During a closing argument on systemic racism Thursday night, CNN host Chris Cuomo used on-screen graphics to try to discredit the idea of “Trump’s economy being the best ever for black people.”
There was one problem with his analysis: The graphics actually came from 2016, before President Donald Trump even took office.
If Cuomo’s goal was to merely point out the wealth gap between blacks and whites, then using the data he put up on screen would have been fine.
However, it would have had the secondary effect of proving that the sainted President Barack Obama’s economy did little to improve the economic well-being of African-Americans.
Instead, Cuomo ended up humiliating himself by using the data as a springboard to take a shot at Trump.
It’s not like it wasn’t clear that the data came from 2016. The first graphic featured the words “Wealth Gap: 2016 Median Wealth By Household” displayed in big letters at the top of the screen. The second graphic was labeled “Median Household Wealth by Race and Education, 2016.”
Although several Twitter users quickly noticed the error and pointed it out, many Americans will walk away with the impression that the data used by Cuomo actually does reflect Trump’s economy because the CNN anchor and his team failed to do even the most basic due diligence.
This is hardly the first time Cuomo has neglected to do his job as a journalist. His brother, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, appeared as a guest on his show, “Cuomo Prime Time,” three weeks ago.
A serious journalist would have asked Gov. Cuomo about the executive order he signed requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients, an order that worsened the loss of life in the Empire State. Instead, the younger Cuomo joked around with his older brother, suggesting that a gigantic nasal swab had been shoved up the governor’s nose during a coronavirus test.
That’s some Edward R. Murrow Award-level stuff, right there.
Even before Gov. Cuomo issued that order, his brother did not exactly give him the standard journalistic treatment when he appeared as a guest on his show. During an exchange back in March, the Cuomo brothers got into an argument about which one of them their mother liked more.
As for CNN as a whole, misrepresenting data because of sloppy journalism is hardly a new phenomenon.
Last month, a CNN report misrepresented the results of a Gallup poll asking Americans about their willingness to return to their normal lives in the wake of coronavirus.
The actual poll found that 68 percent of Americans saw the development of a COVID-19 vaccine as a “very important” factor when considering a return to normal life.
In the report, CNN made it sound as though 68 percent of Americans considered a vaccine “needed” in order to return to normal.
“Very important” as opposed to “needed” is a big distinction.
Based on these recent developments at CNN, Tennessee State Rep. Micah Van Huss must feel vindicated.
In February, Van Huss introduced a bill in the Tennessee General Assembly that would designate CNN and The Washington Post as “fake news and part of the media wing of the Democratic Party.”
At the very least, CNN has proven that it considers advancing a certain narrative more important than getting the facts right.
That business model does the Americans who watch CNN — most of them, admittedly, stuck in airports with nothing else to watch — a great disservice.
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