Our Failed Major Media Open Thread: Cuomo Bros Edition

But abuse is what power is *for*, cry the Media Village Idiots!


[N.B.: Yes, Clyde is Maggie’s old man, if you wonder where she got her sense of ethics.]

New Yorker‘s famous interviewer shows why he is both applauded and feared:


Sullivan, fired from her NYTimes ombudsperson position for… having ethical standards:

…[T]his was about a high-powered media star using his considerable juice to blunt credible accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against the governor of New York State.

Power helping power, in the service of disrupting the investigation of potential crimes…

Even if you accept the idea that Chris Cuomo is less a journalist than an entertainer, the rules of journalistic ethics still ought to apply. He is, as much as anyone, the face of CNN.

So what are these ethical rules? Pretty simple. You don’t abuse your position in journalism — whether at a weekly newspaper or a major network — for personal or familial gain.

If you’re a journalist, you don’t write a letter on news-organization letterhead to the City Council asking for a special easement on your property. You don’t accept a case of wine at holiday time from a local real estate developer if you’re a business reporter.

And you certainly don’t do what Chris Cuomo did: involve himself with a crisis-management effort that could influence the outcome of a criminal investigation of the highest elected official in New York. It’s wrong.

I’ll argue that his ethical transgressions began far higher up on this slippery slope, with a much less severe conflict-of-interest infraction. That was early in the pandemic, when CNN carved out a major loophole that allowed their host to actually interview his governor-brother on air several times, complete with softball questions and backslapping humor about who Mom loves best. That happened a half-dozen times, especially at the start of the pandemic. At the time, I wrote that, while certainly questionable, it seemed fairly harmless as a form of comic relief, given the extraordinary circumstances…

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