Time to pop yourself some popcorn as the saga surrounding former CNN media activist Chris Cuomo continues to unfold. In a recent filing of a demand for arbitration against Turner Services and CNN, Cuomo alleged that his former employer treated his colleagues differently when it came to its handling of alleged breaches of “journalistic standards.” He alleged that while he was fired for his actions related to sexual harassment allegations against his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, CNN media activists Don Lemon and Jake Tapper were not disciplined despite engaging in shady activities.
Cuomo’s filing stated:
As long as [former CNN President Jeff] Zucker and [former executive Allison] Gollust believed CNN’s ratings would benefit, they were more than willing to disregard breaches of traditional journalistic standards by CNN personalities, such as Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, or even to engage in blatant breaches of journalistic ethics themselves.
The former CNN anchor pointed out that Lemon was alleged to have intervened in the Jussie Smollett investigation. He is accused of sending a text message to the actor and hate crime hoaxer “to warn him that Chicago police did not believe Smollett’s allegations of suffering a racist, homophobic attack.”
Cuomo also put Tapper on the spot, claiming he “repeatedly urged Congressional candidate Sean Parnell not to run against Rep. Conor Lamb, but to run in a ‘safer,’ more heavily Republican district.” The filing also alleges that the reporter asked Parnell to “make a joint statement to clear Tapper’s name of this obvious breach of journalistic ethics.”
In the case of both media activists, Cuomo’s filing contends the network showed disparate treatment in that it did not initiate any investigations or disciplinary actions. The difference in treatment reveals CNN’s “hypocrisy,” according to the filing.
“CNN allowed employees to retain their jobs for offenses much more egregious than anything CNN alleges Cuomo ever did,” Cuomo contended. “But because Cuomo was so strongly linked to Gov. Cuomo, whose political standing and corresponding value to CNN had turned dramatically, CNN falsely claimed that Cuomo violated its policies and practices as an excuse to terminate his contract. This is the epitome of hypocrisy, as there was no valid basis for terminating his contract.”
The former CNN anchor is suing the network for the remainder of his contract money, which he claims is not “less than $15 million. He is also seeking at least $110 million in consequential damages.
Cuomo might actually have a point here. Both Lemon and Tapper came under scrutiny outside of the network for their questionable conduct. If the allegations are true, both men violated journalistic standards, and CNN’s decision to not give them so much as a slap on the wrist is telling.
We can’t be sure whether the court will side with Cuomo on this. But to the court of public opinion, this is clearly another indicator that CNN abandoned journalistic ethics a long time ago when it decided to become a pro-Democrat propaganda mill. After throwing off all pretense of being an actual news outlet, it decided to go all-in on “Orange Man Bad,” and now the network routinely runs cover for President Joe Biden and his merry band of Democrats in Congress. This has resulted in dismal ratings for the network, but it does not appear they have yet learned their lesson.