CNN’s New Day anchor Chris Cuomo was among the first major cable news network personalities to travel to a variety of European nations in the wake of the attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. While reporting from Europe, Cuomo has filed a variety of provocative reports and secured important interviews including his recent exclusive with the self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Borodai.
Cuomo’s reporting has received mostly plaudits and few critiques, but the CNN anchor does not take even mild critiques lying down.
One recent example of that kind of soft criticism recently came from Comedy Central host Jon Stewart. In an interview with outgoing Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Cuomo asked if he could “shoot down” the theory that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack on MH17. Stewart presented that clip without commentary as one of his program’s closing “Moment of Zen” segments:
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple recently asked Cuomo for his take on that moment. The CNN anchor’s statement was, by any objective assessment, disproportionate relative to the offense to which he was responding:
“I made a mistake,” says Cuomo. “In terms of who reacted to it and how, it’s strictly a case of consider the source.” Stewart is a comedian who indulges in takedowns of the mainstream media, and bloggers “are what they are — they traffic in snark and negativity,” says Cuomo. Later in the chat, Cuomo circled back to that comedian: “If it seems like I’m being disrespectful of Jon Stewart, it’s only because I am. He’s funny but he doesn’t do the job we do and he shouldn’t pretend he does.”
That is a fair critique of Stewart who regularly blurs the line between comedian and news presenter, but it does not seem deserved in this instance when the Comedy Central host added no commentary to accompany this clip.
Cuomo is developing a bit of a reputation for not letting criticisms roll off his back. After a contentious recent interview with Kremlin-funded RT personality, Cuomo’s twitter account was bombarded by pro-Russian accounts accusing him of downplaying the non-existent evidence that Ukraine was responsible for the attack.
Cuomo told one Twitter user that he had crossed a line when he appeared to accuse Ukraine of exploiting those children who were killed in that attack for their propaganda value. “[I]f u r mocking dead kids, I won’t just block you, I will find you,” Cuomo ominously warned the Twitter user.
He later suggested that remark was out of line and requested another user “forgive” him.