Chris Cuomo says that he can’t possibly cover the accusations that have been leveled against Andrew Cuomo, “because he is my brother”:
>> @ChrisCuomo at the top of @CuomoPrimeTime tonight: "Obviously I am aware of what is going on with my brother. And obviously I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now, of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so." pic.twitter.com/G49mZYTG4D
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 2, 2021
Question for Cuomo (and for Brian Stelter, who is selectively interested in media ethics): Why did this logic not obtain during the pandemic? Andrew Cuomo was Chris Cuomo’s brother then, too, was he not?
Presumably, the argument is that Chris Cuomo is unable to cover his brother objectively when the stakes are so high. But that was true a year ago, too, when Chris was describing his brother as “the Luv Guv” and telling him on TV, “I’m wowed by what you did, and, more importantly, I’m wowed by how you did it.” Here’s a representative sample of the analysis Chris offered up day in, day out:
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.
CNN’s explanation was no better. Justifying its decision to allow Chris to act as Andrew’s PR agent for a year, the network said:
The early months of the pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time. We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest. As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today. CNN has covered the news surrounding Governor Cuomo extensively.
Okay, but do you know what else is of “human interest”? A sexual-harassment scandal involving a powerful member of a famous New York family. Surely, if Chris Cuomo could be trusted to cover the Luv Guv when he was being praised, he can be trusted to cover the Luv Guv when he’s been accused of being . . . well, a little too Luv and not quite enough Guv?
That he can’t tells you all you need to know about the wisdom of the initial decision. Why can CNN grasp why it’s a problem in this situation, where it couldn’t before? I’ll tell you: Because in this situation CNN thinks its role is to be critical of Cuomo, whereas during the pandemic CNN thought its role was to make Cuomo look good.
There’s a word for this: corruption.