December 7, 2021

Chris Cuomo

CNN fired anchor Chris Cuomo on Saturday less than a week after new information emerged about how he assisted his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the politician faced sexual harassment allegations earlier this year… Even with the firing, CNN said it will continue to investigate Cuomo’s conduct ‘as appropriate.’” AP News

“CNN's actions came just a day after a prominent Washington, D.C., workplace attorney arranged to share materials supporting accusations by a former colleague of Cuomo at ABC News that he had sexually harassed her there.” NPR

“A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said in a text message on Sunday: ‘Mr. Cuomo has the highest level of admiration and respect for [CNN President Jeff] Zucker. They were widely known to be extremely close and in regular contact, including about the details of Mr. Cuomo’s support for his brother. There were no secrets about this, as other individuals besides Mr. Cuomo can attest.’ CNN said in a written statement it is disappointed with Mr. Cuomo’s characterization of events. ‘He has made a number of accusations that are patently false,’ the network said. ‘This reinforces why he was terminated for violating our standards and practices, as well as his lack of candor.’” Wall Street Journal

Both sides strongly criticize Chris Cuomo and the CNN network:

“[Chris Cuomo] sent an email to his brother's advisers ‘containing information about [accuser Charlotte] Bennett, including tweets, from her time in college,’ according to the New York attorney general… It’s essential to note Chris Cuomo obtained information on his brother’s accusers using his status as a journalist. Yet, he reported none of it. Instead, he channeled it directly to his brother’s spin doctors. It’s important also to remember Chris Cuomo explicitly told investigators — while under oath — he did nothing that could be considered opposition research…

“Most of all, it’s crucial to remember Chris Cuomo flat-out lied in August, after further details of his involvement in his brother’s crisis response efforts were reported, when he said, ‘I never misled anyone about the information I was delivering or not delivering on this program. I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.’ This was clearly a lie.”
Becket Adams, Washington Examiner

“Chris Cuomo had, following reports from May that he had been informally advising his brother for months, apologized and said that he had put ‘family first; job second,’ without disclosing the extent of his involvement with his brother’s crisis team… It’s a woeful and wan defense: a feeble attempt to portray Chris Cuomo’s actions as being fundamentally virtuous when, in fact, he was using his perch as one of the most prominent news anchors in the country to smear victims and influence coverage of his even more powerful brother…

“Offering his brother love and support while he was beset with scandal—and remember, there is considerable evidence suggesting that Cuomo and his aides also deliberately undercounted Covid-19 deaths at nursing homes during the height of the pandemic—is one thing. But in this instance, we’re not talking about a sibling lending a shoulder to cry on or some such display of filial affection. Chris marshaled his own journalism bona fides and his considerable power in the industry in the service of helping his brother dodge matters with criminal implications.”
Alex Shephard, New Republic

“A bit more than two months ago, Shelley Ross, a veteran television journalist and former executive producer at ABC and CBS, offered an account of Chris Cuomo grabbing her tush at a party, and shared Cuomo’s apologetic e-mail. The email, in which Cuomo said he felt ashamed, appeared to offer corroboration that, at minimum, Cuomo did something grossly inappropriate… But in the aftermath of that op-ed . . . absolutely nothing happened. Chris Cuomo kept hosting his prime-time show. CNN offered no statement. Everyone more or less just pretended they didn’t see it…

“And now we learn that Cuomo was intensely involved with his brother Andrew Cuomo’s defense against multiple accusations of sexual harassment —much more involved than his previous statements indicated. Why was Chris Cuomo so helpful to Andrew Cuomo? Yes, part of it is because they’re family. But it is also probably partially because they’re both sexual harassers. They’re cut from the same cloth, and a pervasive public judgment that Andrew Cuomo is a creep and a lech and a bully would strongly suggest that Chris Cuomo is a creep and a lech and a bully, too.”
Jim Geraghty, National Review

Zucker can’t claim to have been caught unaware of allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace by Cuomo. Not unless Zucker only gets his news from CNN, that is. Everywhere else, Ross’ accusation stirred up lots of speculation about Cuomo’s status at CNN, which Zucker could only have missed by spending the last two months in an Altered States-ish sensory deprivation chamber. Cuomo’s not the only figure in this drama with ‘lack of candor’ as a failing. Even with Cuomo’s lack of credibility, it’s hard to assume he’s lying about what Zucker knew and when he knew it. In this war of words breaking out between Cuomo and Zucker, one can only hope that both men lose.”
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

“CNN management is pointing the finger at Chris Cuomo for ‘violating our standards and practices.’ Let’s just take an inventory of the standards-and-practices violations that CNN management either perpetrated, blessed or tolerated… In late March 2020, the Times-Union (Albany) and The Post reported that Chris Cuomo and family members got special access to coronavirus testing by virtue of their connection to the governor. A New York state health official even visited Chris Cuomo’s home in the Hamptons to swab him — a straight-up no-no for a journalist…

“Chris Cuomo hosted his brother around a dozen times on his prime-time CNN program last year. CNN management approved this obvious ethical lapse… Following revelations that Chris Cuomo had participated in strategy sessions with Andrew Cuomo’s executive staff, CNN did issue a scolding statement, saying it was ‘inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff.’ It declined, however, to discipline the anchor… The scale of Chris Cuomo’s misdeeds should not be diminished. They were certainly lapses on a grand scale. But make no mistake: he had accomplices.”
Erik Wemple, Washington Post

“For years, the network banned Chris Cuomo from interviewing his brother, a commonsense precaution. But in the spring of 2020, as the coronavirus ravaged the country, Andrew Cuomo presented himself as a competent counterpart to Donald Trump’s pandemic bungling. CNN, knowing ratings gold when it saw it, decided to put the brothers on air together, apparently concluding that the rules mattered less in the midst of a crisis…

“The exchanges between them were entertaining—lots of brotherly jibes about who was the favorite child and who hadn’t called Mom recently—and sometimes poignant… Journalistically, however, the shtick was appalling… Rather than ask tough questions of his brother, Chris grilled him on whether he’d run for president. Again, no reasonable person would expect Chris to hold his own brother’s feet to the fire. The mistake was allowing them on air together in the first place. The puffy news coverage helped make Andrew Cuomo a liberal hero (briefly) and also helped obscure the serious shortcomings of New York’s pandemic response, including deaths in nursing homes that the governor tried to cover up. As it turned out, the rules mattered even more in a crisis, when watchdog journalism could be literally a matter of life and death.”
David A. Graham, The Atlantic

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