Attacks on the press for being ‘fake news’ have become a staple of President Trump‘s rhetoric, with CNN — hosts/reporters included — often being called out by name.
“The only thing that’s bothersome about it, is that I see being called ‘fake news’ as the equivalent of the n-word for journalists, the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity.That’s what fake news is to a journalist.,” CNN’s Chris Cuomo told Michael Smerconish on SiriusXM POTUS (Ch. 124) Thursday.
“It is an ugly insult and you better be right if you’re going to charge a journalist with lying on purpose and the president was not right here and he has not been right in the past,” Cuomo added.
UPDATE: Cuomo has since tweeted an apology for his comparison to a racial slur.
And the CNN host knows what it’s like to be called ‘fake news’ by the president.
Cuomo was targeted in a @realDonaldTrump tweet in reference to his line of questioning aimed at Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Cuomo quickly refuted Trump’s commentary, showing a video clip that disputed the president’s claims.
And while Trump’s tweet “blew up [Cuomo’s] Twitter feed and made him a trending item,” Cuomo argues there’s an upside to the president’s use of the social site.
“It is naive for someone to not see the value in a clear picture of the good, bad and ugly that is going on in the mind of the most powerful man in the world,” Cuomo explained, referring to Trump’s tweets. “This is a gift to journalists. It is a gift to any empowered citizen who wants to know what the motivations are for the workings of their government. We’ve never gotten this kind of unvarnished insight into a president’s motivations.”
Cuomo also made clear that he believes “the president deserves respect.”
“The office deserves respect. The office demands fairness. The office demands testing of what is said and what is done,” Cuomo said.
“And when he says something that is false, or as you say ‘demonstrably false,’ that matters,” he added. “His words have implications, we’re seeing them, we’re hearing them echo around the international political sphere. It matters what he says.”
While Cuomo admitted, “I think there’s a learning curve in that job for everybody,” he reminded journalists that they have a specific role when covering the president.
“Journalists cannot be afraid to do their job. You’re in the wrong business if you want to be popular. What you go for is being right, and being relevant. Forget about being popular, if you want to do that, you know, be an actor.”
The Michael Smerconish Program airs weekdays at 9 am ET on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. (Ch. 124)
For a free 30-day trial, check out siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog
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