During Wednesday’s edition of Cuomo Prime Time, host Chris Cuomo blasted President Trump, blaming him as well as conservative media for the mail bombs sent to his place of business and other influential figures in the Democratic Party in the preceding 48 hours. As Cuomo speculated about “what might have inspired” the rash of suspicious packages, he did not hesitate to place the blame at the feet of the President of the United States: “Our President cannot escape special scrutiny. He is at the head of the hate parade and way too often.”
Reporting from outside CNN headquarters in New York City, Cuomo dismissed the President’s call for unity at a rally in Wisconsin as “prepared remarks” and accused him of seeming “not to give a damn.” Cuomo continued his rant: “He is the one that calls opponents the enemy, calls a free press the enemy, celebrates violence toward the media, celebrates force as strength, targets the same folks who received the packages, and he knows it.” Cuomo also slammed President Trump for describing himself as a nationalist at a rally in Texas two days earlier, describing the word as “ugly and divisive” and an example of “jingoism.” At least he left out the Hitler comparison, he left that to his colleague Kaitlan Collins.
Cuomo concluded that President Trump was “not the only part of the problem, maybe not even the biggest.” At this point, Cuomo began directing his ire at conservative media, without actually mentioning any news outlets by name. Cuomo laid into “the cottage industry on the right that has glommed onto him to forward their pernicious agenda of extreme ideas,” saying “they profit off division literally. They twist the truth. They deceive you.” He apparently attempted to contrast the agenda-driven conservative media with the “totally objective” CNN. After declaring that “they are not journalists,” Cuomo slammed them as “jingoists and frauds.”
During a hand-off to CNN Tonight host Don Lemon, Lemon described President Trump as “this person who calls himself the President of the United States” who “does not have the testicular fortitude to own his part in all of this.” Lemon told Cuomo “I’m glad you said that about they’re not journalists because what they’re doing is they’re doing the bidding for this President who cannot own his terrible, awful, damaging rhetoric.” That’s opposed to CNN and MSNBC, which do the bidding of the Democratic Party.
While the media demanded that President Trump take responsibility for contributing to the volatile political climate that likely led the mail bomber to target the high-profile Democratic politicians, the media does not seem to have the “testicular fortitude” to own their part in “all of this” either. As Newsbusters has reported, the media “were masters in setting the tone against the President.”
Cuomo had it right when he said “We all know this atmosphere is too mean. We’re consumed by negativity. Insults are now a proxy for insights on all sides.” Too bad the media lacks the self-awareness to realize they have done nothing but pour gasoline on the fire causing the “negativity.”
A transcript of the relevant portion of Cuomo Prime Time is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Cuomo Prime Time
CHRIS CUOMO: Weird but it was just last night that I was pointing to all the ugliness around us masquerading as political discourse and asking you if you’ve had enough. Well, tonight, I hope the answer is yes. This is scary stuff. Whether the person or people behind the packages are from here or abroad, whether they’re political or just sick, whether the devices were functional or not, it is all just scary. At worst, it was someone trying to kill former Presidents and lawmakers and some of us at CNN. At best, it was someone who wanted that threat to be heard loudly and clearly. Now, we can catch who did it. We’re really good at that. But can we do something about what might have inspired it? I want to say the answer is yes. We all know this atmosphere is too mean. We’re consumed by negativity. Insults are now a proxy for insights on all sides. But I’m not one who sees equal blame spread all around. Our President cannot escape special scrutiny. He is at the head of the hate parade and way too often. Clearly reading prepared remarks at a rally, he seemed not to give a damn. He showed tonight that he will not be the one to make the change. He never spoke about his own words or deeds, not once. And on a day that his opponents were targeted, he didn’t even name them, let alone extend a branch… two former Presidents and their wives, their families, one of them his former election rival. And then he put it on us, the media, and us alone to be better and less negative. Unbelievable. And the crowd roared. He is one that calls opponents the enemy, calls a free press the enemy, celebrates violence toward the media, celebrates force as strength, targets the same folks who received the packages, and he knows it. And he likes it. When he’s counseled that the Presidency demands different behavior from within, he refuses. When he told, when he’s told that he is factually wrong from without, he doubles down. More and more he just flat-out lies, even when he’s told that he’s calling himself something that is ugly and divisive, he doubles down. I am a nationalist. Jingoism, really? Come on. We are better than this. And he’s not the only part of the problem, maybe not even the biggest. Look at the cottage industry on the right that has glommed onto him to forward their pernicious agenda of extreme ideas. They profit off division literally. They twist the truth. They deceive you. They are not journalists. They are jingoists and frauds. Just hours after the discoveries today, before we knew a damn thing, without a shred of proof, they started blaming Democrats. But there’s good news here as well. There is irony in tragedy, even in potential tragedy. The worst often brings out the best in people, and a lot of you today from all over the country reached out to me, and many of you told me, I love Trump, and I don’t like how you test him sometimes. But you reached out the same way, saying that you wished me and my brother and all of our colleagues and family well. That meant a lot to me personally, truly. Thank you. Today I call it a good day, and here’s why. No one was hurt. And we had a moment to do something we haven’t done. We got to recognize our law enforcement, see that they’re at the top of their game. And we got a moment of clarity about the real problem. And we now know our President is not the solution to it. And that’s okay too because we don’t have to wait for change to come from the top down. Most major movements of change in this country have been bottom-up…suffrage, civil rights. Look it up. Maybe we can’t count on POTUS or those in power around him, but you can change what you tolerate, what you vote for, what you watch, what you read, and what you tweet. The power is truly in the people in this country. You control what rates, what resonates, and what is rewarded in politics. Nelson Mandela wished for people that your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. We now have a chance in the face of the worst of us to show what we can be at our best, and I hope we take that chance. I want to bring in my man, D. Lemon, to continue the coverage. It’s good to see you. Little chilly. Sorry about the cold hand.
DON LEMON: I’m pissed. You’re more diplomatic than I am, I’m pissed. You know why I’m pissed? And I hate that word, but that’s how I feel today. I could have been mourning you. You could have been mourning me.
CUOMO: God forbid.
LEMON: We could have…God forbid, we could have lost our colleagues. And this person who calls himself the President of the United States does not have the testicular fortitude to own his part in all of this. And I’m so sick and tired of people coming on television and equating a First Amendment right of protest to a potential act of terrorism. They are not equivalent, and we shouldn’t let them get away with it because it’s not the same thing. Fine, someone walks by. We’re doing a live shot and they want to yell at us, that’s their business. They do it, you keep moving. No harm, no foul. I’m in a restaurant, someone doesn’t like me, Don Lemon, you know, whatever, fake news, you can call me whatever you want. No harm, no foul. But someone delivering a bomb to your place of business that can potentially kill you and your co-workers, that’s a horse of another color. And the two should not be equated. And I’m glad that you said that about they’re not journalists because what they’re doing is they’re doing the bidding for this President who cannot own his own terrible, awful, damaging rhetoric.