You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CNN’s Chris Cuomo Talks Malaysia Airlines Coverage

Chris Cuomo has his share of harrowing on camera moments, but on Tuesday he had a dramatic one off-camera: While talking to a reporter about his current effort to follow the remains of victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the CNN anchor was stopped at a checkpoint in Ukraine on his way to Amsterdam by a guard with a sizable firearm.

“This isn’t a cop stopping you. They have loaded AK-47s or Kalashnikovs and they are pointing them at you,” Cuomo explained while, he said, he was showing his identification papers so he might proceed on a trip he expects to take him to Amsterdam. “This is a different animal here.”

Cuomo has been in the Ukrainian industrial city of Donetsk and around the Flight 17 crash site for six days, and is now en route to Amsterdam, part of an effort he said is an important one: “I want to follow the victims back home,” Cuomo explained. “I want to keep emphasis on that angle.” The airline was shot down by a missile while traveling over territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists, and all 298 passengers aboard were killed.

As is its custom when breaking stories of wide interest develop, CNN has focused nearly all of its recent programming on the events surrounding the fallen airplane, which was shot down over Ukraine late last week. The network has used little of its taped programming and instead has stayed live on the air for about 117 hours since the incident was reported Thursday. Cuomo normally hosts CNN’s morning program, “New Day,” with Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

Cuomo said he would like to stay with the story until a resolution becomes evident or CNN producers decide to call him back. “I think it’s really important to keep focus on them,” he said. “They weren’t party to any conflict” that appears to be behind the plane’s destruction.

But he is keeping personal safety in mind: “I’m not a cowboy and I’m not a soldier. I’m a dad and a husband, and I’m a dad and a husband first,” he said. But this story “matters, and you do what matters, and this is a just horrible thing that happened here.”

He also has continued ambition for “New Day.” While acknowledging the program “has to grow, it has to get better,” Cuomo said it’s “a good show that is based on the understanding of taking what matters seriously but not taking ourselves seriously.” He feels “New Day” is “significantly challenging ‘Morning Joe’ [on MSNBC] for the mandate of having the smartest show on cable television, and I want that mantle.”

More TV

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers (Report)

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis, according to a report in TVNewser. A CNN spokesperson could not be reached for immediate comment, but a the network said in a statement to the outlet: ” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

  • Bryan Cranston First Time in Variety

    Bryan Cranston on His Early Roles, Dealing With Rejection and His 'Erasable Mind'

    Following his 2014 Tony Award for best actor as President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s play “All the Way,” Bryan Cranston is looking to add to his trophy collection this year with his performance as Howard Beale in “Network.” The deranged anchorman — who’s famously “mad as hell and not going to take this [...]

  • What | If

    Renee Zellweger and Mike Kelley on Deconstructing Fate and Consequences in 'What/If'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “What/If,” streaming now on Netflix. Writer and executive producer Mike Kelley’s latest piece of dramatic storytelling is a limited series morality tale that starts with a high-powered, wealthy woman named Anne Montgomery (Renee Zellweger) offering Lisa, a young woman with a startup (Jane Levy), [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content