Media top headlines May 26
CNN’s Jeff Zucker downplaying Chris Cuomo advising his brother as a ‘mistake’ and more round out today’s top media headlines
Former staffers for former President Barack Obama criticized CNN this week for giving embattled anchor Chris Cuomo a pass for his latest scandal.
During their Monday episode of Pod Save America, former Obama advisers Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor noted the lack of accountability Cuomo faced after it was revealed he participated in political strategy sessions with his brother New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D., on how to handle sexual harassment allegations.
“Joining a conference call with your brother’s political advisors to discuss the PR response to sexual assault allegations is just so far over what the ethical lines should be here,” Vietor said around the 47:43 mark. “I’m not surely sure if CNN can come back from this in terms of how they will be viewed by other reporters, because it just shows that the response is not about ethics, they are about money and ratings and power and public relations considerations.”
Vietor added it was “pretty shocking” that Cuomo didn’t receive any form of punishment for his actions. Although CNN President Jeff Zucker said the left-wing opinion host had crossed a line, he did not suspend him or discipline him.
“He hid it,” Favreau said of Cuomo’s actions. “For Chris Cuomo to just do that and hide it and just secretly be on calls with his brother, advising him about that when he’s a journalist on the network, even if he is not covering Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal, it’s still crazy to just hide that from your network and the viewers.”
Vietor referenced other scandals like Cuomo receiving priority treatment from his brother’s administration for coronavirus testing and said Cuomo “crossed many lines” this past year.
Cuomo was also allowed to conduct chummy interviews with his brother last year at the outset of the pandemic, which critics said violated journalistic ethics. The interviews also took place amidst Gov. Cuomo’s reversal of his coronavirus nursing home directive; since then, he has been accused of covering up nursing home deaths from federal authorities.
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