Media’s Systemic Corruption Is Far Worse Than Chris Cuomo’s Coverup
On Saturday, CNN announced it had fired Chris Cuomo due to new information concerning the assistance the former host of “Cuomo Prime Time” provided his brother, Andrew Cuomo, as the latter fought charges of sexual harassment. Chris Cuomo’s sin seems venial, however, when compared to the malfeasance of his journalist compatriots in corporate media. Let’s compare.
Less than a week before his firing, CNN began publicly chastising its former top-ranked host by announcing it had indefinitely suspended Chris Cuomo. In an article for CNN Business, Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy explained the suspension came “after new documents revealed the cozy and improper nature of his relationship with aides to his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.”
CNN had previously acknowledged that it knew that the younger Cuomo “had offered advice to his brother’s staff” in violation of CNN’s rules, but the cable news network noted they “appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second.”
The suspension followed the release last Monday by New York’s attorney general of text messages and transcripts from interviews conducted during the probe against former governor Andrew Cuomo on sexual harassment allegations. “The cache of documents included text messages between Chris Cuomo and Melissa DeRosa, a then-top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that suggested he was instrumental in working to craft a defense against a flood of sexual misconduct allegations,” CNN reported in announcing that it had sidelined its popular host.
CNN added that the “text messages also revealed that Chris Cuomo sought to use his connections in the press to help prepare the then-governor’s team as accusers started to make their stories public,” with Chris Cuomo acknowledging “to investigators that he did attempt to learn more about a story by journalist Ronan Farrow.” Chris Cuomo framed that outreach as “conventional,” according to CNN’s reporting: “The idea of one reporter calling another to find out about what’s coming down the pipe is completely business-as-usual,” the younger brother said.
The newly released “documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than [CNN] previously knew,” which led to the suspension, according to a spokesperson for the network. Then, on Saturday, CNN claimed the law firm it had retained to review Chris Cuomo’s “involvement with his brother’s defense” uncovered “additional information” justifying the immediate termination. CNN added that the investigation will continue, even though the “Cuomo Prime Time” host no longer works for the network.
So Chris Cuomo helped strategize with his brother’s gubernatorial staff and used his media connections to track down stories. Does that really surprise anyone?
Unlike with the majority of the center-left and full-leftist media, there was no hiding or denying his bias: Transparency was in his name and the name of his nightly CNN news program.
Even if the younger Cuomo parlayed his professional relationship with other media types to kill coverage of sexual misconduct charges against Andrew Cuomo, would that really be any worse than what the corrupt media did in October 2020 when it buried the Hunter Biden laptop story? At least Chris Cuomo was fighting for his brother and not Joe Biden.
Worse still was the corporate media’s peddling of the Russia collusion hoax, first during the 2016 presidential campaign, then continuing for the entire term of Trump’s presidency.
Maybe Chris Cuomo contacted Farrow about the story about his brother, but what about Jake Tapper emailing BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith after BuzzFeed published the “Steele dossier”? The email from Tapper, released as part of a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed, chastised Smith for the move, claiming it “makes the story less serious and credibl[.]” “I think you damage its impact,” Tapper wrote in an apparent reference to CNN’s story reporting that president-elect Trump had been briefed on parts of the salacious dossier.
Or what about the briefing itself, which former FBI Director James Comey undertook, thereby providing CNN a hook to report on the discredited dossier?
Consider too the innumerable New York Times and Washington Post articles pushing false claims of collusion, or the same appearing on the nightly news, cable and otherwise. Were those stories prompted by briefings provided by the hired guns of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele? Both were paid by the Clinton campaign via a law firm to spread the Alfa Bank and pee-tape fantasies, and now years later the public is seeing unprecedented retractions following the indictment of one of Steele’s supposed sources.
How is the media’s actual reporting, born of the incestuous relationship between the anti-Trump media and partisans within the government, any less troubling than the help Chris Cuomo provided his brother?
It isn’t less troubling. It is more so. It is disqualifying.
The public knew to view Chris Cuomo’s reporting, and by extension CNN’s, through the lens of potential bias. But a large swath of Americans still has no idea how corrupt, how compromised, and how complicit the legacy media is because today’s reporters shelter behind the names and claims of the supposed standard-bearers of journalism.
But the Old Gray Lady no longer lives. And democracy died at high noon.
Yet Chris Cuomo’s display of fraternal love justified his termination, and the corrupt media just nods along.
Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame.
The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.