht, who runs the cable network with the support of his boss David Zaslav, is in a ratings meltdown and a virtual revolt by on-air talent and their producers . CNN which has had a public boredom issue for some time is now on a path to reduce its participation in the nation’s political polarization by feeding viewers dull junk instead. Last night’s outrage put CNN’s rating first during the show, beating Fox and MSNBC. By the time of the 10 p.m. recap, CNN was back to last, being beaten by Laura Ingraham and Lawrence O’Donnell.

The show was badly mislabeled as a “town hall” in CNN’s promotion when it was in fact a republican primary event with only republicans invited and only republican questioners. That’s not a “town hall.” But the “town hall” video is a great resource for the democrats in 2024 because it has a gold mine of the worst of Trump that can be used for commercials in the likely event that the republicans nominate him.

As one astute and experienced cable news observer told me, “Licht is their guy while he’s their guy.” Stay tuned.