Apparently I wasn’t clear enough in the previous post, so allow me to address that.
Just as it is hypocritical in the extreme for any journalist, and certainly CNN, to tut-tut at Chris Cuomo for behaving exactly as biased, partisan, unethical and dead ethics-alarmed journalists do, it is absurd and self-defeating for alleged critics of our ethics-free journalism to stomp on Cuomo as if he did anything anyone paying attention should have known he would do without a second thought. (I assumed that the clip from “Casablanca” would make that sufficiently obvious. Guess not.)
The point is not to claim that Cuomo advising his high elected official brother in an official, if private, meeting of his aides is what an ethical journalist can or should do. Of course an ethical journalist shouldn’t do it. The point is that there are no ethical journalists; the journalism “profession”—the quotes are because professionals must be trustworthy, and anyone who trusts today’s fake journalists is a sucker—no longer has any ethical standards. Therefore a member of the “profession” who violates what are already dead letters cannot be said to have breached any “norm;” and we should not allow phony criticism of Cuomo to delude us into thinking otherwise.
Now, I am very certain that even according to the current, ethics-free norms, Cuomo, a rank incompetent, is unfit to work for a news organization, but CNN is no longer a news organization. It deals in diversion and entertainment on one side—Chris, a comely idiot, might be entertaining to some—and progressive propaganda and partisan support for the Democratic party on the other. Neither has anything to do with journalism.
I just saw, maybe ten minutes ago, a co-host of the CBS Saturday morning show proclaim with great emotion that our democracy depends on independent journalism, as if she or anyone at CBS News practices anything of the sort. How dare such lying hypocrites call Chris Cuomo unethical for trying to help out his beleaguered Democratic governor brother, when their breaches of the now imaginary ethics standards are far more substantial and destructive? CBS joined the other networks in shamelessly promoting Andrew Cuomo as a hero of the pandemic while he was killing nursing home residents and allowing cramped public transportation to make certain that the poorest among his state’s citizens were at risk. That was infinitely less defensible than what Chris Cuomo did in advising his older brother, especially since any advice from “Fredo” would be looked at askance anyway. Chris works in a culture; that culture does not value professional ethics; he’s none too bright; why would he be expected to suddenly abide by principles nobody, literally nobody, in his rotting trade insists on, believes in or models?
Finally, I need to add this: I doubt that any journalist today, and few in the past, would respond to a personal request from a parent or sibling in Andrew Cuomo’s position for moral support and advice by saying, “No, that would be unethical.” Chris, in his mea culpa, said that to him, family comes first. That is the resolution of an ethics conflict, and is ethically defensible—especially since journalism ethics are a fiction.
2 thoughts on “Addendum To “Stop Making Me Defend Chris Cuomo!”…”
“That is the resolution of an ethics conflict, and is ethically defensible—especially since journalism ethics are a fiction.”
The situation presents a genuine ethics conflict, and the merits or demerits of choosing one side over the other could be debated vehemently, but the moribund state of ethics in journalism today makes it moot and unnecessary.
They lack the moral and ethical standards to give assessments in this situation.
Whew! Thanks—I was coherent at last.