Zucker Suspends Cuomo, Clings to Fiction CNN Does Journalism


CLAY: I’ve been in media for a while now, Buck. You’ve been talk how you did 10 years in media. So far, I believe neither one of us has ever been suspended which he gives us one step up on our governed Chris Cuomo.

BUCK: I believe one of us has been banned for life, however, and I am jealous. I am jealous of that ban.

CLAY: That is worth mentioning. While I have not been suspended, I have been banned for life from ever appearing on CNN. So that’s a pretty… That may be more substantial than a suspension.

BUCK: That’s like being banned from the People’s Republic of North Korea or something. That’s a great honor.

CLAY: Well, it’s really funny when you consider the guys that they actually employ, like our buddy Toobin, who Toobined himself while hanging out with workers on Zoom. But what’s interesting here is Chris Cuomo worked to defend his brother in the face of the sexual harassment discussions, and now the details of the New York attorney general’s investigation have come out.

I want to play first this flashback clip. This was Chris Cuomo who, by the way, if you haven’t heard, has been indefinitely suspended from CNN. I was hinting at talking about the suspensions to begin the discussion here. He apologized for his involvement back in May when these details first broke. Now that they are more substantial, CNN said, “Hey, we have to suspend you.” But play cut 11.

CHRIS CUOMO: This is a unique and difficult situation, and that’s okay. I know where the line is. I can respect it and still be is there for my family, which I must. I have to do that. I love my brother. I love my family. I love my job. And I love and respect my colleagues here at CNN. And again, to them I’m truly sorry. You know who I am. You know what I’m about. And I want this to be said in public.

CLAY: That’s now basically been proven to be untrue, and I want to play this cut. I’m curious what you think about this. CNN only talked about it one time on air yesterday when they suspended him. I believe it was during Anderson Cooper. They expanded Anderson Cooper’s show to two hours. Here is what Anderson Cooper said. Cut 12.

COOPER: Some news now about this network it involves Chris Cuomo the host of Cuomo Prime Time. New documents released this week indicated that Chris was more intimately involved than previously known in helping his brother — former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — craft a defense amid a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations. Here’s a statement released tonight from a CNN spokesperson:

“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules, and we acknowledge that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew.” The spokesperson added, “As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely pending further evaluation.”

CLAY: What do you think, Buck? You’ve got two brothers. I’ve got three kids, three boys. I think it now in the context of that situation. That’s kind of how Tucker and Sean Hannity — both sides — addressed it on their shows. What do you think?

BUCK: Well, first of all, yeah, your family is more important to you than your professional considerations.

CLAY: Should be.

BUCK: It should be, should be more important than the professional considerations, in a general sense. But there’s so much here, right? As somebody who saw a bit of CNN from the inside — and I’m fond of pointing out they actually wanted me to stay there, and I was like, “I’m getting the heck out of this place. I’m never coming back.” So I’m not quite banned but I’m definitely not welcome in the building anymore even after they offered to try to pay me to keep me around. So I decided, Clay — or rather when you look at this, you see that CNN still pretends to be a news organization.

CLAY: Right.

BUCK: That’s the fundamental problem. Right? You and I can come on the air and say, “I like this person, I don’t like that person, I support this politician, I don’t support that one.” CNN plays this game of the gold standard of journalism. Well, when you have that and added on top of that you have a circumstance where you have people who are very pro-#MeToo movement, who are very involved in pretending to care about that issue?

And then you have one of your star anchors who really was their biggest ratings draw for a long time saying things, doing things like this behind the scenes to possibly pressure, maybe even undermine — you know, Bill Clinton-style undermine — the accusers?

That’s just too much, and in the background of all this too you have his brother who he’s defending who really, as far as the left is concerned, is standing in the way of the first African-American, female governor of New York. So there was also a political element and dynamic to this too. But I don’t think he’s gone forever, by the way. I think they’ll probably suspend him.

CLAY: You think he’ll bring him be back.

BUCK: They’re gonna Toobin him, which actually sounds really bad, but you know what I mean. Sorry.

CLAY: And I think it’s an interesting question because what’s intriguing to me — and I don’t watch CNN. I know you occasionally flip it on to see kind of how they’re covering news stories, and we’ll talk about that, or sometimes at CNN.com and things such as that. It appears to me that CNN is trying to pivot in a big way from the far-left wing woke universe.

“It’s fine to celebrate Thanksgiving.” And I don’t know what they’re going to do with Chris Cuomo because this internecine warfare over #MeToo, how can he cover #MeToo, again, if he has been undermining on behalf of his brother all of the women that were trying to accuse Andrew Cuomo of impropriety.

BUCK: Fundamentally, CNN has to cling to the illusion for its audience to believe that what they’re getting is journalism, as laughable as that is to anybody who has perspective and understanding of what CNN is and is all about. I also think it’s funny there are these stories about how angry Jake Tapper is ’cause he always attaches him to being the gold standard of journalism over at CNN.

I wonder where all these angry Jake Tapper stories are coming from that the media’s picked up over the Daily Mail and other places, about how Chris Cuomo has undermined…? I mean, this is the Russian collusion hoax factory, my friends. This is a place that sends reporters to go harass private citizens at their own homes because they were part of a Russian bot Facebook group or something.

CNN is completely out of its mind as an organization. It has no ethics. It was part of the Kavanaugh smear campaign — on the vanguard, really, of the Kavanaugh smear campaign. And what you see here is they got a lot of people running around who still want to cling to the old notion that what they do is journalism. It’s not. It’s fundamentally a propagandistic organization.

But Chris Cuomo, the problem is, he has embarrassed them. It’s not that he’s unethical or a bad guy. He embarrassed CNN because it’s too obvious that the party line that what they do there is journalism is untrue. An embarrassment is the one thing even little Jeff Zucker does not like over there, even if you’re buddies with him. You can’t embarrass the network, and that’s what’s gone on here.

CLAY: Well, the woke play — if CNN followed the woke playbook — would be Chris Cuomo gets fired and they replace him with a minority woman, right? That would be the comeuppance that would be the CNN woke playbook. I don’t know who they have that could host a show to replace Chris Cuomo ’cause, I’m sorry, he’s making them a decent amount of money. But if they went full woke, Buck, that is the direction that they would go.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

BUCK: Do you think Chris Cuomo is gone for good? When I brought up the other CNN guy who was brought back, that’s what I meant.

CLAY: Jeffrey Toobin, yes.

BUCK: You’re talking Toobin. The Toobin treatment, to clarify, of putting him on a long suspension and then bringing him back, not anything else. Do you think…? I think that’s what they’re probably gonna do with Chris Cuomo at CNN just ’cause he’s got enough connections in the building that I think they’ll have him do some kind of a mea culpa and the whole routine. He’s not even the most annoying by far of the CNN anchors. Many others I’d rather see out of there.

CLAY: I think it’s a test of CNN’s commitment to wokeness because what would happen if they are fully committed to wokeness is Chris Cuomo would be replaced by a woman of color for his television show. He’s too white and he’s too male, and we are going to serve penance, we’re going to throw Chris Cuomo aside and we are going to replace him with a woman and a minority. That’s what would happen if CNN’s fully committed to wokeness. I kind of think that they might do that.


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