Chris Cuomo was indefinitely suspended by CNN on Tuesday for inappropriately assisting his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, in the politician’s defense against women who accused him of sexual misconduct.
It’s unclear what would have to happen for CNN to end the suspension and allow Cuomo to return to his hosting gig. A cynical person might wonder if they’re merely hoping for the negative media coverage of the scandal to subside. After all, isn’t that what happened to Jeffrey Toobin, who was also indefinitely suspended after exposing himself on a company video call?
According to CNN, they are “evaluating” the Cuomo situation. As they do so, allow me to remind them that this is not the first time their primetime anchor has used his personal and professional connections to manipulate news stories.
Leaked audio in 2018 caught Cuomo helping former Trump attorney Michael Cohen game out a hypothetical interview where he addresses alleged hush payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels:
“You will be asked that and you can say, ‘I did it for [Donald Trump]. My relationship has always been for him. I’ve always said I don’t speak for the campaign. I speak for him as his attorney.’ And to the question of motive… the response would have to be, ‘You can speculate as to why you think I did it all day long, but the only answer is my answer and I just told you why I did it. You don’t get to speculate because if you can’t prove that I got paid back by Trump or the campaign, it is slander and defamation for you to say that I did.’”
Cuomo offered Cohen multiple strategies on how to avoid implicating himself or Trump and even promised to help him out if he got into “trouble.” In another clip, Cuomo warned Cohen that the media is not his friend.
I don’t find it especially objectionable that Cuomo would side with his brother against sexual misconduct allegations (although such family loyalty undermines the “Fredo” moniker). It would have been proper, however, for Cuomo to take a leave of absence from his program. Instead, he lied to the network and his audience about his involvement in the case while working closely with aide Melissa DeRosa behind the scenes to undermine Governor Cuomo’s accusers.
This is the second time Cuomo has quietly used his position at CNN to change the trajectory of news stories without informing viewers. It is not surprising that the arrogant Cuomo believes his personal activism is more important than his news objectivity. But since CNN isn’t exactly known for its journalistic integrity, don’t be shocked if they try to put him back on air.
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