Actual Collusion: CNN's Chris Cuomo Helped Brother Andrew Navigate Harassment Scandal

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Posted: May 20, 2021 3:00 PM
Actual Collusion: CNN's Chris Cuomo Helped Brother Andrew Navigate Harassment Scandal

Source: AP Photo

A new report from the Washington Post tells a gross—but ultimately unsurprising—story about how New York's Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo dealt with the scandal borne out of sexual assault and harassment allegations. It turns out, according to the report, Andy Cuomo got by with a little help from his kid brother who just so happens to be CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

Accused by more than a handful of women, Cuomo is alleged to have done everything from groping a staffer after inviting her over to fix his cell phone, to kissing a married woman, to running an office rife with sexually-charged and harassing language. The man seemed to have no boundaries, no filter, and no shame. 

As accusers continued to come forward and his fellow Democrats began to call for his resignation, Andrew Cuomo needed help. After all, the sexual assault allegations were piling on top of the scandal surrounding his failed handling of COVID-19, his executive order's deadly consequences, and an attempted coverup of how many deaths his decisions caused.

Where else was the embattled governor to turn but to his brother, who is a prime time anchor on floundering cable network CNN and with whom he had repeatedly appeared for usually embarrassing interviews during COVID. 

According to the Washington Post, Chris Cuomo "joined a series of conference calls that included the Democratic governor's top aide, his communications team, lawyers and a number of outside advisers, according to people familiar with the conversations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private sessions."

"The cable news anchor encouraged his brother to take a defiant position and not to resign from the governor's office," explains the Post's report. "At one point, he used the phrase 'cancel culture' as a reason to hold firm in the face of the allegations."

Per WaPo:

"People familiar with the strategy calls set up by the governor’s office earlier this year said while Chris Cuomo regularly joined the discussions, he did not lead the calls, and he mainly gave political advice, rather than addressing the individual accounts of the women or their credibility.

The governor listened to a range of opinions on the calls, which were usually precipitated by looming news stories that demanded a response from the office, people with knowledge of the calls said."

To be clear: A Democrat governor and his staff—in the midst of multiple scandals—were being advised on how to navigate the crisis from an anchor for the network that paints itself as "the world's most trusted name in news."

Even the Washington Post noted that "the behind-the-scenes strategy offered by Chris Cuomo, who anchors CNN's 9 p.m. nightly newscast, cuts against the widely accepted norm in journalism that those reporting the news should not be involved in politics."

While it's laughable to think CNN is worried about its talent remaining non-partisan, the advising relationship was still "a mistake" as CNN admitted in a statement acknowledging Chris Cuomo had helped his brother build a political life raft. CNN said "it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor's staff" and that "he will not participate in such conversations going forward."

Predictably, CNN also said Chris Cuomo—who had interviewed his brother in gushing segments about how great a job he was doing leading New York through the pandemic—will not be disciplined.