CNN’s Chris Cuomo united Left and Right Wednesday. For about an hour, the entire Internet — from Breitbart News to Salon, from the Daily Caller to Glenn Greenwald — seemed to rise up in unison to point and laugh at the “New Day” anchor over a condescending tweet of his that was so beyond wrong it was hard to believe:
it doesn’t. hate speech is excluded from protection. dont just say you love the constitution…read it https://t.co/znZJ8cPvpX
— Chris Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) May 6, 2015
In a video posted Thursday, the law school graduate and former chief law correspondent for ABC News, attempted to explain what happened:
I got beat up for this tweet that I made, it was a clumsy tweet, I was caught up in the back-and-forth. Here’s the bottom line: of course, hate speech is almost always protected under the First Amendment. It doesn’t say that in the First Amendment, but the case law does. It’s always about the case law in understanding the Constitution; it’s all about how it’s interpreted by our justice system. So, um, I created confusion that I was actually trying to clarify, that’s the irony, but that’s on me.
“Clumsy” is an excellent way to describe the tweet of origin. What followed is best described as watching a monkey try to make love to a basketball. Instead of admitting he was wrong, or that his tweet was clumsy, to the sound of the Internet’s laughter, Cuomo chased that basketball all the way down the boulevard.
This is the second time in a week Cuomo has had to explain himself on social media. After Breitbart News reported on the objectively-appalling comments Cuomo made about the police to a Baltimore protester, he used Twitter to attack yours truly, quickly deleted those tweets, and then dishonestly defended himself on Facebook by misquoting himself.
Normally, Cuomo engages in a daily back and forth with all kinds of people on Twitter. He appears to have taken today off. That was probably a good idea.
Cuomo has had the kind of week that can do permanent damage to an anchor man’s reputation and brand. Being laughed at by the Internet can diminish anyone into a punch-line, especially a news man.
Or a news woman.
Cuomo’s morning co-host, Alisyn Camerota, also had a bad week. Her incomprehensible Monday morning attack on Pam Geller (just hours after the anti-jihad activist survived an attempted terrorist attack) almost certainly killed whatever remaining goodwill Camerota brought over with her from Fox News. As the saying goes: No one can take your credibility from you. You can only give it away.
CNN’s usual ratings increase — or riot bump — isn’t turning into an increase in permanent viewers for CNN as a whole, or for “New Day.” Although CNN has famously bragged recently about beating MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” on Monday “Morning Joe” beat “New Day in total viewers. Tuesday, Scarborough beat Cuomo in both total viewers and the demo.
In fact, “New Day” dropped to just 85,000 in the demo Tuesday.
In a world with those kinds of tight margins, there is no room for error, and Cuomo and Camerota committed three unforced errors in just a few days.
Of course, Joe Scarborough’s oftentimes insufferable ego and pathological desire to pick the most vulnerable time to attack his own on the political right can always swing the pendulum the other way.
Breitbart News reached out to Cuomo for comment on his lack of Twitter engagement. We will update this article if we receive a response.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC