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Tags: cnn | chris cuomo | jeff zucker

Dershowitz: CNN Fired Chris Cuomo, But He Was the Wrong Person

Dershowitz: CNN Fired Chris Cuomo, But He Was the Wrong Person
CNN President Jeff Zucker attends ''CNN Heroes'' in 2019 at the American Museum of Natural History. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

Alan Dershowitz By Tuesday, 07 December 2021 09:10 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Not a single CNN viewer was misled by Chris Cuomo's activities on behalf of his brother.

Everyone knew he was a loyal brother first, and that he would put his love for his brother before any commitment to reporting objectively — as if CNN ever has such a commitment when it comes to politics.

Anyone who watched the ''Chris-Andy'' love fest ''interviews'' would have expected about as much objectivity as Bobby Kennedy had when he was John Kennedy's attorney general.

CNN viewers got exactly what Jeff Zucker, the boss, wanted them to get: an intimate, insider look into the Cuomo brothers and how they were dealing with the governor's problems.

No one was surprised to learn that Chris was helping his brother.

To the contrary, they would have been shocked to learn that he wasn't — and they wouldn't have believed any such denials.

Viewers aren't as dumb or uncritical as Zucker suggests they are.

They see what they see, and they saw the close interaction between the brothers.

They would not be surprised to learn that Chris reached out to his media sources or took other actions that a brother would take.

Nor was Zucker misled.

He invited the interaction.

It boosted ratings for CNN's prime-time show when they were plummeting in relation to those of its competitors.

If Zucker were really concerned about objectivity, he could have temporarily suspended his lead prime-time host for the duration of the investigation.

He didn't.

It was Zucker's responsibility as the boss to make that decision, not that of the employee to seek a leave.

The buck stops with Jeff Zucker.

In my view, he was obviously more interested in making more ratings — and bucks — from his anchor than being Caesar's wife with regard to neutrality.

Firing Chris now, after his brother Andrew left office, does nothing to undo any alleged lack of neutrality in his past reporting or to prevent any future lack of objectivity.

It is simply punishment for past acts that were mostly known to and validated by Zucker.

It is scapegoating for actions that misled no one.

If anyone should have been punished, it is Zucker.

He presided over a once objective network that has become, under his leadership, a biased, one-sided collection of advocates rather than journalists. Of course, there are some exceptions.

It has taken many other actions that willfully mislead millions of viewers, and Zucker has blessed, if not promoted, them.

I know, because I am one of the many victims of CNN's biased ''reporting'' that was much more misleading than anything Chris Cuomo has been accused of doing.

For example, CNN doctored the full recording of my answer during President Donald Trump's first Senate impeachment trial to make it appear that I said exactly the opposite of what I actually said.

I am now suing them for misleading their viewers and defaming me.

This is only one of several suits CNN has been served with for misleading viewers during the Zucker era.

Most notoriously, they settled a defamation case against Nick Sandmann, a high school student whom they falsely characterized as a racist. They will be facing other suits as well, probably in the Kyle Rittenhouse case.

In these cases — unlike with Chris Cuomo — the viewers were in fact misled.

This deliberate misleading — and others under Zucker's watch — were clearly the responsibility of Zucker himself and his hand-picked team.

Yet there were no consequences for him or other higher-ups.

When Chris Cuomo complained about his firing, CNN raised unsubstantiated sexual harassment allegations against him that may be untrue.

The irresponsibility of the advocacy media — of which CNN has become a prime example — transcends Chris Cuomo.

Such fake journalism from both left and right contributes to the ugly divisions our country is experiencing. It understandably reduces the trust we have in the Fourth Estate.

Chris Cuomo didn't cause or even contribute to this problem. Jeff Zucker did, and it is he who should be fired.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "Guilt by Accusation" and "Case Against the New Censorship: Protecting Free Speech from Big Tech, Progressives, and Universities." Read more of Alan Dershowitz''s reportsHere.

Follow Alan Dershowitz on

Twitter: @AlanDersh

Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz

New podcast: The Dershow, on Spotify, YouTube and iTunes


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Not a single CNN viewer was misled by Chris Cuomo's activities on behalf of his brother. Jeff Zucker did, and it is he who should be fired.
cnn, chris cuomo, jeff zucker
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 09:10 PM
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