CNN host Chris Cuomo said Thursday that, for journalists, being called “fake news” is “the equivalent of the n-word.” He later apologized for the comment.
“I see being called ‘fake news’ as the equivalent of the n-word for journalists, the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity,” Cuomo said in an interview with SiriusXM POTUS.
He called it “an ugly insult.”
“You better be right if you’re going to charge a journalist with lying on purpose, and the President was not right here and he has not been right in the past,” Cuomo said. “When he says something that is false or as you say demonstrably false, that matters.”
He also said that journalists should “forget about being popular.”
“Journalists cannot be afraid to do their job. You’re in the wrong business if you want to be popular,” he said. “What you go for is being right, and being relevant. Forget about being popular, if you want to do that, you know, be an actor.”
CNN referred TPM’s request for comment to Cuomo’s publicist, who emailed a link to an apology Cuomo tweeted Thursday afternoon.
“I was wrong,” he wrote. “I should not have said it. I apologize.”
I was wrong. Calling a journalist fake -nothing compared to the pain of a racial slur. I should not have said it. I apologize https://t.co/TJGUgWz9Q2
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) February 9, 2017
Cuomo pushed back Thursday morning on President Donald Trump’s incorrect claim that the TV host failed to question Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on his military record.
“The President, with all due respect, is once again off on the facts,” Cuomo said. “And that’s not something that any of us have any desire to say on a regular basis but it keeps being true.”
Trump called Cuomo “FAKE NEWS!” after the interview with Blumenthal earlier Thursday morning.
Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave “service” in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
This post has been updated.