In the debut of his News Nation primetime series “Cuomo,” Chris Cuomo began with a sprawling pitch to viewers about himself as a person, and about his show as a place for “regular” voters — who he identified as people not affiliated with either of the two major parties.
And while he only acknowledged in the vaguest terms the circumstances of his exit from CNN, he asserted that in the months since, “I’m different,” and promised “to be more transparent about where my head is, on the issues that we cover.”
Cuomo pitched his show as a place to break out of the cycle of what he called purposeful “division” and expose “the game” he said “is plaguing our politics and society.” And naturally, he pitched himself as an antidote, offering a venue beyond all that, which, he said repeatedly, would hold both Democrats and Republicans to account.
At times the monologue took on the quality of apparent false equivalence, as he discussed several controversies of note that bedevil the American landscape in which, indisputably, right wing actors play a bigger role in the negatives than left wing participants. Those issues included gun control and political violence. Though he did say he wouldn’t be pretending the issues he notes are “a 50/50” split.
Watch clips of that at the top of the page now.
Shakespeare once wrote in ‘The Tempest,’ ‘the past is prologue,'” he said. “So it is with me, being here with you tonight. And I believe that. I’ve learned lessons, good and bad in the past many months. I’ve relied on my family, my friends, my therapist.”
“And thankfully,” he continued, “it’s been the case that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’ve been humbled in a way that I’ve never been before, and I’m also hungry to do better in a way that I’ve never been before. So this show is going to be different than what I’ve done in the past, because I’m different.”
“And I’ve spent a lot of time looking and listening on the sidelines. It’s obvious to me that we need people in my position to do more. To not just play, or even referee the game that is plaguing our politics and society. That means exposing the game. Show when it’s played. Show how it’s being played. And also, to be more transparent about where my head is, on the issues that we cover,” he continued.
“I also have a new appreciation for just exactly how unique my situation is. Most people in my business know politics from the outside. I know it from the inside,” Cuomo said, as he launched into his biography as the son of powerhouse New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
This makes him an eyewitness, he said, to “the interplay between politics and government, and the interplay between the media, and those in power, in a way few in my position have.”
Cuomo also pitched News Nation itself as a place that isn’t mired in “group think,” and that the viewers — “regular people, not the fringe,” who he said are “the majority” — are the point. “News nation refers to you, America,” he said, later adding that this majority isn’t “about left and right, you’re reasonable.”
Cuomo ran through several issues of the day that he said demonstrate the issues he’s describing. School shootings for example, immigration and college debt as well. He also came down on Republicans in particular for participating in politics in order to breed division rather than solve problems, an issue he said can also be found among Democrats.
Cuomo also dinged the media for failing to focus on things that really matter, or stop following something crucial once it’s no longer sensational.
“I’m not gonna follow the pack,” he said. “I’m gonna expose the game.”