Every time things go awry on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show — and one can certainly almost hear the wires being tripped over on set, mostly by the host — I can almost hear the scene playing in my mind: “I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says! Like dumb! I’m smart and I want respect!”
Yes, as his brother Michael Corr… erm, Andrew Cuomo runs the state of New York, Chris Cuomo runs an hour of TV on cable news that’s not terribly watchable. Cuomo himself is so wooden that it’s almost like Pinocchio grew up never getting his wish to be a real boy — but he did lose that whole pesky nose thing, which is useful if you want to find gainful employment on-air at CNN.
But alas, doing away with a growing proboscis isn’t the only criteria for an entertaining hour of television. And there’s also being good entertaining and not bad entertaining.
Take Cuomo’s attempt to make David Holmes seem more credible. Holmes, in case you haven’t been following the fun drama of the impeachment inquiry, is the political officer at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine who claims he heard a phone call between American Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and President Donald Trump the day after the infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During the call, Trump allegedly asked Sondland if Zelensky was “going to do the investigation.” Sondland, meanwhile, told Trump that Zelensky “loves your a—.”
The call took place in a restaurant in Kiev and Sondland wasn’t actually on speakerphone. So, aside from Sondland’s observations on Zelensky’s opinion on President Trump’s backside, what could Holmes have grokked about the whole conversation, especially since he wasn’t taking notes and drinking wine at the time?
Well, as Holmes said, Trump was apparently really loud — so loud that Sondland had to take the phone away from his ear for a time — and thus, he was able to hear the conversation.
David Holmes testified this morning that he could “hear the president’s voice through the earpiece of the phone” and that “the president’s voice was loud and recognizable” on a call he overheard President Trump having with Gordon Sondlandhttps://t.co/6yNd9GwUxi pic.twitter.com/j9Hg9BilV8
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 21, 2019
I know you may not believe this, but some people didn’t buy this explanation — amazing, because every individual who comes forward with evidence against Donald J. Trump is a hero and a patriot and deserves to be treated with the same respect that the media deserves. This is especially true because Trump says there’s no way Holmes could have heard the call between himself and Sondland.
So, Cuomo decided to prove how wrongheaded these doubters were by conducting a little experiment as part of CNN’s impeachment inquiry coverage: He was going to call his mother to prove that you could definitely hear a conversation not conducted on speakerphone.
But first, he began with the kind of comedic talent that’s allowed him to succeed in a profession where what you need is an identifiable last name: “Very interesting theory from our president, that he has really good hearing, some would say the best hearing ever, and he’s never been able to hear a phone call when it wasn’t on speakerphone from anybody.”
Tee hee. See, he made a funny about the president’s tendency to lavish superlatives on himself, a personality quirk absolutely no one has noticed before. You can tell why CNN pays this guy the big dollars.
He then went from a joke delivered with the stiffness of someone in the midst of a mild episode of some incipient muscular disorder to his attempt to prove that the president couldn’t have been more wrong about hearing a call that wasn’t on speaker.
Cuomo is on the phone with his mom and tries to get Dana Bash to hear her while not on speakerphone when the phone is placed strategically in-between the two of them.
The results were — what’s an antonym for convincing? If Cuomo’s this lazy at trying to prove Trump wrong I’m too lazy to go to the thesaurus for him:
Chris Cuomo calls his mom to prove you can hear someone talking on the phone without speakerphone and it was… something.
“Can you just say hello? Mom? She probably can’t hear me. Mom, can you hear me? Mom? Say hello to Dana Bash.” pic.twitter.com/KImamgOCxf
— Danielle Misiak (@DanielleMisiak) November 21, 2019
I know CNN isn’t exactly looking to us for suggestions, but this was one they may have wanted to try out first before doing it on live TV.
Oh, by the way, just to prove how embarrassingly bad this was, Danielle Misiak is with Media Matters for America. If you’re not familiar with the kind of agglomeration of self-deluded moral dross that comprises MMFA, Misiak’s response to her own tweet about Cuomo is a good enough primer:
while all y’all conservatives are here, i just want to remind you:
WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
BLACK LIVES MATTER
LGBTQ+ LIVES MATTER
RATIFY THE ERA
ABORTION IS HEALTHCARE
GUN CONTROL NOW
WHITE SUPREMACY IS DOMESTIC TERRORISM
CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL
HATE HAS NO HOME HERE
— Danielle Misiak (@DanielleMisiak) November 21, 2019
Get all that, conservatives? Now abandon your principles all ye who enter here and get on that whole thing about twisting logic so that killing babies is now health care. You’ve been put on notice.
All of which to say is when the kind of person who goes on those kinds of all-caps rants about liberal ideological catchphrases and you’re still posting the clip of Chris Cuomo faceplanting, it has to be really bad.
Oh well. At least Chris can console himself by telling himself he’s smart, not like everybody says, like dumb. He may be the only one who’s saying that about himself, mind you. But it’s OK. Fredo was, too.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.