GMA's Chris Cuomo Brags: 'We're Not a Great Entertainment Show'

"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo gave an interview to the TV Newser podcast "Morning Media Menu" on Wednesday in which he touted the seriousness of the ABC program and later vaguely broached the subject of the issues journalists leave out of stories. But first, he bragged, "I think a fair criticism of 'Good Morning America' would be that we're not a great entertainment show. You know what I mean?" Cuomo (see file photo above) added that the show's hosts and talent really "think as reporters first" and that "there's so much pressure in the morning to be entertaining, given the time, give what is going on with people's lives."

"But, that's just not where our hearts and our heads are," he concluded. Of course, it should be pointed out that "Good Morning America" is the program that devoted almost its entire second hour last Friday to a U2 rock concert and also features a weekly segment on the latest events to occur on "Dancing With the Stars." To be fair, the subject that prompted Cuomo's comments was GMA's ongoing "Big" sweeps series. Each day this week, one of the program's anchors has traveled to different countries, many of which have featured informative segments about the lives of the people there, (such as Robin Roberts in Mumbai, India on Tuesday.) However, GMA certainly has its share of frivolous, mindless story segments.

While talking with podcast hosts Steve Krakauer and Glynnis Macnicol, Cuomo also expressed his new found interest in Twitter. He asserted that he really does read the comments people leave on his page and offered this interesting tidbit: "Because, I think I may develop something...I'm thinking of developing a dialogue about what was not said in our stories." After referencing a GMA segment on AIG and its operations in London, he added, "You know, there is a lot of implication that we don't discuss in our stories, that I would be happy to discuss on Twitter. So, I'm going to use it."

Cuomo expressed an interest in feedback on what viewers think GMA is leaving out. If NewsBusters readers are so inclined, his Twitter page can be found here. I'm sure the news anchor for the ABC program would appreciate respectful "tweets" whenever he leaves out the conservative perspective in a story.

In a previous "Media Morning Menu" podcast, Cuomo's ABC colleague Terry Moran gushed over the President. He enthused, "I like to say that, in some ways, Barack Obama is the first President since George Washington to be taking a step down into the Oval Office."

A partial transcript of the March 11 podcast interview can be found below.

Morning Media Menu podcast

[Discussing GMA's recent sweeps trip to various countries, including India.]

STEVE KRAKAUER: Obviously there is, you know, different trips that morning shows do. There's sweeps going on or something. But, you know, you always want to see the value that comes from it and the reporting that comes from it. And that definitely seems that in all of these trips, there's various segments on a lot of different reporting that's going on from there.

CHRIS CUOMO: Yeah, I think so. I think a fair criticism of "Good Morning America" would be that we're not a great entertainment show. You know what I mean? We really think as reporters first and, you know, often there's so much pressure in the morning to be entertaining, given the time, give what is going on with people's lives. But, that's just not where our hearts and our heads are. You know? Like, you tell about the Dubai, I want to talk about the economy. You know, I don't necessarily think to go sand dune-ing, you know, in the first instance. So, it's a natural that each of the days is going to have a lot of information in it, because that's what comes naturally to us. But, at the same time, it's really entertaining.

...

CHRIS CUOMO: But, I really encourage people to get onto Twitter if they're on it and tweet me, because I am reading them and I am going to respond to them. And I am going to, not only answer question. Because, I think I may develop something- And I'd love your guys' take on this, if you don't mind. I'm thinking of developing a dialogue about what was not said in our stories. And that's not to mean that we obfuscate, but very often- Like, let's take this AIG story in London, okay? We do this story yesterday. The guy was getting paid- Cassano- made a lot of money. Still getting paid on a consultancy. But, now there are things that are not in that story, okay? There's the whole discussion of whether or not AIG should have been price supported. There's the whole implication of, well, if it's not a catastrophe because of their counter-parties [sic], is it because the U.S. government owns 77 percent of the stock? Is that why we're keeping it up? You know, there is a lot of implication that we don't discuss in our stories, that I would be happy to discuss on Twitter. So, I'm going to use it.

GLYNNIS MACNICOL: If they- if they came back to you with some good ideas, would you think about working that into future stories, or would you spin that off into, sort of, web content only piece based on the suggestions you're getting from Twitter?

CUOMO: Great question, you know, I'd have to think about the best way to do it. The ideal answer would be both, right? You know, going along with that idea of impressions. You know, there's an easy distinction to make as a journalist. Am I going to adopt your opinion about stories, even if it seems to be consensus? No. I avoid it. I avoid it religiously. But, I will take suggestions about what is being left out, what you're not hearing about- with definite purpose, I would do that.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org