Things got heated very quickly this morning on CNN’s “New Day” on July 23.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo sparred with Russia Today reporter Peter LaVelle over the downing of the MH17 plane. Cuomo started the segment by asking LaVelle why Russian President Vladimir Putin hadn’t condemned how the crime scene was being handled.
LaVelle immediately became defensive and called Cuomo’s question “ludicrous,” saying that Russia has conducted an investigation and provided forensic evidence.
“We don’t have that coming out of Washington,” LaVelle said. “That’s what you should be asking. Why is the State Department relying upon Twitter and YouTube and other social media when Russia has already given forensic evidence that is necessary to solve this horrific crime?”
Cuomo wasn’t having any of it.
“Maybe you haven’t been following it, but the U.S. has actually been coming out with a lot of its own intelligence that connects what happened to MH17 to Russian militants and perhaps the involvement of Russia,” Cuomo fired back.
LaVelle cut off Cuomo, asking what forensic evidence there was, and sarcastically asked if it was Twitter. Cuomo began pointing his finger at the camera and saying this isn’t something to be “flip” about, at which point LaVelle interrupted Cuomo and accused the State Department of being flip about it.
“The United States spends $100 billion a year on global intelligence and they can’t find out… this is extraordinary!” LaVelle said.
Cuomo told LaVelle to take a deep breath.
“I’m not here to debate with you who did this,” Cuomo said. “You want to play those talking points.”
LaVelle continued to talk over Cuomo, which caused an exasperated Cuomo to ask, “Why are you afraid to hear what I’m saying? I’m not here to fight with you, ok?”
The ten-minute segment proceeded with the two accusing each other of being stupid and being water-carriers. Cuomo asserted that LaVelle was dodging his questions to protect Putin, and LaVelle claimed that Cuomo’s questions were biased and devoid of fact.
“Why should you carry water for Russia when you’re supposed to be a journalist?” Cuomo asked.
“You’re carrying water for the State Department,” LaVelle shot back.