Interview or argument? There's a difference, CNN

Want to get drunk fast?

Watch this video and take a swig of an adult beverage every time Chris Cuomo interrupts Bill Donohue.

After 12 minutes, you won't be able to stand up.

Cuomo brought Donohue onto CNN's morning show New Day in the latter's role as head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The topic was the Arizona law that was just vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. As you may recall, the law would have allowed anyone to decline to do business with someone on religious grounds. Gays were believed to have been the main targets, in sympathy with Christians who believe homosexuality is wrong.

Meaty stuff for a discussion, to be sure. What if the businessman believes blacks are inferior? Conversely, without the law, would a Jewish photographer be forced to shoot pictures at a Klan or skinhead wedding?

And the talk is actually pretty productive for the first half of the interview. But then Cuomo makes it a quarrel. Either that or badgering. Sometimes he doesn't even wait for Donohue to finish a sentence before adding more preachments thinly veiled as questions.

Here are some excerpts from where the two discuss a recent situation in New Mexico, of a photographer who didn’t want to take pictures at a gay wedding. Donohue actually says he has "no sympathy" for such people. Then he raises fears about forcing churches to accept gay weddings.

"No, we're not going there," Cuomo says at first. Then when Donohue insists, Cuomo gets more argumentative, moving from law to morality.

Donohue: We feel, people of faith, that our rights are being whittled away in the name of gay rights having to trump ours. We need to have an honest discussion. I'd like to see a moratorium on this ...

Cuomo: How does gay marriage compromise your rights?

Donohue: The problem with gay marriage is this: It makes a smorgasbord. It basically says that there's no profound difference, socially speaking, between marriage between a man and woman -- the only union that can create a family -- and other examples. I don’t ...

Cuomo: Who says that's the purpose of marriage? What if you want lifelong companionship and commitment?

Donohue: If a man and woman don’t have sex, we can't reproduce, can we? We can't propagate ...

Cuomo: You don’t have to be married to propagate.

Donohue: No, that's right, you ...

Cuomo: And you don’t have to want kids to be married.

Donohue makes the mistake of calling for marriage as "the privileged position," rather than favoring "alternative lifestyles." Cuomo again puts him on the defensive, and it clearly rattles him.

Cuomo: Why shouldn't they be equal? Why?

Donohue: Because ...

Cuomo: What's your reason?

Donohue: Because it's in the best interests of society to have a one- ...

Cuomo: Who says?

Donohue: I'm a sociologist by training. Take a look at ...

Cuomo: The divorce rate is over 50 percent ...

Donohue: Take a look at the literature ...

Cuomo: … latchkey kids, broken homes ...

Donohue: Kids ...

Cuomo: … social problems ...

Donohue: Kids ...

Cuomo: ... all during the era of how you wanted it.

Donohue: But, but, but no. Kids do best in an intact family. The evidence is overwhelming. It's in … you need a father and a mother ...

Cuomo: You need love and you need people to care for you, gay or straight ...

Donohue: Once you go down the road of love as the condition of marriage -- how far do you want to go with that? How ...

Cuomo: So love shouldn't be part of marriage, but you should be straight?

Among Cuomo's missteps: When Donohue says marriage is "ordained by nature and nature's God," he answers incredulously: "Marriage was not ordained by nature! Most mammals don’t couple!" Did he really miss the phrasing from the Declaration of Independence?

Cuomo also bobbles in bringing up Pope Francis' quote of -- all together, now -- "Who am I to judge them?" (Refresher course on what the pope was actually talking about right here.) Cuomo then suggests that Donohue is being judgmental in disapproving gay marriage.

Donohue's comeback is an interfaith defense: "I have Christianity, I have Judaism, I have Muslims, I have Mormons, I have most of the world who regard this idea as being bizarre, that two men should get married."

Cuomo sidesteps: "Well, first of all, you say love isn't important in marriage. Thank God I didn’t say that, because my wife would want to kill me."

How else could this have been done? Well, Cuomo could lined up two or more people of different viewpoints, then moderated. He could also have asked questions that didn’t sound like bait.

And, of course, he could have allowed his guest to finish more sentences.

Please respect our Commenting Policy