AP rips CNN for Cuomo brothers' friendly interviews: 'Some television shows age better than others'

CNN offering ‘convenient’ excuse for Chris Cuomo conflict of interest: Kurtz

CNN is facing criticism for their reluctance to address Democrat scandals including Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of New York nursing home deaths during COVID-19.

The Associated Press became the latest press outlet to critically re-examine Chris and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s brotherly lovefest on CNN last year, reporting Friday that their “prime-time banter” has not aged well in light of the elder Cuomo’s coronavirus nursing home scandal.

“For CNN, last spring’s prime-time banter between Chris Cuomo and his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, looks worse in hindsight as the governor’s administration is questioned about its role in failing to disclose the true number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths,” the AP’s David Bauder wrote.

Writing “some television shows age much better than others,” Bauder quoted Syracuse media law professor Roy Gutterman’s take that the Cuomos’ interplay was amusing but “wildly inappropriate.”

“It’s Journalism 101,” Gutterman said. “We tell our students you shouldn’t interview your family and friends.”

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple also blistered CNN this week for allowing the interviews in the first place, writing “journalists can’t reliably cover their brothers.” He knocked CNN for admitting that it lifted the ban on Chris Cuomo interviewing his powerful brother due to the extraordinary early days of the pandemic.

In unusual times, “principles of journalism merit even more rigorous adherence, not an expedient suspension, Wemple wrote.

After largely avoiding Cuomo’s troubles in 2020, left-leaning CNN has reported aggressively in recent days on Cuomo’s suspected coverup of nursing home coronavirus deaths, as well as his alleged threat against a Democratic assemblyman for not coming to his political aid.

CNN announced this week the younger Cuomo is again banned from reporting on the developments or interviewing his brother again. Gov. Cuomo appeared on “Cuomo Prime Time” at least 10 times last year for mostly lighthearted conversations about the virus, family jokes, and even prop comedy with a giant nasal swab.

Though criticized in some corners of the press at the time, entertainment outlets delighted in their interplay; NBC’s TODAY gushed over them providing “comic relief during a difficult time.”

The praise wasn’t just from entertainment media. The Washington Post’s liberal media columnist Margaret Sullivan called the Cuomos “surprisingly addictive viewing” last April. She quoted critics noting the clear conflict of interest but concluded it was “pretty harmless stuff.”

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Yet it was at that time that Gov. Cuomo enacted his policy forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients, which led to thousands of deaths. Last month, New York attorney general Letitia James, D., released a report that the Cuomo administration dramatically underreported coronavirus fatalities and Cuomo’s own secretary privately told lawmakers that it was an effort to avoid a federal investigation. 

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