Chris Cuomo spent the better part of a year chuckling it up with his governor/brother Andrew Cuomo while the state executive essentially played Grim Reaper to thousands of elderly people in New York nursing homes.
The CNN host invited his brother on his prime-time show numerous times, while being warned by media observers about the obvious conflicts of interest. The news channel’s audience presumably turns to CNN to get accurate information — try not to laugh — and needs to be able to trust that a host is giving an honest assessment of the news and not running cover for allies, friends, or family.
So when Cuomo finally got around to giving an on-air apology for his violation of Journalist Ethics 101, albeit with the blessing of CNN executives and producers, it was for a truly embarrassing reason. It wasn’t because his network buried the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents, as has been exposed by the AP, the NY Times and others long after outlets like The Daily Caller and the New York Post did. It was because he consulted him off-air on the now-buried scandal of numerous staffers accusing Governor Cuomo of groping, kissing or sexually harrassing them.
CNN's @ChrisCuomo apologizes for advising his brother, Governor Andrew Cuomo, on how to respond to sexual harassment allegations:
"It was a mistake… I am sorry for that." pic.twitter.com/6HQCSDqzej
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 21, 2021
“I understand why that was a problem for CNN,” Cuomo said on Thursday. “It will not happen again. It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot. I never intended for that. I would never intend for that, and I am sorry for that.”
But Cuomo clearly intended it. He ignored media observers who warned him about having Governor Cuomo on and feigning impartiality while he was potentially spinning his state’s COVID mismanagement and even helping to hock his brother’s venal book.
This is one of the most embarrassing and self-destructive things I've seen a news outlet do. I doubt even North Korean State TV would allow an anchor to "interview" his own brother and use their airwaves to declare him a Great and Noble Leader. Dynastic political power + StateTV: pic.twitter.com/nuMgSXYAnl
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 25, 2020
“This is one of the most embarrassing and self-destructive things I’ve seen a news outlet do,” independent journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote in June 2020. “I doubt even North Korean State TV would allow an anchor to ‘interview’ his own brother and use their airwaves to declare him a Great and Noble Leader. Dynastic political power + StateTV.”
Cuomo nemesis Janice Dean, who lost parents in-law to COVID-19 amidst the governor’s fatal decree to send patients back to nursing homes, has persistently pointed out the conflict of interest.
I would go as far as saying it’s a fact the Cuomo brothers comedy hour on CNN was a complete disgrace and an insult as body bags piled up. https://t.co/Z1lFYqvD4x
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) February 15, 2021
“I would go as far as saying it’s a fact the Cuomo brothers comedy hour on CNN was a complete disgrace and an insult as body bags piled up,” Dean wrote in February 2021.
Fellow CNN employees Jake Tapper outright called the Cuomo nursing home cover-up a “scandal.” Chris Cillizza bloodlessly observed that the “story just got worse” for Cuomo, while commenting on the policy debacle.
It appears that Chris Cuomo’s half-hearted apology is what constitutes “accountability” at CNN, even as he dodges apologizing for the most egregious aspects of his misleading coverage. Americans have come to expect nothing better than a blatantly political network that cares less about facts than about protecting members of the Democratic Party from scrutiny.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.