Opinion Writers Take Issue With Trump, Cuomo Brothers On TV

Two commentaries in high-profile places last week took issue with aspects of the ways in which President Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been appearing on TV during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Trump, the commentary came from The Wall Street Journal last Thursday and Friday. The paper criticized the president for seizing the spotlight during the daily news briefings of his White House Coronavirus Taskforce.

For Cuomo, the commentary came from a New York Post columnist who criticized the governor's nightly appearances on brother Chris Cuomo’s prime-time show on CNN.

The Post did not criticize Gov. Cuomo's daily news conferences that have been airing live earlier in the day during the pandemic.

For the first few weeks of the pandemic, President Trump drew praise from some quarters for his daily televised briefings in which he projected an image of calm, openness, responsibility and industriousness in marshaling the resources of the government.



In the process, he also appeared to cede the spotlight to some of the more-expert members of his Coronavirus Taskforce -- behavior that is not exactly a trait most people would associate with Donald Trump.

But more recently, he has been monopolizing these overlong daily briefings in order to carry on inane verbal sparring matches with members of the press corps.

In the lead editorial on its opinion pages last Thursday, The Wall Street Journal took Trump to task for these news-briefing defects and more.

“The briefings began as a good idea to educate the public about the dangers of the virus,” the WSJ wrote. “But sometime in the last three weeks, Mr. Trump seems to have concluded that the briefings could be a showcase for him. … The briefings are now all about the President.”

“The President’s outbursts against his political critics are notably off key at this moment,” the editorial continued. “This isn’t impeachment, and COVID-19 isn’t shifty Schiff. It’s a once-in-a-century threat to American life and livelihood.”

Would the president take the editorial to heart and make some of the changes that the WSJ editors suggested? As the week came to a close, that did not seem likely.

In a shorter editorial on Friday headlined “All the President’s Ratings,” the paper noted that the president responded by bragging about his ratings on Twitter.

“The Wall Street Journal always ‘forgets’ to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are ‘through the roof’,” tweeted the leader of the free world. “WSJ is Fake News!”

“Thanks for reading, sir,” the editorial said on Friday. “Our point was about the way Mr. Trump is communicating about a subject that is literally a life and death matter. That’s the reason they’re a ratings hit, not because people enjoy Donald Trump sparring with the White House press corps like a Packers-Bears game.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo has drawn praise for weeks for his communications style in the daily news briefings he has held on TV since the crisis began. In the briefings, he comes across as empathetic, realistic, open, honest, thoughtful, philosophical and wise.

The tone appears to be exactly what many people need to hear, and almost overnight he has seen his popularity rise steeply, not only in New York but nationwide.

But at the same time, New York emerged as the world center of the pandemic. New York Post columnist Kyle Smith pointed out this disconnect in a Friday morning column on the Post website that was headlined: “Stop the sickening ‘Cuomo Brothers Feel-Good Pandemic Variety Show’.”

Smith's main point was his opinion that Chris Cuomo demeans himself, CNN and all of journalism by welcoming his own brother on to his show every night to ask him brotherly softball questions that he would never ask any other newsmaker.

For Smith, having Cuomo interviewing Gov. Cuomo is like hiring Donald Trump Jr. to interview his father every night on Fox News -- which, it should be noted, not even Fox News has done.

Smith was evidently fed up with Chris Cuomo presiding over a nightly lovefest in which he thanks his brother incessantly and tells him how much he loves him.

“Gov. Cuomo reports that our state now has more people infected with coronavirus than any single entire country,” Smith wrote. “ ‘I love you very much’ and ‘Thank you’ are not the top two things I would say to a guy who has presided over a catastrophe that has killed more than 7,000 New Yorkers.”

4 comments about "Opinion Writers Take Issue With Trump, Cuomo Brothers On TV".
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  1. Ken Kurtz from creative license, April 14, 2020 at 2:41 p.m.

    Thank you for providing the link to the NYP column. Must agree with Kyle Smith there. Obviously, what's good for the goose ain't good for the gander. The left just can't get out of its own way, truly, had the left NEVER STARTED berating and demonizing Trump (legitimately, in some cases, illegitimately in WAY TOO MANY OTHERS) he wouldn't have been elected in 2016.

    The great paradox is that the left slinging all this anti-Trump shit against the wall to see what will stick (the true stuff will, but everybody already knew what was true) HAS HELPED TRUMP FROM DAY ONE, and continues to help him because so much of that which is being slung is PURE BS, which makes the left more "BS" than Trump himself.

    I've been quarantined, and fighting the virus myself, and I haven't had the television on for 30 days... but I did watch that Cuomo Brothers clip attached to the link, and it was so sickly sweet that I almost got my senses of smell, and taste back.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 14, 2020 at 5:25 p.m.

    Sorry to hear that you have the virus, Ken. I hope you have a good outcome.

  3. Ken Kurtz from creative license replied, April 14, 2020 at 5:53 p.m.

    Thanks Ed. We are muddling through. Good outcome, so far, in that none of us needed to be hospitalized. But some of these symptoms (including fever, bodyaches, and exhaustion) do come back for peek-a-boo visits.

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 15, 2020 at 1:53 a.m.

    Some people like their leaders to care, to show human emotion, to tell the truth, to make extremely difficult decisions, to base decisions on science, to speak to as many people as possible, to ask and take advise, to not sound scolding or someone with mad cow disease or paranoia or psychotic, to be sympathetic, to work. His brother is putting on one of the faces of the virus, how it effects the brain and thinking as much a physical pain. Ken, I hope you get through this and meanwhile, just rest before you post anywhere.

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