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Chris “Fredo” Cuomo, the temperamental brother of disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has been officially whacked from his perch at CNN, where he over the years had developed a reputation for constantly bashing Republicans.
In a statement issued Saturday, CNN attributed Cuomo’s termination to “new information” about the ways in which he’d used his position at the network to help his brother attempt to fight off sexual harassment accusations.
According to CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, following the host’s suspension Tuesday, the network retained an outside law firm to further review the matter. The law firm submitted its final report Friday. Within 24 hours, Cuomo was then axed.
The nature of the “new information” remains unclear.
Cuomo’s sudden termination prompted what can best be described as celebration from the right, including from one of his frequent targets, former President Donald Trump.
Trump at Mar A Lago @TPUSA event right now:
“CNN finally fired Fredo. He should have never had a job in the first place. I called him Fredo. Chris Cuomo. We fought. Now Fredo is fired.” pic.twitter.com/BWXBWGaGa5
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 5, 2021
Cuomo and his brother had a history of accusing Republicans of this, that and the other, but in the end, it appears they themselves were the guilty party.
During New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the sexual harassment accusations against his brother, it was found that he, the brother, had harassed 11 women. This bombshell revelation led to the governor’s resignation in August.
Now fast-forward to last Monday, when James’ office released additional documents from its investigation. These documents included text messages showing Cuomo leveraging his position at CNN to dig up dirt on his brother’s accusers. This bombshell revelation led to CNN suspending him indefinitely pending an investigation.
New: CNN has suspended Chris Cuomo indefinitely. Here’s the full statement from the network. pic.twitter.com/G7aEYgsL6K
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 30, 2021
At the time, some called for him to be outright fired.
“There is a reason CNN’s viewership is at an embarrassing historic low. It’s because they have pushed propaganda, misinformation, and conspiracy theories like the Steele dossier, messaging from the Chinese Communist Party, and [Andrew] Cuomo’s coronation. Chris Cuomo needs to be fired immediately. CNN has zero credibility to salvage,” Rep. Elise Stefanik said to Fox News.
In a statement of his own released after his termination Saturday, Cuomo offered no apologies, choosing instead to stick to his original story, which is that he’d simply attempted to “be there” for his brother because family comes first.
“This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work,” he said.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) December 4, 2021
Meanwhile, Stelter suggested live on air to colleague Jim Acosta that Cuomo’s termination was a long time coming because of the “headaches” he’d caused the network.
The suggestion was made right after Acosta announced Cuomo’s termination around 5:09 pm early Saturday evening.
“I think this may be a situation … where it was death by a thousand cuts, where there were just so many headaches, time and time again, involving Chris Cuomo, that even though many viewers loved watching … his show, he was causing so many headaches for the network and for CNN staffers that ultimately this decision was reached,” Stelter said.
“That’s just drawing on my background, you know, covering other stories like this. I do think, you know, this is a moment where journalistic ethics are at play. And I know there were many CNN staffers very unhappy with the situation, very frustrated by Chris Cuomo.”
According to Ben Smith of The New York Times, CNN employees were given a head’s up about Cuomo’s termination via an internal memo from CNN chief Jeff Zucker.
Chris Cuomo is out pic.twitter.com/yur8oX86R8
— Ben Smith (@benyt) December 4, 2021
As of Sunday morning, the nature of the “new information” still remained unknown. However, The New York Times had obtained confirmation of yet another bombshell.
“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,” according to the Times.
“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.”
Katz was among those who’d lobbied earlier last week for Cuomo to be outright fired.
Suspension is a start. Termination is the only appropriate consequence for this abuse of power. https://t.co/i4SvralWcw
— Debra Katz (@DebraKatzKMB) November 30, 2021
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