Every so often, someone in America gets us a little closer to answering the question, “How did we get here?”
It’s no secret that the United States is a nation in decline with its people increasingly divided, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when we turned this corner.
Shockingly, NewsNation star Chris Cuomo may have provided some insight when he confirmed a long-debated fact about the mainstream media’s role in labeling patriotic symbols as divisive.
During Wednesday’s broadcast of his “Cuomo” program, the former ABC News and CNN host revealed to political scientist and commentator Ian Bremmer that ABC News banned any whiff of patriotism from the airwaves following the 9/11 attacks.
“It’s interesting, you know, I’ve had people — the first time since 9/11 and the war on terror — people have been commenting on social media that I shouldn’t say ‘we’ when we talk about America,” Cuomo told his guest.
“I wasn’t allowed to say this then, but I just don’t care now: I am an American, and I report as an American, and I think about America’s interests,” the host continued.
“Back on 9/11, they wouldn’t let us, at ABC News, wear a flag pin. I always thought that was wrong,” Cuomo said.
“I’m an American, I’m worried about the American hostages, I’m worried about our interests, and that’s one aspect of why I care,” he said.
This clip made the rounds on social media Thursday thanks to Nicholas Fondacaro, associate editor at the Media Research Center.
“Chris Cuomo admits that ABC BANNED their reporters from wearing American flag pins after 9/11: ‘I wasn’t allowed to say this then, but I just don’t care now… Back on 9/11, they wouldn’t let us – at ABC News – wear a flag pin. I always thought that was wrong. I’m an American,'” Fondacaro posted to X.
Chris Cuomo admits that ABC BANNED their reporters from wearing American flag pins after 9/11:
“I wasn’t allowed to say this then, but I just don’t care now… Back on 9/11, they wouldn’t let us – at ABC News – wear a flag pin. I always thought that was wrong. I’m an American.” pic.twitter.com/mw1975EePE
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) October 26, 2023
Cuomo’s assertion about the ban checks out to be true, even in the hours of coverage broadcast on the day after the attacks, Sept. 12, 2001.
A video from the Television Archive Project with more than four hours of ABC’s coverage of the terrorist attacks’ aftermath shows none of the hosts wore flag pins:
However, the claim that ABC News specifically banned the patriotic symbol was declared debunked by several outlets, including USA Today, which took on the issue as recently as 2020. (The Western Journal reached out to ABC News for comment but did not immediately receive a response.)
USA Today’s report said the rationale from ABC News was a blanket policy that prohibited any displays that would compromise “neutrality” at the network.
Even as the nation — including many other newsrooms — was awash with the stars and stripes as a display of patriotism and solidarity following the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that killed thousands of people, the network apparently held fast to its prohibition.
That highbrow excuse got a boost once then-presidential candidate Barack Obama got on board during his 2008 campaign by explaining that his patriotism was seen in his actions rather than in a lapel pin. (At least he’s consistent: Glamour swooned over Obama’s habit of slipping off his wedding ring for “safe keeping” while claiming to remain committed to wife Michelle Obama.)
Perhaps the network’s single-minded focus on neutrality could be forgiven — or at least believed — if its actions didn’t betray the truth.
When it comes to supporting the homosexual agenda, ABC proudly promotes its “Celebrating Pride” collection, which includes LGBT news shows and hosts.
Disney, which has been ABC’s parent company since its acquisition in 1996, slaps the colors of the “pride” flag on its most iconic characters with nary a thought about throwing support behind a divisive issue.
Even if Cuomo has a habit of stretching the truth that could undermine the veracity of his claim, it’s clear that ABC News has a left-wing bias in its reporting and skews against Republicans and traditional American values.
Before 2001, there was already an underlying suspicion that all of the establishment news networks were anti-American, but a thin veneer of patriotism was just enough for them to hold onto a shred of credibility.
That changed following the attacks on 9/11 when refusing to display patriotic symbols became a deliberate and conspicuous statement against America to the point that ABC News would be called out over it.
Of course, much has changed in the more than two decades since the attacks. The performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is now considered divisive, while the so-called black national anthem has a place of pride at American institutions such as NFL games.
Now, even a glimpse of an American flag waving on the back of a pickup truck is triggering to some folks.
The LGBT “pride” and Black Lives Matter flags are often more welcomed than Old Glory, with the latter ironically being called a symbol of hate and division.
In the face of what’s happened to American patriotism since then, recalling the post-9/11 debate about flag lapel pins is like recalling the halcyon days of one’s youth — it was a simpler time, and we had no idea how bad things would get.
Even if we can’t turn back the clock, at least Cuomo has shed a little light on where this sad decline in American patriotism began to take hold.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.