During Tuesday’s edition of Cuomo Prime Time, host Chris Cuomo slammed Fox News’s Tucker Carlson for his “hateful speech” that caused companies who run ads during his show to jump ship. It did not take long for the segment to get personal, with Cuomo mocking Carlson’s “puppy dog puss.”
Cuomo opened the segment by proclaiming that “the Fox fear train ran into a familiar roadblock. The same rancor that fuels their demonization of migrants and drives their numbers also tends to turn off advertisers.” After playing the clip of Carlson’s show that advertisers cite as their reason for bailing, Cuomo brought in fellow CNN Anchor Don Lemon to join him as he piled on Carlson. Apparently lacking any self-awareness, Lemon declared that CNN hosts use their platform to advance “truth,” “journalism, and telling people what is real and what is not.”
As Newsbusters has pointed out, CNN does not always use its platform to advance “truth,” “journalism, and telling people what is real and what is not.” Fourteen hours before Cuomo and Lemon’s slamming of Carlson, CNN’s John Avlon misleadingly claimed that Trump was not required to separate illegal immigrant families during a “Reality Check” segment on New Day. CNN also received many honorable mentions in a grand compilation highlighting a “wall of falsehoods” surrounding the migrant caravan.
Lemon apparently did not keep any of this in mind as he contrasted CNN’s “objectivity” with “the folks who are there,” who he described as “opinion journalists.” He went on to talk about how Carlson “uses his platform to demonize immigrants almost on a nightly basis, to demonize this network almost on a nightly basis, to spread false information, misinformation, to spread the President’s lies, to cover the President’s back, to carry his water on a nightly basis.”
The idea of Carlson carrying President Trump’s water “on a nightly basis” does not hold up under scrutiny. Carlson recently criticized President Trump for not fulfilling his promises to “build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, defund Planned Parenthood, and repeal the Affordable Care Act.” Carlson also publicly criticized the President for launching strikes against Syria earlier this year.
Towards the end of the segment, Cuomo attempted to psychoanalyze Carlson, telling Lemon: “I don’t even know what’s worse. If he knows it’s effective but he really doesn’t believe it but he does it for effect, I think that’s worse than if he’s...deluded enough to believe that kind of jingoism, that kind of ugliness.” Cuomo continued: “it’s not like I’m looking for a fight...I guarantee you in person, he’s not going to be that loud and proud, you know, puppy dog puss,” echoing comments he made about Carlson earlier in the year.
At one point, Lemon mentioned that he didn’t “usually like to criticize colleagues,” adding “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw bricks because one day it could be you or me, because we sit here and we’re live.” But he could not resist the urge to trash Carlson, whom Cuomo later refused to refer to as a “colleague.”
A transcript of the relevant portion of Tuesday’s edition of Cuomo Prime Time is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Cuomo Prime Time
CHRIS CUOMO: All right, the Fox fear train ran into a familiar roadblock. The same rancor that fuels their demonizing of migrants and drives their numbers also tends to turn off advertisers that turn ratings into revenue. More than a dozen companies have pulled their ads after this comment from Tucker Carlson about migrants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON: Our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: I don’t know where his people come from, but dirtier? Is he really talking about human beings that way? Let’s bring in Don Lemon. I don’t ordinarily play hateful speech on the show, but it’s important for people to see what someone’s trying to pass off as news.
DON LEMON: Yeah. Well, I was going to ask you. You first. You’ve sort of given what you said about what you, how you feel about it. I don’t want to…I usually don’t, I try not to criticize colleagues. Remember the whole thing with Megyn, whatever, but it was part of the news, and people ask. Here’s, here’s how I feel about it. We don’t usually like to criticize colleagues. But if you turn on Fox any night, it is the CNN, MSNBC criticism channel. They almost always lead with something that we’re doing that they hate, and they hate because we’re actually talking about real news and the Mueller investigation and what’s actually going on in the country. So another reason I don’t like to do it is because people in glass houses shouldn’t throw bricks because one day it could be you or me, because we sit here and we’re live. I’m live for two nights at least every single night, and sometimes you say things, and it comes out, and you don’t, you didn’t realize you said it, or it comes out the wrong way, and you offend people. But here’s the difference, and I don’t think that people should be boycotted for something that they do that’s a one-off, or made every, occasionally you make a mistake and you say something wrong. But when it’s how you use your platform comprehensively, how you use it on an overall basis, on a general basis every single day.
LEMON: I come at that. You come at that. And the people on this network come at that through truth, through journalism, and telling people what is real and what is not. Now, the folks who are there are opinion journalists. They don’t have to abide by those rules. For the most part, Tucker Carlson uses his platform to demonize immigrants almost on a nightly basis, to demonize this network almost on a nightly basis, to spread false information, misinformation, to spread the President’s lies, to cover the President’s back, to cover, to carry his water on a nightly basis. So you be the judge of how you feel about what’s happening with him and his advertisers, that’s one thing.
LEMON: But what he said about immigrants in this country, about making the country dirtier.
LEMON: And poorer. That is completely false. That is the opposite of what we do on this network every day. We give the truth about what’s happening with the so-called caravan, what’s happening with legal immigration, what’s happening with illegal immigration. And we know, the studies show that immigration has and continues to make this country a better, stronger, more productive, and vibrant country. That’s why you’re here, I’m here. That’s why we do what we do, because of immigration in this country. Some of us immigrated through slavery, didn’t want to come here. Some, your ancestors, wanted to come here. But we’re all better for it at this juncture.
CUOMO: Diversity is our greatest strength. It always has been. Again, on the coin, E Pluribus Unum, one out of many. But you know what? As long as that has been true, so has its ugly opposite. People have been trying to divide this country on the basis of the us and the them for a long time. What Tucker Carlson does is not new, and you said he’s your colleague. You know, I worked at Fox News. It was my first real job in this business. I worked for Roger Ailes. There are a lot of good people…
LEMON: He once worked here too. I wasn’t here but…
CUOMO: Yeah, I didn’t work with him. I don’t consider him my colleague. I think the Trump trio are in a different business than the one that I’m in. They have different tactics. They have different reasons for doing it, and they have different goals of what they’re trying to do. So I don’t consider him a colleague. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the right to say it, but so do advertisers have the right to respond to what he says, the same thing for us.
LEMON: The other, the other thing that is interesting, it is a tactic for… demonizing immigrants is a tactic for the people you mentioned, for the folks over there. And also demonizing other networks and conflating liberals and Democrats with actual journalists and news networks. It is a tactic to them. They do it every single night.
LEMON: They know it’s not true, but they do it because of what? They are exploiting…
CUOMO: I hope you’re right on one level.
LEMON: Of course. They’re exploiting it for ratings.
CUOMO: I hope on one level you’re right because it’s more scary if he believes it.
LEMON: Well, people do believe it because it’s division. As you said, it’s dividing people. It’s fear every single…
CUOMO: I don’t even know what’s worse. If he knows that it’s effective but he doesn’t really believe it but he does it for effect, I think that’s worse than if he’s just, you know, ignorant enough but he’s not an ignorant guy, he’s a smart guy, deluded enough to believe that kind of jingoism, that kind of ugliness. And it’s not like I’m looking for a fight. When the guy is…I guarantee you in person he’s not going to be that loud and proud, you know, puppy dog puss. This is about TV and what he comes across as. The reason not to fight it is I don’t want to give it too much of an audience, although they already have a huge audience within Fox. But we’ve got to call it out. I don’t care what advertisers do. If they want to be in, they’re in; if they want to be out, they’re out, that’s the business model. But the idea of saying that we are forced, they’re forcing us to take in these people, who’s “they?” Who’s us? That’s what we need to call out because it needs to stop. But I’ll be back with you at the top of the hour.