Appearing on Newsmax’s Eric Bolling The Balance Wednesday afternoon, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell blasted suspended CNN host Chris Cuomo for his “deplorable” behavior of lying about being a political advisor for his disgraced brother, ex-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. In addition, Bozell hammered the cable channel for “pretending to be a news network when it’s anything but.”
“This may be a unique instance with Chris Cuomo, CNN indefinitely suspended him. Should they fire him? Should they come back and say, you know, we’re done with him?,” host Eric Bolling wondered. Bozell quipped: “Yeah, you know, indefinitely suspending just has this bad taste in your mouth. It’s like saying you’re almost pregnant.” Of Cuomo, he said: “He knew what he was doing. He knew how inappropriate it was.”
Bolling blasted Cuomo’s blatant dishonesty: “…when he went on television and said, ‘I’m not advising my brother in any capacity. Sure I’m lending him some information – some support, but I’m not technically advising him.’ He told his audience that, he lied directly to his audience.”
Noting the multi-billion dollar merger between Warner Media and Discovery being overseen by media mogul John Malone, Bolling highlighted: “He said to dump CNN or to throw CNN out of this new group would be the coward’s way out.” Bozell referred to Malone as “a tough ombre” with “a well deserved reputation for being a serious man” and that “if anybody could turn around CNN, it might be John Malone.”
However, Bozell added that Malone “doesn’t suffer fools and he’s not going to suffer CNN pretending to be a news network when it’s anything but.” The MRC President then advised the billionaire to “consider clearing house, top to bottom, at CNN.”
4:08 PM ET
ERIC BOLLING: Brent Bozell is here to weigh in. He’s founder and President of the Media Research Center and author of this book, there it is right there, there we go, check it out. There’s his book, Stops Along The Way. See, now I thought that was a director’s cue telling me to stop along the way from the stand up position to go sit down to interview my friend Brent Bozell. Brent, thank you for being here, man. You’ve been doing this a long time.
This may be unique. This may be a unique instance with Chris Cuomo, CNN indefinitely suspended him. Should they fire him? Should they come back and say, you know, we’re done with him?
BRENT BOZELL: Yeah, you know, indefinitely suspending just has this bad taste in your mouth. It’s like saying you’re almost pregnant. There are two levels of ethical misdeeds. First, it’s in Chris Cuomo. Eric, look, I’ve got five siblings. I’ve got five brothers. I believe in loyalty. A part of me goes out for Chris Cuomo wanting to defend his brother . All of what Chris Cuomo did would have been acceptable had he simply taken a leave of absence from CNN, or at the very least, recused himself from the story. But he didn’t do it. This was the arrogance. He knew what he was doing. He knew how inappropriate it was. And it wasn’t just that he was he was doing these things behind the scenes. He was doing these things in front of the camera. Where on a regular basis he was bringing his brother on to give him positive spin while having him on there and refusing to talk about the fact that all the scandals that were swirling around his brother.
But that leads to the second ethical issue here, which is CNN itself. The act of suspending indefinitely Chris Cuomo today, to me, is so dishonest. They knew from the get go what he was doing, there’s nothing that was revealed in the last 24 hours that would lead to this. They knew all along what he was doing. They should have done this from the get go and the fact that they’re acting like suddenly there so responsible about it, to me, it’s deplorable. I’m not buying it. Shame on them.
And I’ll say, Eric, shame on everyone at CNN. Shame on Wolf Blitzer, on Brian Stelter, on Don Lemon, on the whole crowd. They knew what he was doing. No one said a word, it was perfectly fine for him to abuse his – his position the way he did.
BOLLING: Well, and you know, what we haven’t heard from are the females, the women hosts at CNN, and the and the other people who are female contributors there. I’m thinking of Alisyn Camerota, I’m thinking of Brianna Keilar in the morning, and some of the other females who are – who are there. Are they going to weigh in on that? Because we were under the impression, and I agree with this, that all accusers should be heard and should be believed and listened to, and here, you have one of their hosts who are we’re digging dirt up on one of his brothers accusers. I disagree with you, Brent. I think he did do things wrong. I don’t care he has a brother. I think he could have recused himself, but he took a further step, Brent, when he went on television and said, “I’m not advising my brother in any capacity. Sure I’m lending him some information – some support, but I’m not technically advising him.” He told his audience that, he lied directly to his audience.
BOZELL: Eric, we’re agreeing. We’re agreeing wholeheartedly. I’m saying had he recused himself and then done these things on his own, not with CNN, then I’ve got no problem with that whatsoever. He should have recused himself. But the fact that he didn’t recuse himself and he went on the air makes him a deplorable human being from the standpoint of journalism. It just drags the world of journalism deeper and deeper and deeper into the mud. CNN’s reputation is completely shot. They wonder why nobody’s watching them. This is why.
BOLLING: So let’s stay right there. You’re – you’re a media guru. You’ve done this a very, very long time. We talked about John Malone, who is – he’s going to oversee the merger between Warner Media and Discovery, $43 billion merger. So at one point, Malone said about CNN, he has a problem with the journalism at CNN. He said to dump CNN or to throw CNN out of this new group would be the coward’s way out. But Malone doesn’t just the answer to himself. Malone has to answer to shareholders, too. Is it – do you think Malone means what he says, he’s gonna keep CNN in this new merger – big media conglomerate.
BOZELL: John Malone is a tough ombre and John Malone has a well deserved reputation for being a serious man. I think if anybody could turn around CNN, it might be John Malone. But I think John Malone doesn’t suffer fools and he’s not going to suffer CNN pretending to be a news network when it’s anything but. I don’t think John Malone is going to stand for that. So my guess is that this is the message that he’s sending, a shot he’s sending across the bow. Frankly, if I were John Malone, I really would consider clearing house, top to bottom, at CNN. This has got to stop, the ship of state is sinking there and they know it.
BOLLING: So, Brent, but what we know – and you know, I’ve been following ratings for a long time – 15, 18 years in the business, follow the ratings. And the ratings go up, they go down, but CNN still makes money. You know, it’s still – I think they still bring in a billion and a half dollars of profit a year.
BOZELL: They do , and they’re living off of a brand that is on – it’s on life support. But yeah, it does. It does. I mean, the people who watched them – it used to be in airports, they canceled that contract. They are in dental offices . Do you know where they also are? They are among the elites in New York and in Washington, D C.. And that has a lot of value. It’s projection, it’s perception, and that’s what they’re cashing in on, but it’s not audience, and that’s a remarkable thing.
You know, once upon a time, Fox was getting half the revenue of CNN with double the audience that CNN had. It says something about –
BOLLING: Well, there is a new changing dynamic in television, in media, where the audience becomes less and less part of the pie, the revenue pie, and some of the other things that you point out, Brent Bozell points out.
BOZELL: It’s because of subscriptions.
BOLLING: Subscriptions and other – and branding and etcetera. Brent Bozell, thank you for being here. Don’t forget, there’s the – throw up the full screen of the book before we go, very quickly. There’s Brent’s new book. Make sure you go out and get if you want to know about media. There’s the man to talk to about it.