New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sat down again Wednesday with his brother Chris Cuomo on CNN, a network you may know for spouting lie after lie for years about Russian collusion, Michael Flynn, Brett Kavanaugh, and more. Chris, who Rolling Stone described in 2018 as “America’s Toughest News Anchor,” did a little prop comedy routine about the size of each Cuomo’s nose, featuring an oversized Q-Tip.
Needless to say, no questions were asked by one brother to the other about the New York nursing home policy that doomed thousands of elderly Americans. It’s just two bros having fun.
“Is it true that this was the swab that the nurse was actually using on you and that at first it went into your nose and disappeared?” Chris asked while holding up various sizes of giant prop Q-Tips. Both brothers broke out in laughter, giggling until the end of the segment.
This is not the first time the brothers have taken their shtick on air. Since the beginning of the outbreak, Chris has been interviewing the governor on his program, always making time to slide in a joke about who their mother loves more or ribbing one another on their haircuts. Of course, the media have lapped it up. Vogue called the brothers “an Unlikely Comedy Duo.” A Time magazine headline read, “The Cuomo Show Has Captivated Americans at Home.”
It appears that no one at CNN or in the governor’s office stopped to think that maybe the conflict of interest here was perhaps an embarrassing indictment of CNN’s “journalism,” or an affront to the state’s public information efforts. It’s hard to believe a journalist interviewing a public official who is his brother would fly at any other network without harsh criticism. Just imagine how many heads would explode across the media bubble if Donald Trump Jr. were to interview Ivanka Trump on Fox News. Instead, the CNN producers find it amusing, continually booking the governor on Chris’ show, and are now apparently tracking down or making giant Q-Tip props in the middle of a pandemic.
For the last month, the media routinely attacked Republican governors like Georgia’s Brian Kemp and Florida’s Ron DeSantis, even though the coronavirus spikes predicted in their states have yet to materialize. All the while, Gov. Cuomo has been lavished with praise despite his disaster nursing home policy that exacerbated the spread of the virus in New York’s 613 state-regulated nursing homes.
Many New Yorkers who lost their elderly family members, and many veterans, would like to know why the Cuomo administration initially refused to provide an account of nursing home fatalities. I’m sure they would also like to know why Cuomo’s staff inserted a provision into the 2021 budget in early March giving nursing homes immunity from coronavirus lawsuits. These are questions a “tough” journalist with unmatched access to the governor might ask after 23,000 people have died in the state, but not little brother Chris.
The bottom line is that Chris is a hack. He doesn’t care about journalism or truth. The man who just wrote and performed a slap-stick routine is the same man who attacked President Donald Trump for making light-hearted comments during the pandemic. In April, Chris told his audience, “The last thing anybody needs is more B.S.” Well, I don’t know what else to describe jokes about the governor’s nose as other than B.S.
“You’re reaching out to me from all over the country. You have just one request: that all the games end,” Chris said before criticizing Trump’s comments about being a cheerleader as “the most asinine statement of leadership I have ever heard.”
If Chris isn’t going to get answers out of the governor, then he should let somebody else do it. But he shouldn’t lament the “games” and the “B.S.” and the Americans dying under the president, and then squarely refuse to ask questions about the Americans who died under his own brother’s watch.