CNN's Chris Cuomo, a Fordham law school graduate and winner of multiple News Emmy awards, is the feature journalist in this week's Media Hall of Shame for his utter ignorance in interpreting the First Amendment.
It seemed as though his campaign for the month of May was to shred the Constitution and attack anyone willing to fully exercise their freedom of speech. Of course when it came to his own freedom of speech, he proved to be much more lenient, as highlighted below.
Kicking off the month, Cuomo warned Baltimore protestors live on air not to provoke the police, saying, "You know how they are." Breitbart's John Nolte pointed out that Cuomo was caught red handed sowing "seeds of hate" while covering the unrest. Cuomo defended himself via Facebook saying he was taken out of context. Yet in the process, he misquoted himself insisting that he said, "That's how they are." But in fact that is not at all what he said, and the transcripts provided not only by Nolte, but by his own network, prove it.
"The implication was obvious," Nolte concluded.
Days later, Cuomo was busy coming down on others by spreading the idea that hate speech is not protected under the First Amendment. When interviewing Rep. Steve King (R-IA) after the Draw Muhammad contest in Garland, Texas, the CNN host wondered if free speech was used as a "cover to poke Islam in the eye" during that event.
The very next day, Cuomo was on the receiving end of a Twitter spanking after he erroneously claimed that hate speech is "excluded by protection" under the First Amendment. Hoping to add credence to his interpretation, he challenged others to not "just say you love the constitution… read it." His Twitter feed was subsequently inundated with people who indeed have read the Constitution and proceeded to illuminate this law school graduate. "Can you point to where this free speech 'exception' is in US Constitution?" someone tweeted. He could not.
Though during the volley on Twitter he tried to clarify that he was referring to hate speech as per the "Chaplinsky" or "fighting words" doctrine, Cuomo ultimately acquiesced in a statement via Facebook saying, "It was a clumsy tweet. I got caught up in a back and forth… Of course hate speech is almost always protected by the First Amendment." (Starts @2:00)
Just this week, Cuomo continued leveling his hate speech accusations at Pamela Geller, host of the Draw Muhammad contest, claiming that drawing Islam's prophet is as bad as saying the N-word. Geller intended on placing the winning drawing by Bosch Fawstin on Washington D.C. transit buses. Cuomo slammed this idea as just another provocation and asked Geller why she felt it was "right" to do so, even if protected by the First Amendment. Geller insisted that there is no "but" when it comes to free speech and accused Cuomo of kowtowing to fear and supporting Sharia law. In the end, the D.C. transit authority shut down Geller's plans by suspending all political ads from buses through the end of the year, thus making another profound statement against America's first freedom.
By Friday, Cuomo was busy as ever, once again on Twitter defending his take on free speech: