Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple on Wednesday slammed CNN for allowing host Chris Cuomo to interview his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Cuomo, who was lauded early in the outbreak for his handling of the outbreak, now faces intensifying accusations that he covered up the true death toll of COVID-19 on nursing home residents.
State lawmakers have called for investigations and stripping Cuomo of his emergency powers. Some have called for him to resign.
CNN told Wemple it made an exception to its rule against Chris Cuomo interviewing his brother because “the early months of the pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time.”
“We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest,” said a network spokesperson. "As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today. CNN has covered the news surrounding Governor Cuomo extensively."
Wemple criticized the statement as an "expression of the problem itself."
"You can't nullify a rule when your star anchor's brother is flying high, only to invoke it during times of scandal. You just can't," Wemple wrote.
Chris Cuomo praised his brother during their on-air interview, telling him: “I’m wowed by what you did. And, more importantly, I’m wowed by how you did it.”
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