On Wednesday, CNN’s New Day briefly stopped rehashing old news about Trump long enough for Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter to mention his colleague Chris Cuomo’s suspension from CNN. On Monday, released records revealed that Cuomo was even more intimately involved with covering up sexual harassment allegations against his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, than previously acknowledged. Tuesday night, CNN indefinitely suspended Cuomo, pending further investigation; Anderson Cooper devoted less than a minute of his show to announce the suspension that evening.
After reading CNN’s official statement on the suspension Wednesday morning, Stelter spun the situation as “complicated,” failing to mention the heinous allegations against Andrew Cuomo that his CNN anchor brother zealously worked to cover up:
You’ve got media critics condemning Chris, calling on CNN to take action. You have some colleagues here at CNN who were mad at Chris Cuomo for putting the network in a tough spot and wanted to see action. You also have a lot of viewers, though, who love Chris Cuomo and are now ticked off that he’s off the air, and they want to see him back. So, there’s a mixture of relief, disappointment. It’s a complicated situation.
It’s not that complicated – Cuomo abused his prime time position at a major media outlet to do damage control and research his brother’s accusers, along with other networks, that he feared would expose him.
Perhaps such a “complicated” issue should have merited a segment longer than 2 minutes 7 seconds in all of New Day’s three-hour program. The show’s opening segment spent 13 minutes and nine seconds hyping old news about the timeline of Trump’s bout with COVID-19 in September and October of 2020. Hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar spent a total of 34 minutes and nine seconds on the illness of a former president more than a year ago. Of course, for CNN, continuing to bash Trump takes priority over doing actual reporting on a powerful colleague’s misconduct and journalistic malpractice.
Although Stelter appeared downcast over Cuomo’s removal, he seemed hopeful that the suspension would be brief, suggesting that “It’s possible he will be on the bench for several weeks. It’s possible he’ll be back in January.”
If CNN’s response to Cuomo is anything like its pathetic response to Jeffrey Toobin, Cuomo will be back in mere months (or less) with no additional consequences for his despicable actions.
You can read the full segment transcript below by clicking Expand:
JOHN BERMAN: CNN is suspending anchor and our colleague Chris Cuomo indefinitely. New documents revealed he was more involved than previously known in shaping the defense for his brother, former New York Govervnor Andrew Cuomo, who faced sexual misconduct allegations. Brian Stelter joins me now with the news on this — Brian.
BRIAN STELTER: Yes, some news about our own house here, John. And, of course, Chris, a former co-anchor of New Day, and now CNN’s primetime host — one of the highest-rated hosts on CNN. This was a long time coming. Cuomo in the news all year long because of his brother and because of the scandal involving the now-former governor. It was known that Chris Cuomo was talking to his brother, giving political advice. But in the newly-released documents you can see that Chris Cuomo is essentially working as an unpaid adviser — an aide — as if he is a staffer of the governor’s — giving political advice, giving commentary. Also, working his own sources to try to find out more about what might be revealed about his brother.
Here is the statement from CNN overnight about the suspension, saying, “When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledge that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood the need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. And as a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
So, that’s the statement from CNN executives overnight. I think what’s going on here is a little bit complicated, John. You’ve got media critics condemning Chris, calling on CNN to take action. You have some colleagues here at CNN who were mad at Chris Cuomo for putting the network in a tough spot and wanted to see action. You also have a lot of viewers, though, who love Chris Cuomo and are now ticked off that he’s off the air, and they want to see him back. So, there’s a mixture of relief, disappointment. It’s a complicated situation. I think the bottom line is that Cuomo is on the bench for now. We’re heading into a holiday season. I think it’s possible he will be on the bench for several weeks. It’s possible he’ll be back in January. But I think what’s going to happen now, here at CNN, is a more thorough review of the New York attorney general’s document dump in order to find out more about what happened.
BERMAN: Brian Stelter, thank you —
BERMAN: — very much for that.