Margaret Sullivan, a media columnist for The Washington Post, says CNN should give host Chris Cuomo an extended suspension over his handling of allegations of sexual harassment against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
In an article published on Monday, Sullivan said she taught a class at Duke University where students discussed “problems of journalism ethics.”
“If I had these brainy students gathered on my Zoom screen today, I know what we’d be discussing: the extreme contrast in standards at a regional daily newspaper and a behemoth cable TV company,” she added.
Sullivan continued to say she would compare the “admirable journalism” of the Albany Times Union and its coverage of allegations of sexual harassment against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) with “the deplorable behavior at CNN, where the governor’s brother, Chris Cuomo, is a popular host who has put brotherly love ahead of journalistic propriety. And where the network’s leadership has let him get away with it.”
She shared what she sees as the difference in how the two outlets have covered the governor:
“Here’s what the Times Union — ably led by top editor Casey Seiler — has done over the past weeks and months: Broken a lot of Cuomo-related stories. Maintained proper journalistic distance from sources, even when there was a price to pay in terms of access. Refused off-the-record information. Served the public interest.
Here’s what CNN’s Chris Cuomo has done over the past weeks and months: failed to maintain the most basic of journalistic principles, which are independence, fairness and impartiality.”
Her article comes after a report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) found that the governor sexually harassed several women.
She points out that the report found that Chris Cuomo “may have even helped the governor draft statements in response to the allegations.”
“And his employer, essentially, has let the star host get away with it. Cuomo’s normally news-driven prime-time show last week made no mention of one of the biggest stories of the day: the growing likelihood that his brother would either resign under pressure or be impeached. He’s been forbidden from covering or commenting on it. But there’s no reason to think that Cuomo has been disciplined in any meaningful way,” Sullivan charged.
The media columnist then focused on how the Times Union has reported on and investigated the governor.
Finally, she said, “On Monday evening, Chris Cuomo won’t be on the air as he starts a supposedly long-planned vacation. It should be turned into — at least — an unpaid suspension of significant length. And CNN should be transparent with its viewers that its anchor acted unethically and that the network won’t countenance it.”
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