Speed Reads

Family Ties

CNN's Chris Cuomo ignores the Andrew Cuomo-shaped hole in his post–harassment report show

CNN covered Tuesday's damning report that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed 11 current and former state employees pretty extensively — except during the 9 p.m. Cuomo Prime Time hour, hosted by Chris Cuomo. The preceding show, Anderson Cooper 360, guest-hosted by Steve Berman, dedicated 26 minutes to the Andrew Cuomo harassment bombshell, and Erin Burnett Outfront devoted 22 minutes to it in the hour before that, the Los Angeles Times reports. But when Berman handed off to Cuomo, Cuomo said "we're focused on COVID here" and did not mention his brother's scandal during the entire show.

Chris Cuomo also declined to mention the confirmation in New York Attorney General Letitia James' report that he had participated in a series of strategy calls earlier this year on how to handle the allegations against his brother, and appeared to have helped draft a Feb. 28 statement responding to the first of the allegations. Right after Cuomo handed off to Don Lemon at 10 p.m., Lemon immediately turned to the day's big story, the "damning" revelations about Andrew Cuomo, Cuomo's "tone-deaf" denial, and the calls from President Biden on down for him to resign. 

"The decision by CNN management to allow Cuomo to appear on Cuomo Prime Time on Tuesday surprised and upset some CNN employees," the Times reports, citing a company insider who was not authorized to discuss the matter. "Since joining CNN in 2013, Chris Cuomo has been banned from covering the governor. But the network's executives made an exception last year as Andrew Cuomo was hailed by the public and press for his daily take-charge press conferences on the state's handling of the pandemic."

CNN reinstated the ban amid criticism of Andrew Cuomo's undercounting of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, and Chris Cuomo said in March, when the sexual harassment allegations started surfacing, that "obviously I cannot cover it because he is my brother." He then apologized to his viewers and colleagues in May, after The Washington Post reported his participation in Andrew Cuomo's strategy calls, but he was not suspended or reprimanded by CNN.