Cuomo, Lemon: NBC Committed ‘Malpractice’ By Not Showing Knife


While doubling down during Thursday’s CNN Tonight handoff on their support for Officer Nicholas Reardon’s decision to shoot knife-wielding Ma’Khia Bryant, CNN hosts Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon blasted outlets like NBC who didn’t show the knife in Bryant’s hand while reporting on the shooting. The pair accused such outlets of “journalistic malpractice” because they weren’t being honest (an ironic notion given who was flinging it).

Their knock came as NewsBusters drove part of the Thursday news cycle with a report exposing NBC’s deception against their audience; editing out a key part of the 911 call and not showing the knife, before silently adding them in an update.

And, we’ve got to be honest about these things. And if we’re not honest about these things, as journalists, then it is a dereliction of our duty as journalists. It’s journalistic malpractice not to do it,” Lemon opined to his friend.

Cuomo noted he had “heard some people were reporting on the incident without showing the knife.” He let his true feelings on the matter known by calling it “malpractice” and said such deceptive outlets were “looking for trouble, and that’s wrong.”

 

 

In addition to ripping other outlets, Lemon sought to dispel the argument that Reardon should have shot Bryant in the leg. He pointed out the key fact that “people don’t stab people with their feet”:

And people, you know, “shoot in the leg.” People don’t stab people with their feet. They’re stabbing with their arms and their upper body. So, the officer is shooting to neutralize the threat. The threat is coming from where? Here. That’s where the threat’s — and that’s where he shoots, to stop the motion of where the knife is coming from.

Lemon also urged people to “imagine if the woman in the pink was your loved one, and the officer didn’t do what he did. You could be mourning the death of that woman, that young lady in the pink.”

Speaking further on the use of force by police, Lemon reminded folks that “police officers are trained to neutralize the threat.”

“You do not pass leather — which is how they refer to coming out of the holster — if you are not planning to neutralize a threat,” Cuomo agreed. “And you must use equal or greater force. So, they’re not taking out that gun to do anything but put somebody down.”

This entire conversation started with Lemon reasonably arguing that we shouldn’t treat every police shooting as if they happened under the exact same circumstances:

LEMON: We cannot treat all police shootings in the same way.

CUOMO: You’re absolutely right. We can’t do that.

LEMON: They’re 100 percent not equal. And that poor mom that you had on, I feel for her, but not every police shooting is the same, and we have to look at the evidence and what we know.

Let’s see how long this lasts.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN Tonight
April 22, 2021
10:01:39 p.m. Eastern

(…)

DON LEMON: And also what happened with the shootings. What’s going on with that? That’s really important that we discuss, and I think we had a very important and illuminating conversation last night that the whole country is having. And I think we should continue to have those conversations because it is what resonates with the American people, and it’s what people want to see change.

And they also want to know how — quite frankly, how to feel about it and what can be done about it and what their fellow Americans are saying and thinking about it.

And I still stand by that. We cannot treat all police shootings in the same way.

CHRIS CUOMO: You’re absolutely right. We can’t do that.

LEMON: They’re 100 percent not equal. And that poor mom that you had on, I feel for her, but not every police shooting is the same, and we have to look at the evidence and what we know.

CUOMO: And, look, she’s not here to be tested on the facts of the matter. It’s to remember no matter what you see as justified or unjustified, there’s a humanity at play.

(…)

10:04:29 p.m. Eastern

LEMON: I think it was like seven seconds, seven or nine seconds that the officer had to react. It is tragic. It is terrible. But, imagine if the woman in the pink was your loved one, and the officer didn’t do what he did. You could be mourning the death of that woman, that young lady in the pink. And, again, I know that people say, well, he should have shot for the leg. That’s not — you had — what’s the guy you had on with the glasses? I forget what you call him.

CUOMO: Anthony Barksdale.

LEMON: Barks. You call him Barks. That’s not the training for police officers. Police officers are trained to neutralize the threat.

CUOMO: You do not pass leather, which is how they refer to coming out of the holster, if you are not planning to neutralize a threat.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: And you must use equal or greater force. So, they’re not taking out that gun to do anything but put somebody down.

LEMON: Right and to neutralize the threat. Which, that’s the training. I’m sorry. This is —

CUOMO: You could rethink the training.

LEMON: 100 percent agree with that. And so that’s the whole idea about figuring out what we do with police in this society and how police officers should be used and utilized. That’s a whole other conversation.

But as it stands now, that’s what it is. And people, you know, “shoot in the leg.” People don’t stab people with their feet. They’re stabbing with their arms and their upper body. So, the officer is shooting to neutralize the threat. The threat is coming from where? Here. That’s where the threat’s — and that’s where he shoots, to stop the motion of where the knife is coming from.

And, again, everyone’s what about a taser? Tasers don’t always work in these situations. Talk to Barksdale or anybody else.

CUOMO: Tasers don’t always work full stop.

LEMON: They don’t always work full stop.

(…)

10:10:17 p.m. Eastern

LEMON: And, we’ve got to be honest about these things. And if we’re not honest about these things, as journalists, then it is a dereliction of our duty as journalists. It’s journalistic malpractice not to do it.

CUOMO: I heard some people were reporting on the incident without showing the knife.

LEMON: Yeah, you got to show all of it.

CUOMO: That is malpractice.

LEMON: Yeah. Again —

CUOMO: That’s looking for trouble, and that’s wrong.

LEMON: It’s tough, but this is where we are right now, and everyone is emotional. And I understand it, but we have to do our due diligence and we’ve got to talk about these things.

(…)



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