Journalist Glenn Greenwald condemned CNN’s “grotesque” defense of COVID-19 privileges that Chris Cuomo and his family reportedly received from his brother, the governor of New York.
“CNN is telling the public that they see nothing wrong with their rich and well-connected anchors exploiting public resources or connections to powerful politicians to corruptly obtain medical treatment at the expense of everyone else,” Greenwald wrote. “That is as grotesque as it is damaging to CNN’s brand.”
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration reportedly allowed members of his family as well as other influential people to have special access to government-run COVID-19 testing, mostly in March 2020, the New York Times reported Thursday.
At the time, testing was not widely available to the public and it was unclear how serious the pandemic was, according to the publication, but CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and his family were tested several times.
Greenwald heavily criticized CNN spokesman Matt Dornic’s statement saying “it is not surprising that in the earliest days of the once-in-a-century global pandemic, when Chris was showing symptoms and was concerned about the possible spread, he turned to anyone he could for advice and assistance, as any human being would.”
Greenwald called this response “grotesque,” accusing CNN of “defending and even glorifying what their host did in corruptly obtaining for himself medical care unavailable to the broader public.”
“For more than a year now, CNN’s promotion of ‘interviews’ conducted by Chris Cuomo of his own brother — in which the CNN host repeatedly heaped lavish praise on Gov. Cuomo and even hyped him as a presidential contender while the Governor was corruptly and possibly criminally covering up COVID deaths — was one of the most glaring breaches of journalistic ethics imaginable,” Greenwald wrote in a substack published Thursday.
“It was not cute or charming,” the journalist continued. “It was corrupt. And it aggressively deceived CNN’s audience.”
Greenwald suggested that CNN knew its actions were corrupt since Chris Cuomo recently announced he would not cover news of his brothers scandals: the embattled governor is now being investigated by both the state attorney general’s office for allegations of workplace sexual misconduct and by the Department of Justice for his role in knowingly undercounting the deaths of New York nursing home patients.
“What conceivable framework makes it journalistically permissible for a news host to shower his own brother with praise, but then not cover his scandals,” Greenwald asked.
“But now Chris Cuomo is directly involved in a serious abuse of power scandal by his brother: in fact, he’s the prime beneficiary of that scandal,” he continued. “He sought special medical favors from his brother, depriving other sick people more in need of it than he, by exploiting the fact that his brother is Governor and thus rules the state. That’s a scandal by any measure — one involving not only the Governor but also the CNN host.”
The journalist pointed out that on May 6, a few weeks after the governor reportedly began giving his brother special treatment, Chris Cuomo began an interview with Andrew Cuomo by discussing how New York did not have the resources to give the public COVID testing.
“So not only did they conceal that they had both just used state resources to get Chris that scarce testing, but they both acknowledged that there was a resource shortage to serve the general public, even as Gov. Cuomo was lavishing those resources on his own family,” Greenwald wrote.
“Even worse, Cuomo spoke openly on CNN about his COVID diagnosis and what he was doing for it,” he continued. “But he concealed from the public the fact that the Governor of New York arranged for him to have special treatment and state-funded access to tests that were unavailable to most of the public.”
Greenwald called CNN’s defense of Cuomo “insultingly dishonest.”
“The same exact defense CNN offered here could be made if Chris Cuomo had instead bribed state officials to provide him special medical treatment unavailable to the general public, or if he had broken into the home of another sick person to steal their medication that he could not obtain for himself,” he wrote.
“It would be understandable that a person with COVID would want to do this, in the sense that it is a rational motive,” he continued. “But the fact that Cuomo had a rational motive for doing this does not make it less corrupt, unethical or amoral. There are all sorts of things that it may be ‘understandable’ for us to want for ourselves that the law, morality and/or ethics nonetheless prevents us from obtaining.”
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.