Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple called out CNN’s “love-a-thon” coverage of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo while live on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday.
CNN’s Brian Stelter dedicated a portion of his Sunday show to covering the various sexual misconduct allegations against Cuomo. Wemple took part in the panel and slammed CNN for allowing the governor’s brother, Chris Cuomo, to conduct interviews with him during the pandemic.
“I would be remiss, Brian, if I didn’t mention CNN’s own huge media story here with Chris Cuomo, the anchor at the 9 o’clock hour who covered Andrew Cuomo and had all these wonderful love-a-thon interview’s with him – more than 10 of them – and they suspended the conflict of interest rule for Chris Cuomo for those interviews, yet all of a sudden they’ve enforced it again now that Andrew Cuomo is in a midst of a historical scandal in the Albany state house,” Wemple said on CNN.
“So I think that that is a major black eye for CNN,” Wemple continued. “I will say that you and other people have covered the Cuomo story very aggressively. So I do want to be fair about this. But it is a major black eye for this network.”
Stelter responded by noting that the network, specifically CNN’s Jake Tapper, have asked Cuomo to come on for interviews. The governor, however, has declined and is “not really giving his side of the story,” Stelter said.
“And to Wemple’s point about CNN, I think the job now – the job always – is just to cover the story as if it was anybody else or any other story, just cover it the same way no matter what,” he added.
Just before calling out CNN for its poor coverage, Wemple praised various publications for “pushing the story forward” on Cuomo’s sexual misconduct allegations.
He suggested this push “undoes the right-wing conspiracy theory about the mainstream media” not covering Democratic politicians – though most legacy outlets did spend months largely or entirely ignoring Cuomo’s other scandal regarding nursing homes and COVID-19 throughout 2020. (RELATED: Networks Spent 2020 Giving Gov. Cuomo Easy Outs Instead Of Pressing Him On The Nursing Home Scandal)