How do comedy routines to the antenna and Chris Cuomo compromised CNN | Andrew Cuomo

For months, CNN prime-time anchor Chris Cuomo refused to cover the multiple scandals surrounding his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Chris Cuomo said it would be a conflict of interest for him to report the sexual harassment, corruption and embezzlement of public funds his brother had been accused of. But many wondered how CNN could justify what amounted to a blackout of one of the country’s top stories on the News Network’s broadcast. most watched time slot.

Finally, last night, CNN announced that Chris Cuomo would be “indefinitely suspended” from the network, not because of his inability to cover the scandals of his brother, but because he is now part of it.

According to evidence released during the New York Attorney General’s investigation into Andrew Cuomo’s misconduct at work, Chris Cuomo used his journalistic position to unearth information to help his brother, such as distance traveled by Ronan Farrow. his first story about the governor. Senior Assistant to Governor Melissa de Rosa told the inquest that Chris Cuomo made frequent contact with her and that texts showed him begging “please let me help you with the preparation” on March 3 and proposing “I have a lead on the wedding girl being hosted.” to him ”the next day.

The evidence suggests Chris Cuomo was dishonest in August when he said on his show, “I never called the press about my brother’s situation.”

Chis Cuomo was already known to have played a role in advising his brother during his scandals and in May he apologized on air for doing so and was not reprimanded further by CNN. But after the publication of this new evidence, CNN announced that Cuomo would be suspended indefinitely from the network. In a statement, a CNN spokesperson said:

“When Chris admitted to us that he offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we publicly admitted that. But we also appreciated the unique position he found himself in and understood his need to put family first and work second. However, these documents indicate a greater involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously thought. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation. “

It is not known whether the suspension is paid or not.

CNN and Chris Cuomo both have broader questions to answer about how they’ve enforced fairness in their coverage of Governor Cuomo.

During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the network allowed Chris to not only cover his brother, but also broadcast buddy-comedy-style entertainment segments that bolstered his public image. In one, the couple were arguing over who was the prettiest or who had the biggest noses (with Chris at one point pulling out a giant cotton swab suggesting his brother might need it).

The segments might have raised more eyebrows at the time if the nation was not in a state of emergency. When criticism was raised, the network argued that it had made an exception to a rule forbidding Chris Cuomo from reporting on his brother who had been in office since 2013 because “Chris was talking with his brother about the challenges facing him. millions of American families were confronted. was of great human interest.

Decision to suspend their own rule has benefited CNN: Chris Cuomo’s show ratings climb during the months of the brothers’ stunts.

Cuomo has made solid reports on other elements of the epidemic Covid-19, but he could ask any American about the challenges their families faced, instead of joking with his brother who was on ” meatball “as he made March 31, 2020, less than a month after detection of the first case of Covid in New York, and less than two weeks after his brother and Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York, have delayed the closure of schools with small political wrangling.

The dozen episodes with his brother served as free press for the governor’s million-dollar book deal on how he handled the crisis. Still, Chris Cuomo argued that he was just acting like a concerned and loving brother, as anyone could, and many seemed sympathetic to that argument.

When messages indicating Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense first came to light in August, CNN employees anonymously expressed frustration at the network’s refusal to censor him.

“The fact that Chris Cuomo was not fired for his inappropriate conflict of interest in actively affecting a news story is not only irresponsible on CNN’s part, but also a disgrace on journalism,” said an employee. BuzzFeed News at the time.

Another complained that this was typical of the network, a place where “the more visible you are, the less rules and discipline apply to you.”

Marissa Hoechstetter, a leading advocate of the rights of victims and a survivor of sexual abuse, warned against entrusting CNN sensitive stories if Chris Cuomo continues to suffer no consequence.

“As a survivor who trusted CNN with my story, it is deeply disturbing that Chris Cuomo remains employed. His unethical behavior – as well as that of anyone who gives him information in the first place – should be disqualifying for a journalist. If they keep it, we cannot trust them ”, Hoechstetter tweeted Tuesday.

And Charlotte Bennett, one of the young women who said she was sexually harassed in the governor’s service, issued a statement condemning the network’s inaction.

“Much like his older brother, Chris Cuomo has used his time, network and resources to help defame victims, research the opposition and belittle our credible allegations,” Bennett said Tuesday. “Anything that isn’t fired Chris Cuomo reflects a network that lacks both moral and backbone. Will CNN stand up for journalistic integrity, or will it just apologize for its actions because Chris Cuomo runs the ratings? “

For his part, Chris Cuomo did not discuss his role in his brother’s debacle, but on his radio show Tuesday he complained that his brother had been denied “due process”. But how else would one describe the investigation which revealed the messages and the transcripts? Andrew Cuomo has benefited from at least two in-depth investigations into complaints about his conduct to date. He had access to a lawyer and a seemingly strong team of people working on his defense.

By allowing the Cuomos their routine of buddies during the pandemic, CNN was implicitly endorsing a politician they saw as one of the good guys (it’s hard to imagine Andrew Cuomo would have had the same leeway had he been Republican governor. ). This suspension of ethical guidelines has made things very uncomfortable for the channel and its star host, now that normal politics have resumed and the two brothers seem mired in scandal.

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