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Tag: chris cuomo

Why Journalists Must Disclose Conflicts Of Interest -- Before They're Exposed

News Literacy Week 2022, an annual awareness event started by the News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to making everyone “smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy” has closed out. From January 24 to 28, classes, webinars, and Twitter chats taught students and adults how to root out misinformation when consuming news media.
There’s no downplaying the importance of understanding what is accurate in the media. These days, news literacy is a survival tactic. One study estimated that at least 800 people died because they embraced a COVID falsehood — and that inquiry was conducted in the earliest months of the pandemic. About 67 percent of the unvaccinated believe at least one COVID-19 myth, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
It’s not that accurate information isn’t available; people are rejecting reports of vaccine efficacy and safety because they distrust the news media. A third of Americans polled by Gallup said they have no trust at all in mass media; another 27 percent don’t have much at all.
Getting people to believe information presented to them depends more on trust than it does on the actual data being shared. That is, improving trust isn’t an issue of improving reporting. It’s an issue of improving relationships with one’s audience.
And that’s the real news problem right now; some celebrity anchors at cable news outlets are doing little to strengthen their relationships with their audiences and a lot to strengthen their relationships with government officials.
The most obvious example is how CNN terminated Prime Time anchor Chris Cuomo last month for his failure to disclose the entirety of his role in advising his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on the sexual harassment accusation that unfolded in Albany, a scandal that eventually led to Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.
But there are others. Just this month, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol revealed that another anchor on another cable news network, Laura Ingraham of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, texted then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows last January, advising Meadows how Trump should react to reports of possible armed protests at state capitols around the country. This revelation followed the story that Sean Hannity, host of the eponymous news hour at Fox News, also texted Meadows with advice last year.
And while he didn't advise a government official, CNN anchor Don Lemon revealed information not available to the public when he texted embattled Empire actor Jussie Smollett to tip him off about the Chicago Police Department’s wavering faith in his story about an assault. That’s from Smollett’s own sworn testimony.
When English philosopher Edmund Burke joked about the press being the Fourth Estate — in addition to the First, Second and Third (the clergy, nobility and commoners, respectively) — his point was that, despite their influence on each other, these “estates” — bastions of power — are supposed to be separate.
The Fourth Estate will always be an essential counterweight to government. But, since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, we’ve been so focused on stopping an executive branch from pressing the press to support an administration's agenda — either by belittling journalists or threatening to arrest them for doing their jobs — that we’ve ignored the ways that it affects and influences other Estates, and not necessarily through its reporting.
That is, we have news personalities-cum-reporters who are influencing government policy — and not telling us about it until it’s too late.
The United States has fostered an incredible closeness between the Second Estate — which in 2021 and 2022 would be political leaders — and the Fourth Estate. About a year ago, an Axios reporter had to be reassigned because she was dating one of President Biden’s press secretaries. Last year, James Bennet, the former editorial page editor of the New York Times and brother of Colorado Senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Michael Bennet, had to recuse himself publicly from the Gray Lady’s endorsement process. In 2013, the Washington Post reported at least eight marriages between Obama officials and established journalists.
To be clear, there aren’t any accusations that anyone just mentioned engaged in anything other than ethical behavior. But I, for one, don’t believe that James and Michael Bennet didn’t discuss Michael’s campaign. I don’t think the Axios reporter and her West Wing-employed boyfriend — or any journalists and their federally employed spouses, for that matter — didn’t share facts that the public will never know. Such is the nature of family and intimacy.
And as long as those conversations don’t affect the coverage of any news events, there’s nothing specifically, technically wrong with them. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t damaging.
As these stories show, when we don’t know about these advisor roles, at least not until someone other than the journalist in question exposes them, it causes a further erosion of trust in news media.
What’s foolish about the Cuomo, Ingraham, Hannity, and Lemon improprieties is that they don't necessarily need to be the problem they’ve become. Cuomo’s show contained opinion content like 46 percent of CNN’s programming. An active debate rages on as to whether Fox News is all opinion and whether or not it can rightly even be called opinion journalism since its shows are so studded with inaccuracies and lies.
What that means is that Cuomo, Ingraham, Hannity, and Lemon are allowed to take a stand as opinion journalists; Cuomo and Lemon never really worked under a mandate of objectivity and Ingraham and Hannity likely wouldn’t honor it if they did. Indeed, a certain subjectivity — and explaining how it developed for the journalist — is part of an opinion journalist’s craft. To me, little of these consulting roles would be problematic if any of these anchors had just disclosed them and the ways they advised the people they cover.
But they didn’t. Instead, the advice they dispensed to government employees and celebrities was disclosed by a third party and news of it contributes to the public’s distrust in the media. While personal PR advisory connections between journalists and politicians haven’t been pinpointed as a source of distrust, they may have an effect. Almost two-thirds of respondents in a Pew Research poll said they attributed what they deemed unfair coverage to a political agenda on the part of the news organization. No one has rigorously examined the ways in which individual journalists can swing institutional opinion so it may be part of the reason why consumers are suspicious of news.
Cleaning up ex post facto is both a violation of journalistic ethics and ineffective. Apologies and corrections after the fact don't always improve media trust. In other credibility contests, like courtroom battles, statements against one’s interests enhance a person’s believability. But that’s not necessarily true of news; a 2015 study found that corrections don’t automatically enhance a news outlet’s credibility.
It’s a new adage for the 21st century: It’s not the consulting; it’s the cover-up. Journalists need to disclose their connections to government officials — up front — to help maintain trust in news media. Lives depend on it.

Chandra Bozelko did time in a maximum-security facility in Connecticut. While inside she became the first incarcerated person with a regular byline in a publication outside of the facility. Her “Prison Diaries" column ran in The New Haven Independent, and she later established a blog under the same name that earned several professional awards. Her columns now appear regularly in The National Memo.

CNN Fires Anchor Chris Cuomo Over Aid To Brother In Scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CNN said on Saturday that it had fired news anchor Chris Cuomo during an investigation into his efforts to help his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.

"Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother's defense," the cable news network said in a statement.

"We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately," it added.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

#EndorseThis: CNN Exposes Dark Money Outfit Boasting About Voter Suppression

Heritage Action, a far-right dark money group, is coming under intense fire after a video, first obtained by Mother Jones, showed the group's Executive Director Jessica Anderson bragging about writing the voter suppression bills that are sweeping the nation.

Of all the backlash, CNN's Chris Cuomo aired a fiery takedown on Monday night might be the most powerful.

Watch:

Chris Cuomo slams Heritage Action voter suppression video www.youtube.com

Christie: ‘No Way To Defend’ Trumps On Kushner Security Scandal

Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), a former ally of Trump, did not hold back on criticizing the president for overruling protocol for his own family in a discussion with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, saying, “There’s no way to defend, and I’m not going to, the New York Times story” and that it “should be very disturbing to people.”

“This is the biggest problem with having family in official positions in the White House. Because it’s much harder to be objective,” Christie said. He noted that it looked particularly bad that then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and then-White House Counsel Dohn McGahn both wrote memos criticizing the president’s decision. “I could tell you something. As having been a governor, I never had a staff member write a contemporaneous memo about one of my decisions.”

“They don’t do that on a whim?” Cuomo pressed him.

“They just don’t,” said Christie.

“They do it to cover themselves in a situation that they’re worried about exposure on,” Cuomo agreed.

Another hugely problematic aspect, Christie added, was that Trump’s daughter Ivanka apparently lied to cover for it. “Ivanka went on ABC and said, directly, that her father had nothing to do with her clearance or her husband’s clearance,” he said.

Christie and Kushner have had bad blood for years. As a federal prosecutor, Christie brought criminal charges against Kushner’s father. Kushner returned the favor by personally making sure Christie never got a job in the Trump administration.

Watch below:

IMAGE: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks in a press conference at the State House in Trenton, New Jersey, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

 

#EndorseThis: Reporter Shares Audio Of Trump Cheating His Way Into Forbes 400

Pro wrestling has been lampooned for “mystery men” who were obviously famous grapplers in disguise. For instance, Andre The Giant performed as “Giant Machine” in the 1980s, though anyone with a brain knew exactly who was under the mask.

And then there’s Donald Trump, whose fakes and forgeries make the WWE look like Masterpiece Theatre.

In today’s clip, WaPo reporter Jonathan Greenberg shares audio of Trump pretending to be financial VP “John Barron” in 1984, as part of a ploy to be included on the Forbes 400 list of tycoons. So shameless is The Donald about being a robber baron that he would later name his own son Barron. But he isn’t able to steal favor from Forbes with the clumsy deception. Instead, the voice of “Mr. Barron” is so obviously Trump’s that the audio becomes a hilarious farce from the beginning.

Click to hear a phony on the phone.

#EndorseThis: DL Hughley On Colin Kaepernick: ‘There’s Nothing More American Than Silence’

Not two months after the death of the greatest American sports hero of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali, many seem to have forgotten that Ali claimed that title for his refusal to serve in what he viewed as an unjust war in Vietnam, at the expense of his own career and, in the eyes of many Americans at the time, his patriotism.

When Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem over the weekend, though in protest of police brutality and our otherwise racist politics stateside, his own argument was silenced in much the same way many tried to silence Ali’s story in June: Ali, they said, was great as a boxer, not as a warrior for social justice. And Colin Kaepernick is a punk.

Many have accused Kaepernick of seeking to insult veterans — though he explicitly said that was not the point of his protest — and others have said the national anthem ought to be above politics, a unifying theme under which celebrate our ideals.

Comedian and commentator DL Hughley answered those criticisms today on Chris Cuomo’s New Day. The irony, Hughley said, is that the same Americans who chastise Kaepernick for his own silence during the anthem have themselves refused to speak out against police violence. If one is politically acceptable, why isn’t the other?

Video: CNN

#EndorseThis: Trump Surrogate Has A Tough Time Defending ‘Sarcasm’

Outside of Rio de Janeiro, this week’s top story has been Donald Trump repeatedly calling President Obama and Hillary Clinton the “co-founders” of ISIS. The comment sparked a quick backlash from Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans, with Clinton senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan saying that he was “echoing the talking points of Putin.” And this morning, Trump responded:

This was a clear, cogent argument that we definitely have never heard before. And yes, the sentence that you just read was an example of actual “sarcasm.”

Trump cable TV surrogates are going to love defending this tweet. That’s another example of sarcasm.

First up, Michael Cohen, the candidate’s special counsel and Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization not to be confused with the anti-Trump Boston Globe columnist of the same name. Appearing on “New Day” in an interview with Chris Cuomo, he explained, “I think the best thing would be if Mr. Trump called in (and) had the conversation with you himself.” Then Cuomo asked if people could trust Trump’s statements, and Cohen replied, ““I think you do take him at his word for everything.”

Presumably he was not being sarcastic, though at this point who can know for sure?

Photo: Twitter/CNN

 

#EndorseThis: Angus King Endorses Clinton Due To Threat Of Trumpian Nuclear Catastrophe

After recalling a sobering trip on the government plane intended to protect the president during a nuclear catastrophe, Senator Angus King (I-Maine) endorsed Hillary Clinton this morning, describing to CNN’s Chris Cuomo his terror at imagining Donald Trumps itty bitty fingers on the nuclear trigger.

King said Donald Trump simply doesn’t have the “judgment and temperament” necessary to deal with a national disaster.

As King related on CNN’s “New Day” this morning, he visited a training exercise on a so-called “Doomsday plane” — part of the four-aircraft National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) — meant to serve as a base for the president, secretary of defense, and Joint Chiefs of Staff during a catastrophe. King explained to Cuomo that as he saw the Air Force Officers on the plane respond to a simulated nuclear attack, he was struck by the fact that in such a scenario, “there’s one person making a decision about the future of civilization” — the president.

“And then I thought about Donald Trump,” he continued. “And it’s a question of judgment and temperament, and this guy has not demonstrated to me the kind of coolness that you need in that situation.”

King is one of two independent senators, and he is the last senator who caucuses with Democrats to endorse Hillary Clinton. The other independent is Bernie Sanders, who endorsed Clinton on Tuesday, albeit awkwardly. The other senator from Maine, Republican Susan Collins, remains undecided about whether to endorse Trump, although she has criticized his campaign in the past and has mentioned the possibility of supporting Hillary Clinton instead. On the other hand, Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, has supported Trump for several months and appeared with him on the campaign trail.

Check out King’s interview here, where he tells the NAOC story and contrasts Trump’s statements with Clinton’s calmer testimony in the 2015 Benghazi hearings:

And if you’re curious about the NAOC, check out this clip, courtesy of a National Geographic Channel show aptly titled “American Doomsday.”

Photo: Twitter/New Day