We’re really going to go with this defense, Chris Cuomo?
One understands, it hasn’t been your best week. It’s probably not your worst, granted, given you’ve just recovered from COVID-19.
However, audio in which you discussed sexual harassment rumors against you while you were at ABC News with former Trump attorney and apparent confidant Michael Cohen in the most elevated of terms (“‘I heard he was the Charlie Rose of ABC, used to invite women to the hotel and open up his bathrobe.’ Do I look like the kind of f—ing guy who’s gotta do that?”) ended up being released by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson — so yes, I’d say it still qualifies as a rotten workweek.
You’ve so far yet to comment or even confirm if it was you on the tape. Cohen seems to have done that for you, though. (If I haven’t already commended you for this, good choice in friends.) However, no one cares about him. Letting this go by without comment was good thinking, too.
At the same time you were having a bad week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was having a much worse one, a week that would even overshadow that Cohen tape.
On Monday, Pelosi arrived at eSalon SF at 3 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. San Francisco County’s salons wouldn’t reopen for another day, according to Fox News, and only then would they be allowed to conduct outdoor services. Pelosi did neither. Instead, she went inside the salon and had her hair washed and blown out.
Three hours later, she appeared on “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC, according to a separate Fox News report. Sometime thereafter, the video of her visit to the salon, complete with her not wearing a mask, began making the rounds.
You, Chris Cuomo, have been handed a gift. There but for the grace of God goes someone else. You don’t have to comment on it. Like that guy who called you Fredo, you could just let it go and your life would be easier. Maybe even mention it and say it sounds like a setup to you — like Pelosi did — and quickly move the topic along.
You, Chris Cuomo, did nothing of the sort.
As those of us who watch CNN know — and this is the same with every cable news channel, but it’s especially bad on the official network of delayed flights — there’s a bit of inter-studio banter as hosts hand off their shows to one another. John Berman, who was guest-hosting Anderson Cooper’s show, ended his broadcast by talking about one of President Donald Trump’s tweets on the matter, according to Breitbart.
You do this more than most, Mr. Cuomo, particularly with your friend Don Lemon. You can do it with Berman, though, as Wednesday’s show proved.
“But, consider this, the crowds of unmasked and not socially distanced audience members at the president’s speech at the White House on the final day of the Republican convention or the president’s own maskless visit to a hurricane relief center in Louisiana last week,” Berman said.
“The state’s own guidelines say masks should be worn when in public indoors and out. So, yes, it is fair to criticize the House speaker, who should have known better. But it’s fair to criticize anyone who breaks the restrictions, guidelines and just plain common sense we all should live by,” he said.
You were then handed the baton. Here’s where something like, “Hey, John. How’s the wife and kids?” would have sufficed. None of that for you, though.
“Maybe she was listening to the president, who said masks are weakness, who’s always encouraging people to take off masks, who held his big speech about how to control the pandemic in front of a crowd that was largely without masks,” you said.
“Maybe Pelosi’s falling under the influence.”
So several things are at work here. First, I’m assuming while the CNN host is a busy man, he must have watched Pelosi’s appearance on MSNBC after she got the wash-and-blow. It was clear from there she wasn’t “falling under the influence.” If anything, she was more evangelical about wearing masks than ever.
“What further evidence does anyone need that this president doesn’t care less about the spread of this virus than to see what he did,” the speaker said about that Republican National Convention acceptance speech.
“Bringing all those people there, no masks, no distancing and the rest. He slapped science right in the face.”
Do you maybe see the problem here, Chris?
Anyway, she’s already mentioned who she says the bad influence was. That would be the salon owner, who she claimed set her up.
“I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I have been to many times,” Pelosi said when asked by reporters Wednesday about the incident. “When they said they could accommodate people one at a time, and we can set up that time, I trusted that.”
“As it turns out, it was a setup. So I take responsibility for falling for a setup,” she said. “The salon owes me an apology for setting me up.”
That still doesn’t explain the lack of a mask, but Pelosi insists it’s because they were washing her hair.
“I just had my hair washed. I don’t wear my mask when I’m washing my hair,” she said. “Do you wear one when you wash your hair?”
In a salon? If you’re preaching the gospel of the mask, then yes, you do.
The House speaker, in other words, has long believed there’s one set of rules she preaches and another one she practices.
It’s kind of like being a CNN host given to fulminating moral tirades and vigorous defenses of the media who tells Michael Cohen that “the media is not your friend” when they’re investigating what he dismisses as “women who do work there say, ‘Oh yeah, you know, some of these men,’ and naming me with other guys, ‘You know, we bumped into each other once in the elevator and he put his hand on my shoulder and he made me really uncomfortable.’”
Like you, Chris Cuomo. At least you could have escaped from this without taking the side of Pelosi saying the salon set her up and excusing it by saying maybe she was being influenced by Donald Trump.
Alas, no such luck.
Neither of you could possibly be induced to take a bit of responsibility for any of your own hypocrisy.
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