It was not odd that New York governor Andrew Cuomo appeared on CNN's "New Day" on Monday morning to talk about the tragic train derailment that took place in the Bronx on Sunday.
What was a little strange was the person who was interviewing Cuomo: his brother, Chris.
Journalists usually refrain from directly interviewing their family members, even in normal breaking news situations. And there was a certain level of awkwardness in watching Chris call Andrew "Governor," and then say, "Now obviously to those who don't know, we are family, so we've been talking about this a lot."
The interview was probably not markedly different from any other one that the governor was doing that morning, and it's unlikely that Cuomo would interview his brother about any major political issues, but the point of keeping family members out of these things is to ensure that nobody has a chance to jump to any conclusions about favoritism.
Twitter got to talking:
call me old fashioned but I feel like CNN ought to have had someone not named Cuomo interview Governor Cuomo— alex pareene (@pareene) December 2, 2013
UPDATE: Cuomo defended himself in an email to the Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove:
“Obviously I did the intv because it was non political, and frankly, I invite the criticism—because it exposes the hollowness of a lot of what is out there,” the 43-year-old Cuomo emailed me after absorbing the predictable reproaches from various ethics cops on Twitter and elsewhere. “Critics say my intv was no diff than any other and then criticize anyway,” he continued. “Think about that. I get the obvious suspicion, but the media has to do better than simply cater to the obvious…and pawn off negativity as a proxy for insight.”