Chris Cuomo

Cuomo No-No


Disclaimer: I freelance for CNN. I draw one cartoon each week for their opinion newsletter. Now, if I worked for Fox News, I wouldn’t have had to tell you that.

CNN fired Chris Cuomo on Saturday. His show occupied the 9:00 PM timeslot which goes head-to-head nightly against MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (who is also leaving soon) and Fox News’ Tucker Carlson tonight (who’s never going to leave). While it’s going to be difficult for CNN to replace someone who sat in the 9:00 PM chair, it’ll be harder to replace the handoff-show banter between Cuomo and Don Lemon, whose two-hour show begins at 10:00 PM.

CNN already walked a tightrope with Chris Cuomo as his brother was governor of New York. He really couldn’t cover any news about his brother. But, during the pandemic, he would have his brother on which was very entertaining as they’d bicker and insult each other as brothers do. Once when Chris mentioned his wife had given him a haircut, big brother commented that judging from the haircut his wife had given him, she must be harboring a deep resentment against Chris. After Andrew received a COVID test during one of his live briefings (to show how easy it was), Chris presented him with a Q-tip that looked to be about four feet long. It was entertaining stuff, especially to those who have siblings. But the fine line between news and family was eventually crossed.

During Andrew Cuomo’s sex scandal, his brother Chris wasn’t able to cover the story. He mentioned that on the air. All seemed on the up-and-up, but it wasn’t. As it turns out, Chris was helping Andrew with strategy, mostly with how to deal with the press coverage. Chris even used his contacts at other networks to inform Andrew and his team of impending stories on the scandal.

It had been known for months that Chris had some involvement with his brother’s defense. He had said, “I’m not an adviser. I’m a brother. I wasn’t in control of anything. I was there to listen and offer my take.” But a document dump by New York Attorney General Letitia James after an investigation into Andrew’s sexcapade showed that while Chris was working as one of CNN’s top anchors, he was also effectively working as an unpaid aide to the governor.

The dump revealed multiple texts between Chris and several aides and allies of the governor where he sought to use his connections in the press to help prepare Andrew’s team as accusers started to make their stories public.

CNN put Chris on “indefinite hiatus” on Tuesday and hired a law firm to investigate. The network issued a statement saying, “When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second.”

“However,” the network said, “these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”

The investigation brought new information to light and the head of CNN, Jeffrey Zucker, fired Chris Cuomo on Saturday. It was the right call.

Journalists are not supposed to work with people they cover. They definitely should not help them craft political strategy to aid their campaigns or administrations. MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were huge friends with Trump. Trump even offered to conduct their marriage ceremony, as a president can do that (like a boat captain. Didn’t you ever watch Love Boat? Though, Trump’s boat would probably be called “Grope Boat”). Joe And Mika even named their pet bunny “Donald Fluffy Trump.” I always suspected Trump was a fluffer. MSNBC never held their on-air couple accountable for their overly-friendly relationship with Trump.

But it’s Fox News where journalism ethics truly go to die. Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro have both spoken at Trump rallies. AT Trump rallies. They were speakers on the stage campaigning for Trump. Hannity argues he’s not a journalist, which we are aware of, but he’s on a supposed news network. Whether he believes he’s a journalist or not, he should still have to abide by the ethics of journalism. It’s bad enough Sean, Tucker, and the rest of the Fox News crowd of on-air white nationalists promote conspiracy theories and outright bullshit, but going on the campaign trail with someone they cover should not be allowed. It doesn’t even have to be investigated. It’s on the air.

But it gets worse. Sean Hannity and Donald Trump, during the Trump presidency (sic), would have late-night phone sessions. These two were trading sweet nothings on a nightly basis while conducting political strategy. And Chris Cuomo was fired for helping his brother. Personally, I think being the president’s (sic) personal fluffer for four-straight years is a greater violation of journalism ethics than helping your brother (not that I’m excusing that).

So this week when you witness white nationalist Nazi turdlings doing the happy dance while gleefully praising the dumping of Chris Cuomo for violating journalism ethics, keep all that Fox shit in mind.

But, Sean Hannity does have a point. Fox News is not journalism. But, maybe Fox News should stop pretending that it’s an actual news source.

Creative note: I didn’t listen to any music today because I was watching football while drawing this cartoon.

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Trump’s Joker


There’s no better example everything Trump touches turns to crap than Rudy Giuliani. Do you remember when this guy was “America’s mayor”?

After 9/11, Rudy was one of the most admired people in the nation. This country rallied around him. Now, it’s like the Trump administration needed a raving, bat-shit crazy lunatic to defend the administration on cable news and Sarah Palin wasn’t available. What happened to Rudy?

Rudy was a prosecutor and a damn good one. So how does this guy go from that to a clown screaming that collusion isn’t collusion, obstruction isn’t obstruction, facts aren’t facts, and inviting a foreign nation to meddle in our next election? He used to know the law, right? Is the problem that these people are so arrogant that they think no matter what they do, it’s legal, as long as they’re the ones doing it?

If Joe Biden was asking a foreign leader to provide dirt on Donald Trump, Rudy would be the first guy on the airwaves screaming for his arrest.

Rudy gave an interview to The Atlantic and said, “It is impossible that the whistleblower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero! These morons…when this is over, I will be the hero.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is what delusion looks like.

Then, Rudy said, “I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government. Anything I did should be praised.”

You know who’s not praising Rudy? The State Department. Five officials, current or former State Department employees, are scheduled for depositions in the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight Committee. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been subpoenaed for Ukraine-related documents. U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, resigned less than 24 hours after his texts were read on Fox News by Rudy. Good job, Rudy.

Giuliani was waving his phone on Fox News, sharing a private text with an employee of the State Department, and promising there was more on his phone. That means Rudy’s phone will soon be evidence and he better not delete anything off it. I think he’s too arrogant to do that.

The State Department is attempting to distance itself from Rudy and saying he operated as Trump’s private lawyer. But that’s a hard argument when Rudy is sharing texts between himself and an envoy where they’re discussing Ukraine. Rudy claims he’s Trump’s private lawyer while also boasting that the State Department requested him to skulk around in Ukraine.

So, Rudy. Which is it? Are you a private lawyer for Trump or are you representing the U.S. government? You’ve stated you’re Trump’s private lawyer, then stated you’re “not acting as a lawyer,” and stated that you’re helping the State Department. Again, which is it? I know, it’s hard when you’re stating you never asked about Joe Biden in Ukraine then 30 seconds later stating that you did. Consistency is hard. Apparently, so is honesty.

If Rudy’s acting as Trump’s private lawyer, then that means he was working in Trump’s private interest, not the government’s. That means he was seeking information from a foreign government to help Trump’s reelection. Why would a private lawyer be representing our government? Then, Rudy says he has attorney-client privilege with Trump. But not if you’re “not acting as a lawyer” or if you’re working on behalf of the State Department. Which is it, Rudy? Also, Rudy shouldn’t have attorney-client privilege when he’s working as Trump’s goon and co-conspirator.

On top of all this, everything Rudy has been doing in Ukraine and screaming about on TV has been about unproven or debunked conspiracy theories.

I’m not a lawyer but I don’t think I have to be one to see that if it’s illegal for Hunter Biden to take money from a foreign government, then it’s also illegal for Trump and his kids to take money from a foreign government. I know that if it’s illegal for Biden to offer a quid pro quo to Ukraine, then it’s also illegal for Trump to do it (but Biden didn’t do that and Trump did).

And the fact Trump is president is the quid pro quo. Do you think the president of Ukraine would be wanting to help him dig up conspiracy theories on Joe Biden or even taking his calls if Trump was just an asshole with a fake university who steals from charities (also illegal, Rudy)?

Hey, Rudy. You have a law degree so tell me this: Is it illegal for an American citizen to offer a bribe to a foreign government official? It is which means that when Donald Trump, as a private citizen when he was a presidential candidate, offered Vladimir Putin a free penthouse for allowing a Trump Tower in Moscow, he was breaking the law.

Rudy said, “I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government.” Yeah, but you haven’t looked into the Moscow Trump Tower thing, have you? No, but you’ve gone after conspiracy theories in Ukraine. Good job rooting out corruption, Rudy. Who knew that Giuliani was so passionate about corruption in Ukraine?

Yesterday, I made a prediction that Trump will set a record for most members of one administration going to prison. Rudy isn’t an official member of the administration, and I’m not going to predict he’ll actually go to prison, but I’ll make a wager he gets indicted. Rudy shouldn’t be putting his ass on the line for Trump. He shouldn’t be digging up conspiracy theories in Ukraine, babbling incoherently on cable news, calling Chris Cuomo a “sellout” or the media the “swamp press.” Rudy should be happily retired, screaming at squirrels in Central Park.

I’m pretty sure Mike Pompeo wouldn’t mind if Rudy goes to prison. Maybe they’ll share a cell.

Rudy thinks he’s the hero. That’s similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect which is where a dumbass doesn’t know he’s a dumbass, which is really contagious at Trump rallies. A lot of racists, like Donald Trump, don’t know they’re racists. And even while engaging in villainy, Rudy doesn’t know he’s the villain.

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