Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple went scorched earth during an appearance on CNN. While appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Wemple bashed the liberal cable TV news network for allowing CNN host Chris Cuomo to have "love-a-thons" with his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
Chris Cuomo is the anchor of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," which is self-described as a "news program where Cuomo tests power with newsmakers and politicians from both sides of the aisle." However during the coronavirus pandemic, Cuomo welcomed his New York governor brother on the show to deliver an unchallenged and glowing narrative of his leadership.
Many times the interviews were completely unprofessional and chummy. There were jokes that the governor only appeared on the show because their mom made him and then there was a strange segment that involved a gigantic Q-tip. All this positive coverage despite New York having the second-most coronavirus deaths per million and there being bombshell reports that New York's nursing home deaths were far higher than Cuomo's administration admitted.
Cuomo has not appeared on his brother's CNN show since the flurry of sexual harassment allegations against the governor started to storm in.
Flash forward to Sunday, Wemple was a guest on "Reliable Sources" to discuss the media coverage of Andrew Cuomo and his scandals. Wemple did not hold back at pointing out the bias of a news network previously handing out flattering publicity to a political figure by his own brother.
"I would be remiss, Brian, if I didn't mention CNN's own huge media story here with Chris Cuomo, the anchor at the nine o'clock hour, who covered Andrew Cuomo and had all these wonderful love-a-thon interviews with him, more than ten of them," Wemple told CNN host Brian Stelter.
"And they suspended the conflict of interest rule for Chris Cuomo for those interviews, yet all of the sudden they've enforced it again now that Andrew Cuomo is in the midst of a historic scandal in the Albany State House," Wemple continued.
"So, I think that is a major black eye for CNN," Wemple proclaimed. "I will say that you and other people have covered the Cuomo story very aggressively, so I do want to be fair about this, but it is a major black eye for this network."
Stelter looked stone-faced as Wemple ripped his network during an interview on CNN.
WaPo’s Erik Wemple said it is a “major black eye for CNN” that they suspended the conflict of interest rule for Chr… https://t.co/3I8nWfEPro— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cameron Cawthorne) 1615739208.0
To his credit, this isn't the first time that Wemple has called out a left-leaning cable TV news host. In 2019, Wemple bashed MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow for her partisanship and "rooting" for the Steele dossier to be true instead of being more concerned with the truth.
When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them. At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report. She seemed to be rooting for the document.
And when large bits of news arose against the dossier, Maddow found other topics more compelling.
She was there for the bunkings, absent for the debunkings — a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.