CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is being slammed by fellow members of the media for refusing to cover Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s growing list of scandals, following a number of softball interviews during the height of the pandemic.
At the top of his Monday evening broadcast, the host of “Cuomo Prime Time” told viewers that “obviously I am aware of what’s going on with my brother, and obviously I cannot cover it, because he is my brother.”
“Now, of course CNN has to cover it,” the host continued. “They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so.”
“I have always cared very deeply about these issues and profoundly so,” Cuomo, 50, added. “There’s a lot of news going on that matters also, so let’s get after that.”
The awkward acknowledgment came after a third woman came forward to accuse the governor, 63, of inappropriate sexual behavior.
The younger Cuomo’s comments Monday evening — as well as his coverage of his brother more broadly — came under considerable scrutiny from journalists and correspondents from across the political spectrum.
“This is why it was a mistake to allow him to do those interviews with his brother,” New York Magazine contributor Yashar Ali wrote on Twitter, “And don’t come to me with ‘we needed it! It made us happy!’ If you’re getting your comfort and joy from a Cuomo brothers interview you have bigger problems to deal with.”
“The fact CNN ever allowed Andrew Cuomo to appear on Chris Cuomo’s show is incomprehensible to me,” Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Susanne Craig, who writes for the New York Times, tweeted of Cuomo’s new journalistic practice.
Craig’s colleague, Times’ White House correspondent Annie Karni, echoed her confusion at CNN over allowing a primetime anchor to interview his lawmaker sibling in the midst of the worst health crisis in a century.
“That makes sense,” Karni tweeted of the anchor no longer covering his brother, “What never made sense to me was Chris Cuomo covering him when things were going well for Andrew Cuomo.”
Al-Jazeera English senior correspondent Alan Fisher slammed the CNN anchor for changing his stance on covering his brother once he started getting bad press.
“So he can cover his brother when he thinks it’s good news but not now. The whole shtick with his brother was wrong then and this is really apparent now,” Fisher wrote on Twitter.
Derek Willis, who covers politics and elections for ProPublica, tweeted that Cuomo’s statement was “ridiculous,” noting that such disclosures end up being necessary “when you pretend that an obvious conflict doesn’t exist.”
Ben Terris, a political reporter with the Washington Post, joked on the social media platform that “Every J-school student knows that ethically you are only allowed to interview your brother when the news about him is good.
“That’s like, a day one lesson.”
Calling it “confusing,” Byron York, chief political correspondent at the Washington Examiner, asked on Twitter: “Why is it that Chris Cuomo cannot cover his brother the governor now, when he could cover his brother the governor last year at a time when some in media were pretending the governor was doing a good job handling the pandemic?”
Even Cuomo’s colleague, CNN commentator Mary Katherine Ham, questioned him directly on the site, writing, “Why is this different from spring/summer of last year?”
As of Tuesday morning, the younger Cuomo has not yet answered her question.
The New York governor made regular appearances on his younger brother’s show at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year. The two would joke around during the segments, including about Andrew’s relationship status.
CNN recently reinstated a ban on Chris covering his sibling after an exclusive Post report found his administration covered up thousands of nursing home COVID-19 deaths.
A spokesperson for CNN did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on reaction to decisions around Cuomo’s coverage of his brother.