The lawsuit contains several stunning accusations about a CNN so corrupt, so in bed with disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), that CNN asked the governor to schedule news conferences during times that would boost CNN’s ratings.
The gist of the $125 million claim is that Fredo was unlawfully fired. In other words, he claims he did nothing wrong. The lawsuit says his termination was “based on … false claims that Cuomo violated CNN’s standards and practices assisting his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during a time of personal and political crisis.”
The $125 million amount is based on what remained of Cuomo’s contract as well as reputational damage that will (hopefully) make it “difficult if not impossible for Cuomo to find similar work in the future[.]” (Emphasis is mine throughout):
As a result of Turner’s indefensible choice to unceremoniously fire him, Cuomo has been damaged in countless ways. Cuomo has had his journalistic integrity unjustifiably smeared, making it difficult if not impossible for Cuomo to find similar work in the future and damaging him in amounts exceeding $125 million, which includes not only the remaining salary owed under the Agreement, but future wages lost as a result of CNN’s efforts to destroy his reputation in violation of the Agreement. Cuomo now seeks to recover the full measure of his damages against Turner and CNN.
But then things get sexy and revealing… the way I’m reading it is that in order to prove he did not violate CNN’s standards and practices and therefore unlawfully terminated, Cuomo pretty much comes out and says CNN has no professional ethics. To make this case, he basically says, Hey, everyone was doing it, including the people in charge!
CNN has a long-established pattern and practice of selectively enforcing its policies based on cynical calculations of public perception. Indeed, CNN fostered a culture in which “exceptions” to the network’s standards and practices were routinely sanctioned, and that culture began at the top with Zucker and Gollust. As long as CNN’s ratings would not be hurt, Zucker and Gollust were more than willing to overlook major transgressions by CNN personalities such as Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, or even to engage in blatant misconduct themselves.
Cuomo then — tee hee — names names…
It’s not difficult to read between the lines and see that Cuomo is seething at Tapper for publicly criticizing him, which the sanctimonious Tapper did more than once. However, Cuomo also believes Tapper unfairly damaged his reputation, is a hypocrite, and that CNN’s willingness to forgive Tapper’s lack of ethics proves his case.
After detailing the numerous times Tapper attacked Cuomo, the lawsuit says:
In another troubling incident, Fox News reported on September 10, 2020 that CNN anchor Jake Tapper had repeatedly urged Congressional candidate Sean Parnell not to run against Rep. Conor Lamb, but to run in a “safer,” more heavily Republican district. Tapper reportedly repeated this advice in a phone call, text messages, and direct Twitter messages, one of which Fox News obtained and published. After the story broke, Tapper reportedly reached out to Parnell repeatedly asking him to make a joint statement to clear Tapper’s name of this obvious breach of journalistic ethics. CNN conducted no inquiry and imposed no disciplinary measures on Tapper.
This was a huge scandal.
For example, in November 2021, CNN anchor Don Lemon was widely criticized for a flagrant breach of journalistic ethics when actor Jussie Smollett testified at trial that Lemon had texted him to warn him that Chicago police did not believe Smollett’s allegations of suffering a racist, homophobic attack. Lemon had covered Smollett’s accusations and his subsequent investigation and prosecution, so intervening in the ongoing investigation by texting Smollett was an inexcusable breach of ethics. Yet CNN did nothing; Lemon was not disciplined in any way.
Who doesn’t remember that?
For good measure, the lawsuit mentions CNN’s gobsmacking decision to keep Jeffrey Toobin on as a senior legal analyst “after he masturbated while on a video call with colleagues.”
But I’ve saved the best for last…
JEFF ZUCKER/ALLISON GOLLUST
According to Fredo’s lawsuit, not only did Zucker and Gollust know the extent to which Fredo was helping Governor Brother, not only did CNN encourage him to help Governor Brother, Zucker and Gollust colluded directly with Governor Brother for ratings and political purposes:
During the time when Gov. Cuomo’s appearances on Cuomo’s program were creating significant value for the network, CNN, through executives Zucker and Zucker’s second-in-command, Allison Gollust (“Gollust”), made a concerted effort to cement and strengthen the network’s ties to Gov. Cuomo and his administration and control his media presence for CNN’s exclusive benefit. CNN pushed Gov. Cuomo not to appear on other networks, intimating that not honoring CNN’s request might threaten Cuomo’s professional standing with the network.
It gets better:
CNN, through Zucker and Gollust, also requested that Gov. Cuomo hold his daily COVID-19 press conference at a time that was most suitable for the network based on its program schedule and when its ratings were weakest.
Can you imagine the quid pro quo involved with a politician if you can get him to agree to hold his press conferences to boost your network’s ratings?
And here’s where Cuomo claims CNN, by way of Zucker and his sidepiece Gollust, colluded directly with Andrew Cuomo to score political points against then-President Trump:
Zucker and Gollust acted as advisors to Gov. Cuomo during this time by providing him with talking points and strategies for responding to statements made by then-President Donald Trump. There is no question that, given the ratings and value Gov. Cuomo was generating for CNN, protecting him and his reputation was in CNN’s best interests.
And there it is…
And I believe every word of it. In fact, for years and years, I’ve been telling you this kind of stuff was going on at CNN.
And let’s not forget that this stuff shows that everyone at CNN is ethically compromised. They’re all guilty, every single one of them. They’re all corrupt and tarnished and dishonest hacks and liars.
Now, this doesn’t mean I’m siding with Chris Cuomo. Not at all. For this and a half dozen other flagrant ethical violations, including staging a fake video where he supposedly reemerged from a basement quarantine, this guy was bad news from day one.
The problem for CNN, though, is that it might very well be vulnerable on the issue of selective enforcement of an ethical code it never had. Also, if this thing goes to court and depositions are taken under oath… Oh, boy!
Bad people turning on other bad people, exposing, humiliating, and tattling on them.
It is glorious.