Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) ill-timed trip to Cancun with his family – in the midst of a terrible crisis in the state of Texas that has left hundreds of thousands of homes without power and claimed the lives of more than 20 people – received more coverage from CNN and MSNBC than the scandal over the Cuomo Administration’s concealment of numbers of people killed by COVID-19 in New York nursing homes.
In fact, both CNN and MSNBC devoted their prime time to the Texas senator’s trip to Cancun, something they never did -or did very little- with all the scandal surrounding the Cuomo administration’s concealment of nursing home deaths.
It is worth noting that Senator Cruz, after the strong criticism he received from both liberal and conservative voices, apologized, admitted that it was a mistake to travel at the delicate moment and returned to Texas the following day. On the other hand, the scandal surrounding New York’s governor, while criticized by some mainstream media, has been less prominent on networks such as CNN, which spent much of the pandemic praising Cuomo.
The New York governor is currently under investigation by the FBI and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, but even so, many media outlets made the decision to give Cuomo’s case much less prominence.
This led conservative media outlets, such as Fox News, to openly criticize CNN and MSNBC.
“CNN and the governor’s brother, Chris Cuomo, have made an unprecedented effort to minimize and deflect attention from the Democrat’s controversies, with the far-left network giving its development little or no airtime and giving Chris Cuomo free rein to conduct friendly, comical interviews with the scandal-plagued governor,” read Fox News referring to the little prominence the network has given to the Cuomo controversy.
The news network reported that despite the fact that “both Cruz and Cuomo generated unflattering headlines, only one of them dominated coverage during prime time on CNN and MSNBC. And it wasn’t Cuomo.”
The piece noted that Cuomo only “garnered less than three minutes of coverage on the six most-watched programs on the liberal networks.” Meanwhile, Senator Cruz “collectively garnered more than 46 minutes of coverage.”
In recent days CNN and one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, were criticized in various media outlets, including some mainstream outlets such as The Washington Post (WaPo).
In WaPo, media critic Erik Wemple “held nothing back in taking aim at CNN and Chris Cuomo. The reason? The younger Cuomo’s poor or nonexistent coverage of the scandal involving the administration of his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, over the cover-up of much of the coronavirus deaths in nursing homes,” said El American.
“That story didn’t make it to the bottom of Cuomo Prime Time (the show where Chris interviewed his brother on CNN). Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise: Chris Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo are brothers, and journalists can’t reliably cover their siblings,” the columnist said referring to the altered numbers New York state filed related to COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
A network effect
But CNN and MSNBC, have not been the only networks that considered Ted Cruz’s trip more serious than Andrew Cuomo’s case. Fox News reported that “ABC’s World News Tonight gave four times more coverage to the Cruz fiasco in Cancun than to Cuomo’s nursing home scandal.”
At the same time, they noted that CBS Evening News was the only television program on some of the networks to devote more time to the Cuomo controversy over the Cruz controversy.
Both cases were generally criticized, but one had a greater impact, and it was undoubtedly Cuomo’s; which, in addition, has transcended beyond the first controversy of the concealment of deaths because the highest authority of New York has not yet apologized and, in addition, has made false statements in a press conference to justify the actions of his administration.
El American did a fact check or a review of how many lies Cuomo told at a press conference about the case. The total was four.
“In his attempt to defend his actions, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a press conference in which, instead of revealing why he lied about the number of seniors dying in nursing homes in the state, he chose to lie and attack those who were his main allies, Democratic lawmakers,” the article says.
Few media outlets have covered Cuomo’s false claims.
The Governor said that “both houses of the state Legislature” were informed about the investigation and that is why he decided to prioritize the tax investigation. Yet, this is disputed because several Democratic lawmakers, including New York State Senator Jessica Ramos, denied that Cuomo’s office had ever informed them of his decision.
Cuomo also said the Health Department had “held up” the state lawmakers’ request for the coronavirus death data because his administration decided to focus on a related Justice Department investigation. That was also a lie. Melissa DeRosa, Andrew Cuomo’s top aide, previously disavowed her boss in a secret meeting with Democratic lawmakers.
Cuomo, likewise, made false claims that the cover-up was unrelated to political issues. But his aide, DeRosa, also said otherwise by mentioning that she was concerned that Trump would use the information to damage the Democratic Administration through tweets. In addition, the aide privately confessed that the New York governor lied about the true number of deceased seniors “for fear that federal prosecutors would use them against us.”
Despite all of the above, Ted Cruz’s trip has ultimately been far more widely condemned on liberal networks, particularly on CNN and MSNBC, than Andrew Cuomo’s case.