It has been revealed that CNN’s prime-time anchor and younger of the two Cuomo brothers, Chris, has been offered a leave of absence amidst the controversy surrounding his older brother.
This new information was brought to light due to Chris Cuomo’s cameo in a recently released report from New York’s Attorney General, Leticia James, regarding the sexual allegations of his democratic brother and governor of New York, Andrew.
Now both brothers are being called to resign.
There’s a fine line in journalism and integrity that all reporters vow to keep when it comes to journalism and politics. Chris already crossed the line in this specific case back in May of 2021.
He advised his brother Andrew on the current allegations of sexual abuse. He only apologized once he was caught.
In May, fellow CNN anchor Jake Tapper told The New York Times that Chris Cuomo’s engagement with Governor Cuomo’s aides “put us in a bad spot.” Adding, “I cannot imagine a world in which anybody in journalism thinks that that was appropriate.”
At that time, CNN reportedly offered Chris a leave of absence, though an informal one. It wasn’t mandatory, just a suggestion by the news network to provide some space around the scandal. Chris declined and instead opted to stay on the air. He promises to stay out of his brother’s business, on and off-air.
“I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again. It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot. I never intended for that. I would never intend for that, and I am sorry for that,” he said in an on-air apology in May.
This new information was released just this week, though it occurred months ago. It may reveal the extraordinary lengths CNN has gone to keep the collateral damage at a minimum, as their most popular news anchor belongs to one of the country’s most powerful Democratic families.
Two people, who spoke to the New York Times on the condition of anonymity, described internal conversations surrounding the suggested leave of absence.
The idea, they say, was not a request but was intended to acknowledge Chris’ unique position as both a primetime network anchor and the brother of a prominent politician facing a scandal; that it was informal and strictly optional.
The sources go on to say that Chris Cuomo has told CNN leadership that he planned to continue on his program and abide by rules preventing him from commenting on his brother’s scandal.
Other journalists and media outlets are calling for Chris’s resignation, as he has already proven that he has difficulties maintaining that line of integrity.
“Governor Cuomo should resign and his brother, the purported journalist who advised him on strategy regarding these allegations, should step down or be fired from his position at CNN,” tweeted writer Saaed Jones on Tuesday.
Governor Cuomo should resign and his brother, the purported journalist who advised him on strategy regarding these allegations, should step down or be fired from his position at CNN. https://t.co/5khN3uPWKg
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) August 3, 2021
They have pointed out the brotherly banter the two engaged in during the height of New York City’s COVID-19 crisis, and the fact that Chris, if not both brothers, understood the professional line they shouldn’t cross.
“Don’t ever forget while Andrew Cuomo was killing elderly people and horrifically sexually abusing women – this is how he was interviewed on @CNN – a comedy show with giant q tip props,” wrote Meghan McCain.
Don’t ever forget while Andrew Cuomo was killing elderly people and horrifically sexually abusing women – this is how he was interviewed on @CNN – a comedy show with giant q tip props. https://t.co/wxjOBZkHPr
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) August 3, 2021
So when it was revealed a few months ago that Chris had been advising his brother in regards to the sexual abuse allegations, many of them lost their faith in the CNN anchor’s ability to remain neutral.
“If CNN, from the start, had just said: Chris Cuomo cannot objectively report on his brother and therefore will abstain and others will do it, that would have been fine,” reporter Glenn Greenwald tweeted Wednesday. “Instead, they cheered as he heaped praise on his brother and touted him as a future President.”
CNN has remained quiet on the matter.