CNN is suspending Chris Cuomo indefinitely


A second hour of “Anderson Cooper 360” aired at Cuomo’s apartment on Tuesday night. A town hall on Covid-19 will be broadcast Wednesday evening.

Tuesday’s suspension announcement was the equivalent of a shockwave on the cable news. Cuomo’s 9pm program is often the most-watched hour of the day on CNN. He is a larger than life presence on the network. And he was determined to stay on television this year despite a spate of sexual misconduct allegations against his brother that culminated in the governor’s resignation three months ago.

“The New York attorney general’s office released transcripts and exhibits on Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense,” a CNN spokesman said Tuesday evening. “The documents, which we were not privy to prior to their publication, raise serious questions.”

“When Chris admitted to giving advice to his brother’s staff, he was breaking our rules and we publicly acknowledged it,” the spokesman continued. “But we also valued the unique position he was in and understood that he had to put family first and job second.”

“However, these documents indicate a greater involvement in his brother’s efforts than we knew before,” added the spokesman. “As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely pending further evaluation.”

The spokesman didn’t reveal any further details, but it is possible that Cuomo could stay in the bank for weeks.

The moderator did not want to comment on Tuesday evening, but he went to his Radio broadcast Wednesday to address the suspension.

“It hurts to say it. It’s embarrassing, ”he said on his SiriusXM show. “But I understand it.”

Chris Cuomo said he would “never want to compromise any of my colleagues” and said he would respect the process for assessing his behavior. He added that he would fail to speak further on the subject.

The suspension came after significant criticism from people who found that Cuomo had violated generally accepted journalistic norms. Within CNN, some staff members expressed dismay at the moderator’s behavior. Charlotte Bennett, a former Andrew Cuomo employee who stood up in February to accuse him of sexual harassment, urged CNN “to take immediate action”.
“Everything but the firing of Chris Cuomo reflects a network that lacks both morale and backbone,” Bennett said in a tweet Tuesday.

The “Cuomo Prime Time” team had planned the broadcast on Tuesday until the announcement of the blockade around 6.15 p.m. East, said a person familiar with the matter. Cooper’s team was also caught off guard by the news and jostled to fill the extra hour.

After the news was released, an emotional Chris Cuomo met with the show’s staff.

While many media critics found the suspension necessary, some viewers expressed disappointment that it was taken out of the air.

CNN hasn’t said what will fill the window of opportunity while Cuomo is on the sidelines.

The documents released on Monday by New York Attorney General Letitia James contained text messages and transcripts of interviews with investigators leading the investigation into allegations against the governor.

The document cache contained text messages between Chris Cuomo and Melissa DeRosa, a then top advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo, suggesting that he was instrumental in defending against a spate of sexual misconduct allegations.

The text messages also revealed that Chris Cuomo was trying to use his connections with the press to prepare the then governor’s team when prosecutors began to publicize their stories.

Chris Cuomo also admitted to investigators that he was trying to learn more about a story from journalist Ronan Farrow. The anchor defended the practice as conventional.

“The idea of ​​one reporter calling another to find out what’s on the line is perfectly normal,” he said.

When Andrew Cuomo stepped down as governor in August, Chris Cuomo told CNN viewers that he was “not an advisor” but “a brother”. He admitted talking to his brother’s aides and gave up his “take” until CNN told him to stop in May.

The host of “Cuomo Prime Time” also said on the air in August: “I have never attacked or encouraged anyone to attack a woman who came forward. I never called the press about my brother’s situation.”

Monday’s revelations cast some doubt on his testimony about his interactions with the press.

“I would – if asked, turn to sources, other journalists, to see if they heard from others,” said Chris Cuomo during the testimony.

Chris Cuomo also said under oath what he told CNN viewers earlier this year: that he “has never influenced or tried to control CNN’s coverage of my family”.

During questioning, he repeated this feeling, saying, “If I had tried to influence reporting on CNN or elsewhere, I guarantee you people would know, and so will many others.”

In its May statement, CNN had said: “Chris was not involved in CNN’s full coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo – in the air or behind the scenes.” The network’s statement went on to say, “Partly because, as he said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because it often serves as a sounding board for his brother. However, it was inappropriateness to have discussions with members of the governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges. He will no longer take part in such discussions in the future. “

The presenter at the time also said of his show that he was “first family and then job” and apologized for helping his brother.

“It won’t happen again. It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here who I think are the best in the business in a bad position,” he said. “I never meant to, I never would, and I’m sorry.”

While a report was released in August of the sexual misconduct allegations against Andrew Cuomo, James’ office is continuing a separate investigation into allegations that he had government funding to develop, produce and promote a book he wrote about the pandemic, abused.

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Andrew Cuomo, called the latest release of transcripts, documents and videos “rigged publication”.

“New Yorkers are nobody’s fool, and the apparent misuse of government resources by James and her colleagues to harm political opponents is as obvious and offensive as it is unethical and illegal,” Azzopardi said in a statement.

CNN’s Sonia Moghe contributed to this report.


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