New contender for worst debate: Cuomo-Cruz meltdown on CNN

Ironically, this segment starts off with Chris Cuomo complaining about Donald Trump’s behavior in Tuesday’s presidential debate. The CNN anchor then brought on Senator Ted Cruz, and … proceeded to interrupt, insult, bully, and demean Cruz while keeping him from completing an answer for most of the 20 minutes his guest was on the air with him. The transcript of this segment looks as long as a courtroom record, in large part because Cuomo kept talking over Cruz. There are 192 entries for Cruz’ part of the conversation in a little under 1200 seconds, which suggests that the CNN host allowed Cruz an average time span of under seven seconds for his responses.

Via Twitchy and the Daily Caller, the lowlights of the “debate” took place when Cuomo demanded that Cruz answer for Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, but got irate when Cruz brought up New York and New Jersey:

Newsbusters highlights an earlier lowlight, when Cruz parried Cuomo on Trump’s response to the white-supremacy question in Tuesday’s debate. Cruz said that he wished Trump “had been much clearer in his denunciation,” and that “I was glad today that he walked that back,” but reminded Cuomo of Biden’s track record on white supremacists:

CRUZ: The press is partisan in this regard. So, 10 years ago, 2010, Joe Biden gave a eulogy for Robert Byrd, who was a Grand Cyclops–

CUOMO: Right.

CRUZ: –of the KKK.


CRUZ: That’s 10 years ago.

CUOMO: You’re really going to go with that?

CRUZ: Oh, yes. You better believe it.

CUOMO: I know you’re a master debater. And Professor Dershowitz tells me you were the star–

CRUZ: That–

CUOMO: –smartest student he ever had at Harvard Law. You’re going to go with that weak-ass argument here? Byrd, who had a complete enlightenment about how hate was wrong, who changed his life, who spoke about it–

CRUZ: Chris, Chris, have you ever–

CUOMO: –who changed his ways?

CRUZ: –eulogized a Klansman?

That’s the way this entire transcript looks, with only the briefest of exceptions. It’s an extraordinarily bad interview, entirely unprofessional, and another great example of media hypocrisy. Cuomo rants about interruptions and mean-spiritedness by Trump and then turns those same tactics up to eleven on his own show. And not for the first time, either, although the juxtaposition here is absolutely delicious.

This also highlights the ethical disintegration at CNN involving the Cuomos. They have allowed their prime time to basically be Cuomo Propaganda Center during this pandemic when proper journalism would have scrutinized New York’s response to it. Cruz brings up New York’s record (and New Jersey’s) because it’s germane to the discussion on outcomes of pandemic response, and Cuomo takes it as a personal insult. Even worse, he insists on giving his brother Andrew the benefit of the doubt on having the worst state death rate in the country while Cuomo at the same insists that Trump doesn’t care about 200,000 deaths. It’s an avalanche of hypocrisy based on personal connections, and at the same time Cuomo accuses Cruz of being an apologist.

Either Chris Cuomo is launching an entirely new career as a performance artist — Hypocrisy in Blue, opening soon near you! — or he’s having a professional meltdown. If it’s the former, this segment is brilliant. If it’s not the former, CNN should be embarrassed to still have Cuomo on its air. The conflict of interest is so large here it all but blocks the screen. It’s that bad.

You can watch the whole thing here … although heaven knows why you’d want to.

Update: Turner Media got the video taken down in a copyright claim, which is its right (and even a fiscal responsibility, at some point). I’m not going to bother finding a replacement. CNN notably doesn’t include it on its own YouTube page. I’m not surprised.