Chris Cuomo Accidentally Reminds Us of Something Else He and CNN Should Apologize For

CNN's Chris Cuomo interviews fired Florida data technician Rebekah Jones - May 22, 2020. Credit: CNN

Chris Cuomo is infamous for allowing his big mouth to overload his tiny circuits, and that’s exactly what happened Friday when he took to the Twitter machine in an attempt to pull yet another fast one.

Cuomo, host of CNN’s “Prime Time” program, linked to the Miami Herald’s latest hit piece on Gov. Ron DeSantis – a piece in which thoroughly-discredited former Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones featured prominently – and urged “those invested in right wing fringe attacks on Rebekah Jones” to read a supposedly “well-researched piece on what is and is not true”:

First things first: No, the piece did not get to the bottom of what is and is not true about the fired Jones’ claims about the Florida Department of Health and DeSantis (that she was supposedly asked to manipulate Florida’s COVID dashboard to further justify the state reopening). It just included private messages exchanged between Jones (who leaked them to the Herald) and Democrat Jared Moskowitz, who was appointed director of Florida’s emergency management department by DeSantis in December 2018.

As I noted yesterday, however, those messages don’t amount to much in the scheme of things but were used by the Herald to insinuate that someone DeSantis trusted was, in turn, oddly trusting of a prominent critic who was on his administration’s radar.

In an interview with Politico, Moskowitz said his communications with her were the equivalent of “keeping a fish on a hook.” It was the “keep your friends close and enemies closer” (my phrasing) approach. And according to Politico, it worked as far as his department was concerned.

The piece also included references to thousands of emails Jones also leaked to the Herald, none of which proved her allegations about being told to manipulate data. In fact, the only “proof” made clear by the piece was the fact that the Miami Herald desperately needs Rebekah Jones as much as she needs them because they both have the same goal – and I don’t think I need to spell out that goal here because it should be pretty obvious at this point.

But beyond the false claims Cuomo made in his tweet about the Herald piece was the accidental reminder he provided us about something else he and CNN should be apologizing for (but won’t).

In addition to trying to suppress discussion of the Wuhan lab leak theory for the last 15 months, and in addition to “interviewing” his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo in softball segments that came off more like episodes of “Keeping up with the Cuomos” in the middle of a pandemic (complete with oversized cotton swab props), CNN and Cuomo also owe an apology for elevating and amplifying Jones’ fraudulent claims a year ago and treating her as though what she said was unassailable, the gospel truth.

Here’s a portion of the first of five interviews Cuomo did with Jones, from May 22, 2020:

Why was this allowed to happen? It’s quite simple, really. CNN and Cuomo knew DeSantis was a Trump ally and Trump frequently referenced DeSantis as a success story on how his state had so far effectively combated the Wuhan virus at the time.

The network knew if they could pin false allegations of data manipulation on DeSantis then it would make Trump look bad by extension – and Gov. Andrew Cuomo look better by extension in the eyes of his supporters, which, of course, also helped then-presidential nominee Joe Biden.

This was a blatant abuse of their news resources to paint multiple false political narratives because Orange Man Bad. Chris Cuomo was allowed to abuse his platform by his bosses at CNN to craft political narratives that they hoped would nail the governor who the media most often compared Gov. Cuomo to, a governor who to this day they still attack even though Trump is no longer president.

Needless to say, that’s not how objective journalism is supposed to work, folks, but then again that’s hardly surprising considering that CNN is not a news organization.

Here’s a final thought, courtesy of my colleague Becca Lower:

Asked and answered.

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