The time has come for CNN to force primetime host Chris Cuomo to either fairly and objectively cover the controversy surrounding his Governor brother, order him to stop discussing anything in relation to ethics and possible criminal action connected to anyone with regard to COVID19, or take him out of his network seat for an undetermined period of time.
While CNN itself is taking the proper news reporting stance on the nursing home/COVID19 scandal that has enveloped the office of his brother, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo, Chris himself remains a “holier than thou” critic of those who also have failed at properly managing the pandemic. New evidence from within the Governor’s inner circle over the past week has led to what, for any legitimate news organization, must be a thorough investigation of what Governor Cuomo did or did not do.
The choices for brother Chris are rather simple and straightforward. He must either cover the story without fear or familial favor. A statement must be issued by CNN that Cuomo is not allowed to discuss the issue because of what is blatant bias. Or, he needs to move on to other issues without his pouting admonition of others. That is what a “conflict of interest” brings to bear on trusted news reporting.
My colleagues within CNN have been chirping about Chris Cuomo for some time, noting the level of egomaniacal arrogance and rancor he is allowed to get away with because of his prime time status. He has become, in short order to many he comes in contact with, a caricature of himself. He is now viewed by many of his peers as little more than, as one person put it to me, “Hannity from another mother”.
We are now in a new media era, where outlets such as CNN, who have been taking FOX, Newsmax and OANN to task on a regular basis in order to drive ratings and dollars their way, have to tighten up their own ship and stay the course on real news reporting without the bias. This story has already snapped back on them with charges of coverup and refusing to thoroughly address a real news item that cries out for investigation, only because they want to shield their host.
Host be damned. Credibility on a 24/7 level is at stake here, and should CNN let it simply slide, they are as guilty as the foes they take to task for taking a “Nothing to see here” attitude.
I have a world of respect for my friends and colleagues at CNN. Always have. I know they themselves are concerned what this is doing to the reputation of their shop, and to them as a casualty.
CNN knew this was always going to be a possibility, yet management at the time of the elevation of Chris through the ranks rolled the dice as any network would. Having a prime time host with a direct connection to one of the most powerful Governors in America is worth its weight in ratings gold. However, it is also fraught with bias traps that have be nipped in the bud immediately.
That trap has been sprung, and CNN has been woefully slow in trying to pull themselves, and their host, out of the gaping maw of potential disinformation. This is partially due to Cuomo having made a transition from actual news anchor and reporter to an opinionator. CNN is also snared in what modern cable and Internet broadcast news channels have become, filling what was once pace for news reporting with insipid, mindless, regurgitated panel shows that spew and hammer away with commentary, rumors, rumblings and guesses that are all too often presented as news when they are anything but.
While Chris Cuomo has absolutely nothing to do with the actions or inactions of his brother, so long as this story is floating about, he must be taken out of his hosting chair. Use up some vacation time, or grant him more. Send him on location for a “special report” on something with no connection to the pandemic. Let him do features on cooking in Borneo. Anything but be connected to a refusal to report on a real news story for fear of exposing his family to scorn.
Family be damned. Get him out of the line of fire, and take the target off his back and that of the network.
By refusing to use his pulpit to discuss one of the biggest stories of the day due to obvious family ties, Cuomo is doing his network and the people who work there an egocentric disservice. CNN is falling dangerously close to being no better than those they criticize.
That becomes a whirlwind of hypocrisy, one that no legitimate press outlet can afford at a time when the American public distrusts the media in greater numbers than before.
Earning trust means making the hard call. The call here is to remove Cuomo from his post for the time being, cover the story in NY State with perhaps even more zeal than other stories, and prove to a doubting public that honest, unbiased journalism exists.
Chris Cuomo is either first an unbiased, disaffected journalist, interviewer and investigator, or he is first the brother of the NY State Governor embroiled in a rapidly escalating scandal with no intent to discuss and cover the story honestly.
There is no in between.
Let’s get after it.