Chris Cuomo’s — brace yourself…I’m about to use a word virtually no one seems to use correctly in political writing these days — viral rant over being called “Fredo” continues to have legs.
An actor from the hit film The Godfather — in which the character Fredo is outshone by his brother, Michael Corleone — is sounding off on Chris’s stunningly expletive-filled and threatening tirade.
Speaking to TMZ, Gianni Russo (who played Michael’s wife-beating brother-in-law in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece) said Chris’s late dad, former New York Governor Mario, wouldn’t be pleased:
“His father would smack him.”
His opinion isn’t exactly uninformed:
“[I] know the whole family. I know his mother. I was just with his mother recently.”
The interviewer asked, “Is [‘Fredo’] an Italian insult?”
“I can’t believe he would say that,” Gianni replied.
TMZ went for a second helping — “His father would be ashamed of him for saying that?”
“Of course. I don’t understand why — first of all, it’s a classic film. You’re talking about a character that was weak.”
Back to the tabloid titan:
“[T]hat word, ‘Fredo,’ means ‘weak brother.’ It doesn’t mean anything against the Italian people.”
“I know,” the actor affirmed.
Russo explained his surprise because Chris is a smart guy:
“I couldn’t understand, because he’s such an intelligent kid — educated and everything else. I heard he’s hurt his career.”
The 75-year-old entertainer also touched on the downfall of what was once called “news”:
“All these news guys, they’re so opinionated. They’re supposed to report the news. It’s not about what you think.”
Can he get an Amen?
Gianni’s not a fan of the current Corleone controversy:
“And you’re taking Fredo, a character from a classic? It’s like spitting on the Mona Lisa.”
But he won’t be picking up the phone to tell Chris what’s what:
“I wouldn’t even call him. What are you gonna say? ‘You made a fool outta yourself.'”
In case you haven’t seen the video, I’m including it here. Beware — language:
Personally, I’ve never heard of the movie reference as an Italian slur; have you? Is “Fredo” now some sort of vulgar word?
In terms of Chris’s posturing, chest-puffed, hooliganesque harangue, it seems to me a very bad move. Especially given this self-portrayal as a paragon of virtue.
Also, if he’d done any of the things he was threatening, the other guy would’ve been able to relax on the beach for several years thanks to a robust civil suit. The intimidation factor was surely very low — I doubt the target of Chris’s attack was afraid-O.
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