So, lets look at what actually happened.
1. CNN invited President Trump.
2. Their viewership tripled during the Town Hall. Most of these folks were tourists, there specifically to see President Trump.
3. The studio audience was Thump supporters.
So, why is CNN traumatized? Their liberal audience (all dozen of them), thought that Trump would go on an apology tour. That wasn't likely to happen. Their ratings soared, but the liberal audience is outraged. That should tell them something. If they are willing to listen.