CNN host Chris Cuomo avoided discussing his brother’s sexual harassment scandal on Tuesday despite being named in Attorney General Letitia James’ report, BuzzFeed News reports.
James on Tuesday released a report detailing allegations from 11 women who accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment or misconduct and a “toxic” work environment in the governor’s office.
The Washington Post previously reported that Chris Cuomo helped advise his brother on a statement to respond to some of the allegations earlier this year. James’ report confirmed that report, including an email from the CNN host urging his brother to downplay the allegations by saying “sometimes I am playful and make jokes” and that he did so in order to add “some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”
The CNN host made no mention of the damning report on his show Tuesday even after President Joe Biden, every member of New York’s Congressional delegation, and a growing number of other Democrats called for Cuomo to resign. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio even called for Cuomo to face criminal charges.
CNN stands by host:
CNN said after the Washington Post report in May that Chris Cuomo would not be disciplined.
The network said that Cuomo was not involved in reporting on the sexual harassment allegations because “he could never be objective” and “often serves as a sounding board for his brother,” acknowledging that his role in the scandal was “inappropriate.”
Chris Cuomo apologized on his radio show and said it was a “mistake.”
The network made little mention of the host’s involvement on Tuesday, though host John King mentioned that Chris Cuomo was interviewed in the probe as someone who reached out and talked to his brother as this crisis was unfolding.”
Asked if the host would face any consequences after the AG report, CNN referred BuzzFeed to its earlier statement.
CNN employees want Cuomo fired:
“I think that, as journalists, it’s our responsibility to act in the most responsible possible way, not only to maintain journalistic integrity, but also for the public to regain trust in journalism and television news,” one current CNN staffer told BuzzFeed. “And the fact that Chris Cuomo wasn’t fired over his inappropriate conflict of interest in actively affecting a news story is not only irresponsible of CNN, but also a disgrace to journalism.”
“Quite frankly, [it’s] super hypocritical,” another CNN employee said. “Because this was a person that went on the air during the #MeToo movement, night after night after night, saying, ‘Believe women,’ and having courageous women on telling their stories.”
A former CNN employee told the outlet the response was “emblematic of CNN.”
“The more prominent you are there… the less the rules and discipline apply to you. That's been a gripe people have complained about forever.”