CNN’s Cuomo’s Conundrum: Star Anchor with a Problematic Brother

Earlier this year, CNN executives brought ideas to star anchor Chris Cuomo. If he wants to formally advise his brother, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, on responding to sexual harassment charges involving his administration, he will temporarily leave CNN and return to the network later. I can.

This idea is informal and strictly voluntary, not a request, but aimed at recognizing the unique position of Mr. Cuomo, a brother of a prominent politician facing a scandal, a network anchor of golden time. is. A condition of anonymity to describe an internal conversation.

A previously unreported exchange is to address the conundrum of the news network, where top-notch anchors belong to one of the country’s most powerful Democratic families, and CNN president Jeff Zucker and his team. Emphasizes the length of the trip Chris Cuomo, also as an anchor Had to apologize For participating in a strategic session with Andrew Cuomo’s aide.

After Chris Cuomo attended these sessions, he came up with an idea of ​​the possibility of vacation. First reported May. Chris Cuomo wasn’t faced with discipline, but CNN called Anchor’s behavior “inappropriate.”

NS More detailed account It appeared on Tuesday in a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Letitia James endangered Governor Cuomo’s career and urged a series of calls to resign.

People told CNN leaders that Chris Cuomo plans to continue his program and follow rules that prevent him from commenting on his brother’s scandal. He also promised not to discuss Andrew Cuomo’s strategic response to the scandal with government officials other than the governor himself.

On Tuesday, hours after James’s report was released, Chris Cuomo was in the anchor chair of the 9 pm show “Cuomo Prime Time.” He started with a segment on the coronavirus and aired a clip of President Biden, asking the governor to help stop the spread of Delta variants.

The clip omits asking Biden’s other notable statement, Governor Cuomo, to resign.

For the next 60 minutes, Chris Cuomo, who was interviewed by James’s office during the investigation, did not mention the reports of his brother or the Attorney General. It was in line with the anchor’s pledge not to hide the hardships of his brother. However, viewers are uncomfortable with the country’s largest political story (otherwise covered by CNNs throughout the day) suddenly disappearing at 9 pm, the network’s top time frame. May be.

The broadcast presence of Chris Cuomo clearly showed that Mr. Zucker was completely behind the 9 pm anchor on the network. He made a “mistake” in May by talking to his brother’s aides to the viewer, but his loyalty always went to “family first, work second.”

CNN refused to comment on Chris Cuomo’s cameo in the Attorney General’s report, instead pointing out a statement issued by the Network in May. The statement acknowledged that Anchor “never could have been objective” and “often served as a soundboard for his brother.” “It is” inappropriate “for him to have a conversation involving the governor’s staff,” he said.

In a private conversation this week, some CNN journalists expressed disappointment with each other that Chris Cuomo didn’t cover the story on Tuesday’s show. Some argued that CNN should have disciplined him, according to some with knowledge of internal debate.

Those internal critics didn’t speak on record for fear of hostile to management. In May, anchor Jake Tapper told The New York Times that his involvement with Chris Cuomo and Governor Cuomo’s aide “put us in a bad position” and “everyone in journalism is right. I can’t imagine a world where I think. “

“I certainly understand the love that Chris has for his brother, and I had a brother and I got it, but it wasn’t a fun day.” And Mr. Tapper Said at that time..

Chris Cuomo is a veteran television journalist whose tenure at ABC News included war reports from Iraq and Afghanistan. Zucker poached him in 2013 and co-sponsored CNN’s morning show, New Day. In 2018 he moved to Golden Time, hosting news and commentary time with provocative interviews and colorful soliloquy, often integrating his tagline “Chase It.”

Although MSNBC stopped paying historian Jon Meacham last year, cable news commentators’ ethical rules may be looser than reporters’ ethical rules. He helped write the speech For the Biden campaign. Fox News’ Golden Time hosts regularly advised Donald J. Trump during the presidential election — Sean Hanity also appeared in Trump campaign rallies — but Zucker often spoke to Fox News about those practices. Severely criticized for allowing.

At CNN, Chris Cuomo rarely interviewed his brother.A handful 2013 exception It has been criticized by media critics, including when Andrew Cuomo was on People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” list.

However, after Chris Cuomo, the governor became a fixture of “Cuomo Prime Time” last year at the start of the pandemic. Coronavirus positive.. These interviews, full of family recollections and sibling teasing, helped attract a large audience and hone Andrew Cuomo’s national image.Mr. Zucker Praised the segment In an interview with the Times about their “credibility, relevance and vulnerability”.

Andrew Cuomo soon faced criticism of the New York state’s coronavirus response.It became clear that Chris Cuomo had Received special access To a government-run test facility, including police escorts for test samples, when he was fighting the virus. (At the time, CNN said Chris Cuomo “relied on anyone who, like any other person, could seek advice and help.”)

Chris Cuomo will be on a long vacation next week. Tuesday’s “Cuomo Prime Time” was CNN’s top show, attracting 930,000 viewers. As the anchor was preparing to sign off, host Don Lemon at 10 pm provided warm words to the lead-in.

“I love you, brother,” said Lemon.

“I love you, D. Lemon,” Cuomo replied.

Then Mr Lemon started his program.

“Calls are getting bigger and bigger,” he told viewers. “That’s what I’m talking about. Top Democrats from New York to the White House are asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign.”

CNN’s Cuomo’s Conundrum: Star Anchor with a Problematic Brother

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