Chris Cuomo Defends Justin Timberlake From ‘Gotcha’ Media


Former CNN host Chris Cuomo used the opening minutes of his NewsNation show Tuesday night to castigate the rest of the media for voraciously covering Justin Timberlake’s arrest for driving while intoxicated early that morning.

Telling his viewers that they “shouldn’t like” the coverage either, which he said was “traffic[king] in negativity” instead of offering “sympathy” towards the pop star, Cuomo said that the story was personal for him, not because he’s a “huge Justin Timberlake fan,” but because he lives “near where he was busted, right near Sag Harbor, New York.”

“Now don’t get it twisted, DUI matters,” Cuomo clarified, lest it seem like he was excusing the singer’s alleged behavior. Instead, his beef was with the media making such a big deal about it when similar incidents involved non-celebrities go unremarked upon. “It’s the appetite for the gotcha that consumes us,” he added. “To show Justin Timberlake—and now let’s fit him in with all the other celebrities who have done this. Let’s judge him. Let’s judge them because it makes us feel better about ourselves.”

Moments later, Cuomo admitted that he was mostly happy the press that descended on Sag Harbor this week were not there because of him. “I gotta be honest, seeing all that media there, I was just happy they weren’t there for me,” he joked, alluding to his own past scandals.

“We used to cover what matters,” Cuomo said, righteously. “What could make things better rather than traffic in what makes us worse. And look, I know I do it, too. Everything I’m covering tonight is a negative. But we do it in the pursuit of a higher goal, not just to traffic in someone’s problems in a misplaced sense of satisfaction or justice.”

“And again, I don’t even know if the guy did it,” he added, saying that he doesn’t “really care about the situation” because nobody was hurt in this instance—a fundamental misunderstanding about the problem with drunk driving.

Ultimately, Cuomo declared the coverage of Timberlake’s arrest “just another example of us at our worst.”

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