CNN’s co-host on “New Day,” Chris Cuomo, is about as pro-active a news anchor as one can imagine, often hijacking interviews and advocating his own positions as his guests listen. All of CNN’s morning hosts do this; though Cuomo wears his progressive pedigree on his sleeve, he is less annoying in the practice than colleagues like Carol Costello, in part because he is smarter, fairer, and less predictable. Sometimes he bucks the liberal line, and an Ethics Hero-worthy example occurred this week, when he repeatedly mocked the media’s ongoing coronation of Hillary Clinton, and the Malaysian airliner-level coverage she has been getting on CNN, and elsewhere. CNN, after a segment on Hillary Clinton’s interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer as part of the former Secretary of State’s book promotion, Cuomo made such comments as these:
- “Coming up on New Day, the Hillary Clinton book tour: Is it really the kickoff to her presidential campaign? Because, otherwise, why are we talking about it so much?”
- “It’s a problem because what she’s doing is what they call in politics “freezing pockets” because the donors are giving her money thinking she’s going to run. That means they’re not going to have available money for other candidates…if she doesn’t. And I don’t think she’s going to give it to them.
- “We couldn’t help her any more than we have, you know. I mean, she’s got just a free ride so far from the media. We’re the biggest ones promoting her campaign, so it better happen.”
- “Coming up on New Day, the endless reading of the Hillary tea leaves continues. She’s now speaking out about her decision on whether to decide, and we’re covering this as if she has decided.”
Bravo! Except that there’s one little problem that throws the legitimacy of Cuomo’s refreshingly candid (and accurate) exposition of the news media’s functioning as part of the Clinton campaign PR apparatus.
His brother is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, credibly rumored to have his own 2016 presidential ambitions. Is little brother Chris trying to slow the Hillary campaign express so she doesn’t get too far ahead of the field? Maybe. Maybe not. Such are the problems of assessing motive and objectivity when a network anchor has a conflict of interest, as Chris Cuomo does regarding anything involving his brother’s political career.
I’m grateful for a dissenting voice among all the Hillary worship; I just wish it had come from someone whose motives I could trust.