CNN Under Ethics Attack Following Andrew Cuomo Reports

( It’s about time: CNN is facing criticism from both outside and inside the organization for how they handled conflicts of interest.

CNN host Chris Cuomo received no disciplinary action from the liberal news network despite actively advising Andrew Cuomo, his brother and the governor of New York, on how he should handle allegations of sexual misconduct about him.

Both former and current employees of CNN said Chris Cuomo was out of line for crossing the imaginary line between reporter and politics, even if the person he was advising was a member of his family.

One former CNN employees, Steve Holmes, said the problem is that CNN lacks policies that are clear cut. Holmes retired in 2019 from CNN after working for the company for more than 10 years.

He served as an executive for ethics for the company, reporting to the executive vice president of news standards and practices. Holmes said:

“You won’t see any rules that are etched in stone so that a violation could be a firing offense. And I think you see sort of the results. I mean the Chris Cuomo thing, they can’t say that he’s violated any written policies because there aren’t any, period.”

Some of Cuomo’s colleagues at CNN have started to come out against his actions in advising his governor brother. Speaking with The New York Times’ Kara Swisher, CNN host Jake Tapper said:

“I cannot imagine a world in which anybody in journalism thinks that that was appropriate.”

“Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter even suggested definitive action against Cuomo when he said:

“If Chris Cuomo wants to call into strategy sessions with his brother’s aides, shouldn’t he take a leave of absence from CNN?”

Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, held a town hall with company employees last week. Many employees raised concerns about why CNN didn’t sanction Cuomo, even after the host admitted that he crossed the line.

Zucker responded that suspending Cuomo temporarily wouldn’t accomplish anything, serving merely as “punishment for the sake of punishing.”

Holmes, though, said that even a small punishment is better than nothing at all, since it shows CNN takes ethical matters very seriously. Apparently, they do not.

Holmes was part of a team at The New York Times that won a Pulitzer Prize and was also an editor at The Washington Post before joining CNN. He said that inaction on the network’s part simply sends the wrong message. He explained:

“For them to sort of just shrug their shoulders and slough it off is just to me like, ‘Hold on people, don’t you see how this looks?’ They could do that and take the criticism that it’s too lenient. But what do they do when they don’t do anything? What kind of signals does it send that you don’t do anything?”

It sends the signals that CNN doesn’t care about meddling in politics, as long as it benefits high-powered Democrats. It would go against what the network has professed over the last few years if one of their shining stars — both in the network and in New York’s Democratic Party — were criticized for their actions.