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Greenwald Mocks CNN’s Cuomo for Admitting He Shows ‘Deference to All Officials’

An interesting tidbit from Friday morning Twitter: CNN anchor Chris Cuomo admitted he shows “deference” to all public officials while addressing their spokesperson. Several other journalists, including Glenn Greenwald, pounced on him for the comment.

The exchange began when an anonymous Twitter user lamented that Cuomo had acted “self-important” on Friday morning’s New Day by asking Vatican spokesman Greg Burke to send the show’s regards to the Pope:

Cuomo responded that it’s the “opposite” of self-importance:

Journalist (and occasional Mediaite contributor) Michael Tracey noticed the tweet and, despite Cuomo’s warnings, read into it:

Cuomo fired back that he simply meant he shows “respect for the office,” but Tracey honed in on the anchor’s peculiar use of the word “deference”:

Enter Greenwald, who mocked the CNN anchor:

Cuomo said not to read too much into his words, but it’s difficult to avoid when a TV star is so candid. The media is normally supposed to act as a check on authority, giving voice to the voiceless and speaking truth to power in exposing wrongdoing or questioning motives. Respect the office, sure, but “deference” — i.e., humble submission? Perhaps not the best word choice.

The problem is that, as we see too often on cable news shows like Morning Joe, respectful deference to public officials almost always turns into affection and possible protection.

Telling a Vatican spokesman to give your regards to a powerful figure like the Pope is perhaps reminiscent of that; and also a bit self-aggrandizing.

UPDATE — 2:37 p.m. ET: Cuomo responded to Greenwald with this:

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