Chris Cuomo’s involvement in advising his brother Andrew Cuomo on the multiple sexual harassment allegations he faced was far from the only thing he got wrong over the last 20 months at CNN.
I have to admit that when the story broke Saturday afternoon that CNN had fired their longtime “Prime Time” host Chris Cuomo over the new revelations from the latest batch of documents released by NY State Attorney General Tish James’s office regarding the depth of his involvement in advising his brother and then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), I was pretty shocked.
Over the years, the low-rated network has not demonstrated any propensity to do the right thing when the chips are all down on the table, which we saw back in May when the news first came to light about Chris Cuomo advising his brother on the multiple sexual harassment allegations against him. CNN even let him off the hook again in August when it became clear he’d participated in helping his brother draft a statement responding to the allegations.
But though they finally did the right thing in severing ties with Cuomo after initially suspending him last week, they deserve no praise for it for reasons I’ll get to in a little bit.
As for Chris Cuomo, let’s consider the myriad things he did wrong in a journalistic capacity from ethical and moral perspectives over the last 20 months, starting at the beginning of the Wuhan virus outbreak in his state and going through when the Washington Post first reported the story of him advising his brother.
In late March 2020 and just days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo put in place the deadly nursing home directive that paved the way for the COVID deaths of thousands of senior citizens, Chris Cuomo was diagnosed with the coronavirus. He was given the option to broadcast from his home, and his supporters labeled him as “courageous” for documenting what some coronavirus sufferers go through on a daily basis.
While he had the virus, Cuomo broke quarantine, which would have gotten a person in a lot of trouble in the locked-down state if caught – provided their last name wasn’t Cuomo. When a senior citizen on a bicycle who happened to see him outside his East Hampton home called him out, Cuomo allegedly threatened the man with bodily harm.
A week later, Cuomo filmed a dramatic, staged “basement emergence” video clip that aired on CNN in which he claimed he was COVID-free and was coming out of his basement for the first time since he tested positive, an outright lie due to what had previously been reported about his trip to his East Hampton home.
It wasn’t long after that that the cutesy “interviews” with his brother began, which were more like “Keeping up with the Cuomos” segments and which were happening as more questions were being raised about the nursing home order. One segment in particular which was widely mocked at the time was a mid-May 2020 exchange with his brother where jokes were made about the size of Andrew Cuomo’s nose and oversized cotton swab props were brought on set.
Instead of asking his brother, @NYGovCuomo why he decided to pack COVID patients into nursing homes, killing untold amounts of people, @ChrisCuomo pulled out oversized, prop cotton swabs to mock how big his brother's nose was. This is the state of "journalism" on @CNN. Pathetic! pic.twitter.com/undeQMyVeN
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) May 21, 2020
At the same time, CNN itself was also effectively covering for Andrew Cuomo, running no stories on the nursing home scandal either on-air or on their website, and deliberately had him appear exclusively on Chris Cuomo’s program despite an alleged unwritten rule they supposedly had that prior to the pandemic had prevented him from interviewing Andrew. Chris Cuomo’s ratings were also collapsing as all of this was unfolding.
Also going on concurrently was Chris Cuomo’s coddling of fired Florida Dept. of Health IT staffer Rebekah Jones, who was discredited early on over her allegation that Gov. Ron DeSantis – a frequent target of CNN and other MSM outlets – had her fired because she allegedly refused to massage coronavirus numbers in a way that would further justify his plans to reopen the state. Nevertheless, Cuomo had her on in what was a clear attempt at trying to make DeSantis look bad in hopes that his brother Andrew would look better by comparison.
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) May 21, 2020
A year later, Chris Cuomo was still playing defense for Jones, who had been even more thoroughly discredited by that point, by tweeting out a faulty Miami Herald “report” that analyzed her claims against DeSantis.
I could go on and on, but I think the point has been made.
Now we have CNN’s resident media hall monitor Brian Stelter pretending that he always felt what Chris Cuomo did was wrong (an odd statement to make considering he never condemned him until his firing), and CNN trying to come out of this smelling like a rose even though they had multiple opportunities to shut Cuomo down but didn’t.
They knowingly allowed him to do what he did in repeatedly bringing on his brother, Jones, and then later advising the disgraced former governor (some Cuomo staffers were reportedly also involved in the smearing of some of Andrew Cuomo’s accusers) because they didn’t like DeSantis and also because they despised then-President Trump, with whom Andrew Cuomo had an ongoing feud.
So no, they don’t get a cookie for the long-belated actions they took this week.
As for Chris Cuomo, the bad news might not be over now that he’s gone from CNN. The New York Times reported this weekend that a second woman, a former colleague from another network, has stepped forward with a sexual harassment claim against him.
Most recently, Toobin was brought on to discuss the Mississippi abortion law case currently before the Supreme Court, despite it being well-known that he tried to strong-arm a woman he was having an affair with in the early 2000s into having an abortion, and then initially refused to pay child support after the baby’s birth.
You couldn’t make this up if you tried. But then again you don’t even have to try because after all, this is CNN.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.