WaPo: CNN’s Chris Cuomo ‘Failed to Maintain the Most Basic of Journalistic Principles’

CNN's Chris Cuomo during 5/30/2020 CNN coverage
CNN Screenshot

The Washington Post on Monday published an op-ed criticizing CNN for failing to “maintain the most basic of journalistic principles” amid evidence that anchor Chris Cuomo advised brother of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) how to escape allegations of sexual misconduct before an investigation found the governor sexually harassed multiple women.

“Here’s what CNN’s Chris Cuomo has done over the past weeks and months: failed to maintain the most basic of journalistic principles, which are independence, fairness and impartiality,” media columnist Margaret Sullivan decried.

Sullivan continued to hammer CNN, “the most trusted name in news”:

And his employer, essentially, has let the star host get away with it. Cuomo’s normally news-driven prime-time show last week made no mention of one of the biggest stories of the day: the growing likelihood that his brother would either resign under pressure or be impeached. He’s been forbidden from covering or commenting on it. But there’s no reason to think that Cuomo has been disciplined in any meaningful way. Back in May, Chris Cuomo acknowledged, on air, that he had been “looped into calls” about his brother’s crisis.

But CNN’s higher-ups seem inclined to look away, in a manner all too reminiscent of what Fox News has done when one of its rainmakers does something outrageous or unethical. For the network with dozens of bureaus around the world and some 4,000 employees, it’s a cop-out. (CNN overall has given the Andrew Cuomo story extensive coverage, and its “Reliable Sources” show took up the media angle on Sunday, including the latest with Chris Cuomo, which host Brian Stelter called “a conundrum for CNN that has no perfect answer, that has no perfect solution.”)

As mentioned, CNN anchor Brian Stelter demanded on his Sunday show for Cuomo to be “grilled” by CNN. But “management has been clear about its position: he is not covering the governor on TV, period,” Stelter said. “He is not talking about it at all.”

“Some critics say he should have been suspended or even fired. But I’m going to level with you. Telling a well-off host to hang out by the pool for a couple of weeks is not a real punishment,” he continued. “Again, I think Chris should be asked about all of this, he should be grilled like anyone else. That’s what numerous staffers at CNN said to me this week.”

Stelter is not the only member of CNN who is unhappy. A CNN staffer told BuzzFeed News on August 3, “The fact that Chris Cuomo wasn’t fired over his inappropriate conflict of interest in actively affecting a news story is not only irresponsible of CNN, but also a disgrace to journalism.”

Back in May, CNN issued a statement to the Washington Post that Chris Cuomo “will not be disciplined” for disregarding journalistic standards of integrity.

Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo

The investigative report of the allegations by Attorney General James last week revealed Chris Cuomo testified in the investigation in which “Chris Cuomo explained” to investigators “that there was discussion about remedial measures” Andrew Cuomo “should take in light of the sexual harassment allegations, but some people had taken the position that ‘they should just wait.’”

Reports also reveal Chris Cuomo even presumably drafted one of the statements for the Governor, when he denied the allegations:


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