Tag Archives: Chris Cuomo

Opinion: CNN Had a Bad Week

 

Over the past week, CNN has been battling allegations of scripting a town hall event, spreading fake news, and exposing the identity and location of a woman during an interview. These accusations have been claimed by some as proof that the network fails to live up to its “Facts First” credo, while others view CNN as being unfairly targeted by phony accusations. The network’s most recent faux pas, described by some as harassment of a private citizen, drew particularly strong criticism from prominent media figures. 

Chris Cuomo Retweeted Fake News and Defended It

Earlier this week, CNN host Chris Cuomo retweeted an article written by 20-year old Cody Davis who claimed he was “able to buy a gun in five minutes” in his headline. The article itself proved nothing of the sort; the author admitted that he was given five pages of paperwork to fill out and instead, he abruptly left- contradicting his claim that he “was able to buy” a gun. A few days later Twitter users criticized Cuomo for retweeting fake news. Rather than discuss the content of the article— particularly the detail that many of Cuomo’s detractors found most crucial, which was that the author left before filling out required paperwork for the gun purchase— Cuomo argued that he shared the article because he felt the “system should be better.”

Colton Haab Claims CNN “Scripted” His Town Hall Question

Update, February 24, 2018, 1:25pm:

A CNN source has released emails to address the Haab family’s claims of the network putting forward “scripted” material. According to Business Insider, Fox News and the Huffington Post received CNN-related email exchanges from the Haabs on Friday afternoon, and CNN later “provided Colton’s version of the emails, as well as their versions of all of the communications between the Haabs and CNN.”

Business Insider reports that CNN opted to release their communications upon the revelation that the emails received by Fox and HuffPo were missing a portion of text. CNN’s version of one particular email shows that producer Carrie Stevenson told Colton’s father, Glenn, that Colton needed to “stick to” one question that he and Stevenson “discussed on the phone that he submitted”; the version of the email reportedly provided by the Haabs to Fox and HuffPost is missing the phrase “that he submitted.”

https://twitter.com/eliza_relman/status/967214553858822144

Original report:

Colton Haab, a Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor, was among a number of survivors invited to a special CNN town hall event. Haab said that he was asked to prepare questions and commentary for the event, and went on to claim that CNN attempted to replace his proposed material with the network’s suggested material. Haab accused CNN of turning his remarks into a “scripted” question, an allegation that CNN quickly denied.

Since Haab’s initial accusation, more details have been revealed and both Haab and CNN have doubled down on their positions, with Haab appearing on Fox News to share further context and CNN standing firm in their refutation.

Haab’s father, Glenn Haab, told the Huffington Post that his son had been informed that his prepared material was too long and was directed to cut his proposed remarks to one question. Haab’s father went on to say that his son could not properly convey one question with no context, so he chose not to attend the town hall.

According to the Daily Caller, Matt Dornic, CNN’s Vice President of Communications and Digital Partnerships, claimed that CNN “gave Haab the opportunity to expand on the idea of arming teachers, a topic which was brought up multiple times during the town hall, as opposed to delivering a prepared speech.” The Daily Caller noted that “Haab reportedly declined to reframe his remarks, and his father subsequently prevented him from taking part in the program. Despite CNN’s explanation, the network did in fact let multiple participants deliver lengthy remarks which went beyond the pale of simple questions.”

When President Trump waded into the controversy, CNN’s Drew Griffin dismissed the situation as a lie “repeated over and over again.”

Haab went on to appear on Fox News, going into further detail with Tucker Carlson and went into further detail about the incident:

So what had happened was four days ago I had gotten contacted by a lady named Carrie Stevenson from CNN. She had asked me originally to just write a speech. It was going to be at the town hall at the BB&T Center. So I agreed. I felt like it would be the right thing to do. Be able to go speak my part as well as open eyes to a few things that I thought that can make this situation a little better. From there, three days ago, so the next day after that I had gotten an email back from her and she asked for more of questions rather than a speech. Which I was totally fine with so I wrote a little less of a speech and more of questions that I wanted to ask at the town hall. The day after that it was more of just questions. She asked for just questions that I would like to ask.

So, I gave her my questions and then yesterday, at about 5:15, I made contact with her. And she had asked if I had just asked her one question. So what they had actually done was wrote out a question for me because in my interview with CNN, I had talked about arming the teachers, if they were willing to arm themselves in the school to carry on campus. And they had — she had taken that of what I had briefed on and actually wrote that question out for me. So I have that question here if you would like me to ask it for you.

“So you sent them a long, in effect essay on what you thought but they put their own words in the question and they weren’t the same as the words you had sent in? They were the producer’s words?” Carlson asked.

“Absolutely,” Haab answered. “They had taken what I had wrote and what I had briefed on and talked about and they actually wrote the question for me.”

Andrew Klein, the father of a survivor of the Stoneham Douglas shooting, told Laura Ingraham that he had been approached by a CNN producer the day after the shooting, and “the producer insinuated to me they were looking for people who were willing to espouse a certain narrative which was taking a tragedy and turning it into a policy debate and I read that as being a gun control debate.” When Ingraham pressed for clarification, Klein said “the producer said we’re looking for people who want to talk about the policy implications about what happened in terms of— she didn’t mention guns but in terms of the policy implications for preventing future mass shootings and if you know folks who want to talk about that, we’d like to speak to those people.”

At this point, CNN and Haab have yet to provide proof to fully substantiate their respective claims, but both are staunch in their convictions. CNN’s most recent rebuttal on Twitter noted that “we can prove” Haab’s statements are untrue.

The Latest: CNN Confronted a Woman at Her Home and Exposed Her Identity

CNN’s Drew Griffin tracked down and confronted a woman at her home as part of Griffin’s reporting on “unwitting” American participants in Russian interference related to the 2016 election. Griffin described the woman to viewers as an individual helping “Russian internet trolls infiltrate U.S. communities by spreading Russian made messages without knowing it.”

The woman reportedly used her Facebook page to promote purported Pro-Trump rallies, which were allegedly organized by a “front group” tracing back to a Russian organization called the Internet Research Agency. Griffin repeatedly questioned her outside of her home about her level of involvement with Russians regarding her pro-Trump Facebook group’s promotion of the rally:

https://www.facebook.com/cnn/videos/10157997258091509/

In publishing the woman’s first, middle, and last name, as well as her county and state of residence, she was quickly discovered online and has reportedly been subjected to a high volume of harassment.

CNN’s report was widely rebuked by a number of public figures.

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/966346586862256130

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein noted last week following the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations. “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

This is not the first time CNN has shown affinity to exposing identities of citizens; last summer, the network had reported how it identified a Reddit user who crafted a GIF depicting President Trump beating a man whose head had been replaced by a CNN logo. The network reported that while it would not disclose the user’s identity at the time because the Reddit user submitted an apology to CNN’s satisfaction, “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

CNN’s Chris Cuomo Retweets and Defends Bogus News Story

On February 19th, CNN host Chris Cuomo retweeted an article, written by Cody Davis and published by The Tab, which bore the headline “I was able to buy an AR-15 in five minutes.”

In the 2-year-old article, Davis described a visit to a Virginia gun shop. He wrote that he approached an employee for assistance in picking out “something for home protection and target practice.” According to Davis, an employee later let him look at an AR-15 and obliged Davis’ request to take a photo of Davis with the weapon. Davis claimed that the employee didn’t notice that his license was expired and that he’d tried to share his drivers’ license renewal receipt, and was asked to provide his vehicle registration for verification. Later on, according to Davis:

After he walked me through the paperwork, all five pages of it, I told him I changed my mind and wanted to think more before I bought an AR-15. He told me it wasn’t a problem and listed the store hours if I wanted to come back. I then said thank you and walked back to my car.

Seconds. It took seconds for the salesman to take an AR-15 off the shelf and begin selling it to me. If I had stayed for maybe three minutes longer to fill out less paperwork than I did for the hiring process at my school’s bookstore, I would’ve driven home with an AR-15.

No delay. No extensive background check. Just my recently expired driver’s license, my vehicle registration, and filling out some paperwork.

The headline of Davis’ story claims that he was able to purchase an AR-15, but the content within the article itself revealed that he was not actually “able” to do so, due to his admission that he left the store without completing any paperwork that would have triggered a background check.

Days after Cuomo retweeted the article, backlash began to mount.

https://twitter.com/Chet_Cannon/status/966176686931959813

https://twitter.com/andyndelaney/status/966290309821927425

In response to National Review editor Charles Cooke, Cuomo claimed that his motivation for retweeting the article was to call attention to the man’s lack of identification and his belief that “the system should be better.”

https://twitter.com/charlescwcooke/status/966281123348320257

Cuomo continued to respond to criticisms throughout the day.

CNN Anchor: Hate Speech NOT Protected by Constitution “Read It”

Washington D.C.-  In what has to be one of the more embarrassing moments of his career, CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo recently took to Twitter to school his audience on the language of the U.S. Constitution.  The only problem: clearly it was Cuomo who needed the refresher.

Jumping into an argument about hate speech, Cuomo said this: “hate speech is excluded from protection. dont just say you love the constitution…read it”

 

 

 

 

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So, let’s do just that.  The exact text from the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights cover freedom of speech (that didn’t take long).  It says… “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Nope, nothing in there about hate speech.  Obviously the text of the U.S. Constitution does not include any carved-out exception, which is why after being called out for his egregious mistake, Cuomo fell back on a little known court case from 1941 called the Chaplinsky case.

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A brief history of the Chaplinsky case:

In late November 1941, Walter Chaplinsky, a Jehovah’s Witness, was using the public sidewalk as a pulpit in downtown Rochester, passing out pamphlets and calling organized religion a “racket.” After a large crowd had begun blocking the roads and generally causing a scene, a police officer removed Chaplinsky to take him to police headquarters. Upon seeing the town marshal (who had returned to the scene after warning Chaplinsky earlier to keep it down and avoid causing a commotion), Chaplinsky attacked the marshal verbally. He was then arrested. The complaint against Chaplinsky stated that he shouted: “You are a God-damned racketeer” and “a damned Fascist”. Chaplinsky admitted that he said the words charged in the complaint, with the exception of the name of the deity.

For this, he was charged and convicted under a New Hampshire statute preventing intentionally offensive speech being directed at others in a public place. Under New Hampshire’s Offensive Conduct law (chap. 378, para. 2 of the NH. Public Laws) it is illegal for anyone to address “any offensive, derisive or annoying word to anyone who is lawfully in any street or public place … or to call him by an offensive or derisive name.”

Chaplinsky appealed the fine he was assessed, claiming that the law was “vague” and that it infringed upon his First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free speech.

The court ruled against him and out of this case came the “fighting words” exception.  According to Hotair.com “Over time federal courts have narrowed that ruling to make clear that it only applies, in Ken White’s words, to ‘face-to-face insults that would provoke an immediate violent reaction from a reasonable person.’ In other words, says Instapundit, a ‘personal invitation to brawl.’ All true, but it’s painfully easy to move from that standard to a standard in which ‘hateful’ speech qualifies as ‘fighting words’ whether or not it’s uttered face to face, whether or not the violent reaction is immediate, and whether or not a reasonable person from the ‘majority’ might object to it.”

Furthermore, the Supreme Court of the United States has also already ruled on this subject.  In the Supreme Court case R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, Scalia (writing for the Court) made explicitly clear that the “Fighting Words Doctrine” could not be used to impose special prohibition on specific disfavored topics, such as, e.g., “hate speech.” As Scalia put it, “the reason why fighting words are categorically excluded from the protection of the First Amendment is not that their content communicates any particular idea, but that their content embodies a particularly intolerable (and socially unnecessary) mode of expressing whatever idea the speaker wishes to convey. St. Paul . . . has proscribed fighting words of whatever manner that communicate messages of racial, gender, or religious intolerance[,] creat[ing] the possibility that the city is seeking to handicap the expression of particular ideas. That possibility would alone be enough to render the ordinance presumptively invalid[.]”

In the end, Cuomo is wrong… both in his initial claim and also in his follow-up in order to save face.

Dr. Ben Carson: Prisons Are Proof People Choose to be Gay

While appearing on CNN’s “New Day”, potential GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson stated that being gay is “absolutely” a choice. “New Day” host Chris Cuomo asked Carson why he thought homosexuality was a choice.

Carson responded: “Because a lot of people go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”

Carson went on to say, “Here is what is important. Why do gay people want to get married? Why do they say they want to get married? Because they want to have various rights — property rights, visitation rights. Why can’t any two human beings, I don’t care what their sexual orientation is, why can’t they have the legal right to do those things? That does not require changing the definition of marriage.”

CNN Anchor: “CNN Will Help” Shame Congress Into Action On Education

On Tuesday, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo declared to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the program New Day that CNN would assist Duncan in a “shame campaign” to persuade Congress to act on education during a discussion about community college:

Cuomo: Community college. The pushback on that issue is that one, we don’t know that college is even the right way to get into the job force anymore, and if you make it too easy for people to get into college, you wind up getting the wrong people go in who don’t want to work for it enough, and it’s all these other kids are struggling and they don’t qualify, the wrong kids qualify, those are the typical points of pushback. Your response?

Duncan: I fundamentally disagree that we again have to educate our way to a better economy. The days in which you could just graduate from high school and go get a high wage job that helps you progress into the middle class, it’s pretty hard to do that today. And to have young people have access to a community college whether 28-year-olds, whether they’re 38-year-olds, whether they’re 58-year-olds, coming back to retrain, retool- management jobs, high-tech jobs, jobs that relate to the health care area, advanced manufacturing. When I visit community colleges, and I’ve been to dozens around the country, those are some of the most inspiring visits I ever make. These are people across the spectrum coming back to school to gain the skills to enter the middle class. We need to support those efforts and support the partnerships between community colleges and local industry. Many community colleges today are becoming regional economic engines. They’re driving economic activity. Creating jobs in their communities. We have to support that. We want to keep great jobs in our communities and ultimately in our nation.

Cuomo: Secretary, my only advice for you is that you should go on a shame campaign with Congress to get them to act. New Day will help, CNN will help. We wish you good luck, Secretary Duncan. You’re going to have a lot of challenges in front of you, but the biggest one is to get Washington to do anything.

Duncan: I’ll take you up on that offer, thank you very much.