Chris Cuomo claims CNN moderators didn’t fact check Trump because they felt bullied

NewsNation host Chris Cuomo called out his former network for being “bullied” by the Trump campaign and not having moderators do any fact-checks during the presidential debate.

Cuomo made the claims during a discussion with NewsNation correspondent Geraldo Rivera, formerly of Fox News, who bemoaned former President Trump’s “outright lying” during last week’s event. Rivera, who once called himself a friend and ally of the former president, railed against debate moderators Dana Bash and Jake Tapper for not calling out Trump’s alleged untruths.

“The exaggeration and the outright lying in the debate, he should have had his chops busted in real time,” Rivera said. “Why didn’t, you know, the anchors say, ‘Wait a second, President Trump, that’s not a fact. In fact, it’s a lie’?”

(Video Credit: NewsNation)

Cuomo suggested the CNN anchors wanted to avoid any “drama” and were effectively bullied by the Trump campaign before the debate.

“Because he worked the refs, Geraldo, that’s why. Because they spent weeks beating up on CNN’s moderators and it worked, and they wound up doing a no fact-check thing because they didn’t want the drama, because people are susceptible to the criticism,” he said.

“In this business, you’re one of the few major celebrities in the history of media, where people know you not just by your full name, but by your first name. You’re like Madonna. But for most of us, we don’t like being named. Jake Tapper doesn’t like being held out for being anti-Trump, and I think you saw it reflected in how they conducted themselves on Thursday night,” Cuomo, who was fired from CNN in 2021, added.

Trump himself had high praise for Tapper and Bash, saying “they treated me very fairly last night.”

“Very professional, both of them,” he said during a rally in Chesapeake, Virginia. “Jake and Dana, they treated us very fairly. They abused me for years, but last night– right? What happened? They treated me very fairly.”

Columnist Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times was one of many voices on the left criticizing the lack of live fact-checking during the debate.

“I wish the CNN moderators did more fact-checking, letting the audience know when things are said that are flatly false,” he wrote on X. “Not sure how it helps for a platform to transmit falsehoods disguised as facts.”

In another clear display of one-sided reporting passed off as journalism, the Washington Post claimed Trump “confidently relied on false assertions that have been debunked repeatedly” while Biden “stretched the truth occasionally.”

CNN pushed back on the criticisms of its debate moderators.

“The role of the moderators is to present the candidates with questions that are important to American voters and to facilitate a debate, enabling candidates to make their case and challenge their opponent,” a spokesperson said. “It is up to the candidates to challenge one another in a debate. CNN offered robust fact-checking coverage in post-debate analysis on TV and across our digital platforms during and following the debate’s conclusion.”

Frieda Powers

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