We reported last week on the news – and the fallout from it – on how CNN’s resident tough guy and “Prime Time” anchor Chris Cuomo had been advising his brother Andrew Cuomo and his top staffers and lawyers on how to handle the backlash to the numerous sexual harassment and assault allegations the New York Governor’s been hit with over the last several months.
To quickly recap, the Washington Post broke the news that Gov. Cuomo’s little brother “encouraged his brother to take a defiant position and not to resign from the governor’s office” according to their sources. The paper also reported that “at one point, [Chris Cuomo] used the phrase ‘cancel culture’ as a reason to hold firm in the face of the allegations, two people present on one call said.”
While Chris Cuomo apologized on air Thursday night and CNN’s brass indicated he would receive no punishment for breaking the unwritten rule about journalists not being personally involved in political stories, other CNNers were furious at the double standard the network and the “Prime Time” host were displaying and expressed dismay at how it made the network look.
Earlier today, Gov. Cuomo was asked about the controversy during a press conference, and promptly made matters worse not just for his brother but also for unnamed journalists who the Governor says offer him advice often.
“I had conversations with my brother,” Gov. Cuomo told a New York Post reporter. “I always have conversations with my brother because he’s my brother and he’s my best friend.”
He further elaborated by stating that “and obviously, [Chris] was aware of what was going on and I talked to him about it, and he told me his thoughts. He always tells me his thoughts. Sometimes I follow them, sometimes I don’t. He was not covering the story. He had recused himself from the story.”
Gov. Cuomo also made another eye-opening claim to the paper, which didn’t make it onto the video they have at their website:
This got off during today’s presser: asked about getting political advice from his brother @CNN anchor @ChrisCuomo, @NYGovCuomo defended: “I had conversations with my brother..But I talk to journalists about situations all the time & they tell me their thoughts and their advice."
— Bernadette Hogan (@bern_hogan) May 24, 2021
Watch Andrew Cuomo admit that Fredo Cuomo “always tells” him his thoughts here or below:
As per the norm, Gov. Cuomo in his typical manner of trying to sound like he’s speaking off the cuff has opened up a can of worms here, not just in light of the revelations last week about his brother and the new one about how Chris Cuomo “always” advises him (that’s been obvious for a while now) but also in terms of saying the quiet part out loud about other media figures who are apparently advising him behind the scenes which, as I noted earlier, goes against the rules.
Remember, back in February, some in the New York media began to speak openly about the hostile treatment they’d received from Gov. Cuomo since the start of his reign, with other reports surfacing about how some reporters had decided to kill potentially damaging stories rather than face threats from the Governor and getting on his bad side. One of their key concerns was worry about access they and/or their colleagues may not have to future interviews. The other key concern was their safety.
Cuomo’s assertion on how other journalists are allegedly offering him tips on how to do his job (which I have ZERO doubt is happening) is deserving of further analysis and investigation by the same members of the New York press that decided to throw caution to the wind earlier this year and report on years of not-so-thinly veiled threats from the Governor’s office.
Will they stand up a second time around, blow the lid wide open, and let the chips fall where they may on this story as well? Stay tuned…another major media scandal in progress.