Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed CNN’s dramatic coverage of host Chris Cuomo’s coronavirus recovery, arguing that it was closer to reality TV than journalism.
Likening Cuomo to a “buff, cable news Lazarus,” Carlson slammed a “fake” reunion between Cuomo and his family that CNN aired, the Washington Examiner reported. Carlson called the stunt “narcissism” and an example of obvious hypocrisy, given Cuomo’s admission that he broke quarantine and his network’s sanctimony about social distancing.
Carlson mocks “fake” reunion
Carlson, who has often derided Cuomo and his co-anchor Don Lemon for their self-important demeanors, expressed sympathy for Cuomo when he first announced his diagnosis in late March. But Cuomo went on to turn his diagnosis into a kind of performance, Carlson said, noting that he “[seized] every chance to remind everyone watching that he was very sick and in very strict containment.”
The CNN personality gave a series of dramatic updates from his basement studio, at one time claiming to hear hallucinations of his father’s voice and even chipping a tooth from shivering. The “shameless cheeseballs” at CNN capped it all off with a very stagey broadcast of Cuomo leaving his basement, in a segment that looked more like a reality show than a newscast, Carlson said.
“When did journalists start talking about themselves so much? It’s not a story, it’s narcissism, and that’s weird enough,” Carlson said, quipping that CNN made Cuomo look like a “buff, cable news Lazarus,” according to the Examiner.
But the campiness of the segment wasn’t just in poor taste — it was also deceptive, Carlson said, pointing to a widely publicized encounter between Cuomo and a biker on Long Island. Cuomo had been flitting around East Hampton with his wife and children on Easter to check out a property when the stranger asked why he wasn’t in quarantine — prompting Cuomo to fly into a rage, according to the cyclist, The Hill reported.
“‘Who the hell are you?! I can do what I want!’ He just ranted, screaming, ‘I’ll find out who you are!’” Cuomo reportedly said.
Cuomo confirmed the incident when he complained on his own radio show about the stranger, whom he called a “jack**s” and a “loser,” and accused of harassing him in a strange, existential monologue about the downsides of being famous, according to the New York Post. The biker, who is only being identified by the name David, filed a police report, The Hill reported.
The CNN host has been called out for hypocritically ignoring New York’s “stay at home” order, which his own brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), enacted, and for potentially exposing other New Yorkers to the virus. What’s more, CNN has been snidely enforcing social distancing rules, making for a richly ironic situation indeed, Carlson said.
“Here you have a top CNN anchor who appears to have been ignoring the social distancing rules his network has been promoting and forcing on everyone else,” Carlson added, according to the Examiner. “It seems like he wasn’t telling the truth about staying quarantined in his basement. But you can’t be too mean, his own video was humiliating enough.”
While Cuomo is doing better, his wife and son reportedly have also had their own bouts with the virus, according to the New York Post.
It all begs the question: is this CNN or TLC?