Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not the only one finding himself covered in disgrace as critics look back at a year of embarrassing, sycophantic news coverage of the suddenly embattled governor.
Before the “love guy” was consumed by scandal, CNN, home to Andrew’s brother Chris, went further than most in laundering what was effectively pro-Cuomo propaganda. The network received an unexpected rebuke on live television Sunday morning when “media critic” Erik Wemple called them out for allowing obnoxious “love-a-thon” interviews between the two, the New York Post reported.
“Major black eye for CNN”
Cuomo has been learning some harsh lessons about the wages of pride and the ephemerality of the media’s favor, as the same press that pumped him up into a superhero last year for his COVID response now turns on him with a fury.
Suddenly deprived of his lifeline — the press — Cuomo has been facing calls to resign over sexual harassment claims and a cover-up of nursing home deaths.
Wemple, of the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, put CNN host Brian Stelter on the spot Sunday by recalling CNN’s cringe-worthy, soft-ball “interviews” between Cuomo and his brother, which were criticized almost exclusively by conservatives before the governor’s stunning fall from grace.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention CNN’s own huge media story here,” Wemple said.
“Chris Cuomo, the anchor at the 9 o’clock hour, who covered Andrew Cuomo and had all these wonderful love-a-thon interviews with him — more than 10 of them,” he added. “I think that is a major black eye for CNN.”
CNN, Cuomo in a tough spot
Those “interviews” rankled many critics, especially as Cuomo’s nursing home death scandal, well-known at the time, went unacknowledged by CNN and most of the mainstream media, as noted by Fox News.
Screencaps of one particular “interview,” in which Chris held up a prop of a giant cotton swab, became for many a summation of the criminal frivolity of the media’s Cuomo coverage until very recently.
Many in the press are now acting shocked by Cuomo’s sudden collapse, as if it has not been brought on largely by their own decision to cover him critically.
And CNN is struggling to explain itself, as Chris is once again banned from covering his brother.
The network said it made an “exception” to that rule at the height of Cuomo-mania because “we felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest.” Sure.