Congrats to Jim Acosta on no longer being the cringiest circus act at CNN.
I don’t know that there’s much to say about this clip that I didn’t say a month ago about the Cuomo brothers’ “giant swab” segment but I’ll try. One obvious point is that there’s no meaningful difference between this interview, conducted on a “serious” and “objective” cable news network, and the pattycake session between the president and Don Jr last weekend. In fact, that comparison is unfair to the Trumps: The dad/son chat was a Father’s Day political stunt done mostly for fun, not something presented as approximating journalism. You would think CNN might have pulled the plug on the Cuomo vs. Cuomo nonsense after that Trump interview ran if only to avoid the obvious comparison.
But they don’t care. At some point they made peace with the egregious conflict of interest here and decided to let it rip. Maybe that’s because they’ve embraced the anti-Trump/pro-Democrat brand they’ve built among Republicans, or maybe it’s just one of the many types of rule-bending that institutions have adopted in the age of COVID-19 to make managing the pandemic more “comfortable” to them. In sports that means reorganizing the season and finding new places to play games. In schools and workplaces it means conducting business via video chat instead of in-person. At CNN it means throwing ethics out the window and letting the governor of New York be interviewed by his admiring brother because the myth of Andrew Cuomo as a master virus-killer persists even now.
That’s the most obnoxious part — this whole interview is in service to a myth. If Cuomo really had done as superb of a job in holding down the outbreak in New York as his fans like to think, on-air adulation from Chris would still be unethical but understandable. The segments might be factually, if not ethically, correct. And to listen to Chris, you would think they are. Here’s what he said after the interview ended, shortly after the clip below cuts out:
“He’s my big brother, I love him. Of course I’m not objective, but let’s call it straight. Look at the state. Look at the numbers. Look at New Jersey. Look at Connecticut. Look how they came together. Yeah, he’s my brother. There’s no question, I can cry about it in a second. But the results are there for all to see. Was it perfect? No. You tell me what is. But look at the state our country is in.”
“Was it perfect? No,” is an astoundingly cavalier way to allude to Cuomo’s fateful decision in March to send infected patients back into nursing homes, where they spread the virus to an unusually susceptible population. I’m not going to rehash all of the belated media criticism of his handling of the pandemic, including how late he was to lock down as the epidemic exploded — you’ll find the most damning stories linked here — but it’s clear at this point that New York might have had a much brighter outcome on COVID-19 if it had been governed by, say, Ron DeSantis or Mike DeWine than by Cuomo. (And of course if New York City didn’t have an imbecile for a mayor.) The worst problem with this segment isn’t the conflict of interest, it’s the whitewash of a major politician’s performance in a matter with the highest life-and-death stakes. It’s a de facto campaign commercial by CNN for Cuomo 2022 aimed at spinning a political liability for him that’s so potentially damaging it might plausibly end his career.
And it’s hosted by his own brother and offered as “journalism.”
In lieu of an exit question, go read Mediaite’s compilation of pundits across the spectrum shredding the network for allowing this to happen.
Not objective but true,the facts tell the story.NY had & has its struggles but they’re doing way better than what we see elsewhere & no way that happens without the Luv Guv dishing the real 24/7.He works with relentless intensity & NY’s better for it.And as a brother, I am proud. pic.twitter.com/M1TrAtQwCo
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) June 25, 2020