“Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down, kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em all around.” Dirty Laundry, Don Henley

If you’ve ever read about panning for gold, you’ll know that people who do it pick up a lot of other stuff in the pan. Likewise, the investigation by the New York attorney general’s office into Andrew Cuomo’s business and personal affairs have led to discovering information about brother Chris Cuomo’s own misconduct at CNN, and that is what led to his “shock” firing Saturday night, which he was purportedly “livid” about, as reported by the Daily Beast.

Chris Cuomo is fighting these allegations against him, which is to be expected. It’s also to be expected that CNN doesn’t need a headache like an anchor with a pending sexual harassment claim. The situation was dicey already when  brother Andrew was hit with harassment accusations, which created a spectacle of a high-profile anchor advising his high-profile politician brother. The brothers Cuomo had gotten terrific ratings talking about the pandemic, when Andrew was telling the nation how to deal with the issue in daily broadcasts, and Chris was isolated in the basement after he contracted COVID himself.

But then the spectacle changed to the anchor compromising the network’s credibility when then-Governor Cuomo was asked to resign. Jake Tapper went public with his concerns in May, telling The New York Times that his colleague had “put us in a bad spot,” adding, “I cannot imagine a world in which anybody in journalism thinks that that was appropriate.” And now Chris Cuomo has put the network in an even more untenable spot.

On Wednesday, Debra S. Katz, a prominent employment lawyer, informed CNN of a client with an allegation of sexual misconduct against Chris Cuomo. Ms. Katz said in a statement on Saturday that the allegation against the anchor, which was made by a former junior colleague at another network, was “unrelated to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo matter.”

It was not fully clear what role the allegation played in CNN’s decision to dismiss Mr. Cuomo. Ms. Katz is also the lawyer for Charlotte Bennett, a onetime aide to Andrew Cuomo who accused the former governor in February of sexual harassment.

Asked about the new allegation, a CNN spokeswoman said in a statement on Saturday night: “Based on the report we received regarding Chris’s conduct with his brother’s defense, we had cause to terminate. When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action.”

A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, Steven Goldberg, said in a statement on Saturday, “These apparently anonymous allegations are not true.”

Ms. Katz said that her client “came forward because she was disgusted by Chris Cuomo’s on-air statements in response to the allegations made against his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.” Ms. Katz cited a March 1 broadcast in which Chris Cuomo said: “I have always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so. I just wanted to tell you that.”

Mr. Cuomo’s spokesman responded that the former anchor “fully stands by his on-air statements about his connection to these issues, both professionally and in a profoundly personal way. If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination.”

Chris Cuomo is going to do what he’s going to do. It looks like he’s going to fight this, if his spokesman is talking about “unwarranted termination.” What that signals is that this isn’t over yet and that this is going to be Cuomo Scandal, the Sequel. It makes complete sense that CNN had to withdraw themselves as a player from this mad tea party.

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  1. CNN has sometimes come up with some decent news stories but I’ve had little use for them since the 2008 campaign. Between John King’s “coverage” and that debate where it seemed clear he wanted both Clinton and Obama damaged to Wolf Blitzer’s INCESSANT touting his VP pick by every fucking segment using the phrase “Dream Team” I was done with them. Whatever credibility they’d built up had been draining away for some years before that and they squandered the rest of it.

    Having a key member of their “talent” being the brother of a prominent and controversial at times Governor was a bad idea from the beginning of putting Chris out there the way they did. It had the potential to blow up in their faces and it turns out it’s even worse than any wiser heads there that harbored concerns feared. That Chris Cuomo wants to imitate his brother and fight (at least for a while) is appalling. From where I sit he’s basically blackmailing them – trying to get himself a huge payoff for fading away for at least a few years, or maybe enough to retire in luxury although he should already have the means to do so comfortably. He can’t think he’s in a position to win a fight with CNN. That would have been difficult enough before his brother Andrew’s career and legacy crashed and burned! Part of me wants to see the two side fight it out but we’ve got far more important stuff to deal with in this country. I might not respect CNN but it seems enough people do that this isn’t something we need right now. But I sure hope outsiders (competitors) will raise the issue in their coverage of this mess.


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