Fox News host Laura Ingraham and network contributor Raymond Arroyo took aim Wednesday night at CNN anchors who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, calling the infections a “deliberate attempt” by the network to “graft” the anchors onto the crisis and likening the situation to a reality show.
In recent weeks, at least three CNN anchors have announced they have been stricken with COVID-19: Chris Cuomo, Brooke Baldwin, and Richard Quest. Cuomo remained on the air while he was sick, at times openly discussing his symptoms with CNN medical contributor Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Cuomo Prime Time host’s teenage son and wife have also since contracted the virus.
On Wednesday during a regular Ingraham Angle segment called “Seen and Unseen,” Arroyo—a frequent Ingraham guest and occasional guest host—grumbled that CNN personalities have increasingly become part of the pandemic story.
“Laura, the first rule of journalism is don’t inject yourself into the story,” Arroyo sniped. “But there seems to be a deliberate attempt to graft a slew of CNN anchors onto this COVID crisis.”
“A number of them have contracted the virus and emoted their personal experiences,” he continued. “It almost appears they’ve launched a series of new reality shows. You could call this one ‘Are You Sicker Than a CNN Anchor?’”
(An on-air mockup of the faux reality show title was prominently featured.)
Ingraham and Arroyo then played a montage of stricken CNN anchors detailing their experiences with the virus on-air, prompting Arroyo to shake his head and blast the network and hosts for airing the testimonials.
“Laura, the self-referential emoting is what is so galling,” he huffed as Ingraham nodded in agreement. “People are dying and losing their livelihoods. Chances are, young and healthy anchors will not succumb to the disease.”
“And to keep this narrative going every night that's so personal, it is disturbing,” Arroyo added. “Because you lose all perspective. It is great to have perspective, but to become the story is a big problem here. And CNN really should tamp down their personal stories. It's too much.”
Ingraham, for her part, said she was sure the CNN hosts are “great people” despite “always being kind of nasty to us.” She repeated several times that she’s glad they’re okay.
“I agree,” Arroyo declared.
“But I don’t really get it,” Ingraham wondered aloud. “I guess—is that the news? It’s news that Chris Cuomo came out of the basement?”
Arroyo ended the segment by criticizing the recent Cuomo segment Ingraham referenced, in which the anchor claimed he had “finally” re-emerged from his basement after quarantine. The pair said Cuomo “feigned” his recovery, noting his own admission that he was outside his East Hamptons property on Easter Sunday.