‘Family First’: Cuomo Apologizes to CNN, Defends Helping Brother Through Scandals

CNN’s already shoddy credibility was reeling Thursday, after a bombshell Washington Post report exposed how Prime Time host Chris Cuomo was part of his brother’s, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) strategic planning sessions for dealing with his sexual misconduct scandals. And during the opening moments of his show that night, Chris apologized to his CNN colleagues but defending what he did because “family first, job second.”

Cuomo began by reiterating the network’s conveniently reinstated ban on him reporting about his brother’s sexual misconduct and nursing home deaths scandals. “If you’ll remember I told you back in the beginning of March I can’t cover my brother’s troubles, it wouldn’t be fair. And you got it then and I appreciate you understanding,” he emoted.

Turning to address The Post’s story, Cuomo defended his actions. “Now, today there are stories out there about me offering my brother advice. Of course, I do. This is no revelation. I have said it publicly and I certainly have never hidden it,” he said.

He went on to add that he could never be an objective journalist when it came to covering his family:

I can be objective about just about any topic. But not about my family. Those of you who watch this show get it. Like you, I bet, my family means everything to me. And I am fiercely loyal to them. I am family first, job second.

And that’s why many ethical red flags were set off during the early days of the pandemic when Chris would have his brother on and treated him like a hero. Things came to a head when Chris pulled out giant cotton swabs to mock his brother’s nose. Ultimately, it was a weak distraction from the unfolding nursing home deaths scandal.

 

 

“But, being a journalist and a brother to a politician is unique and a unique challenge, and I have a unique responsibility to balance those roles. It’s not always easy,” he lamented further, though he’s repeatedly failed to live up to any of it.

He then apologized to his CNN colleagues for putting them in a terrible position (Click “expand”):

People can say and write what they want, but I want you to know the truth. How I helped my brother also matters. When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers, that did include some of his staff, 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.

Pivoting to address the audience again, Cuomo thought we would believe that he’s never exerted influence on the network to cover his brother in a certain way. “It’s also important for you to understand not only do I not cover this here, I’ve never tried to influence this network’s coverage of my brother. In fact, I’ve been walled off from it,” he asserted.

But then how does he explain the hero’s welcome he and the network would give his brother during the early days of the pandemic?

As he was nearing the end of his plea, Cuomo said he was in “a unique and difficult situation” and suggested he knew “where the line is. I can respect it and still be there for my family, which I must. I have to do that. I love my brother, I love my family, I love my job, and I love and respect my colleagues here at CNN.”

And he concluded with more comments for his colleagues: “And again, to them, I am truly sorry. You know who I am. You know what I’m about, and I want this to be said in public to you who give me the opportunity and to my colleagues who make me better at what I do.”

NewsBusters contacted CNN in the late afternoon with some questions about the situation, and we’re still waiting to hear back.

Chris Cuomo’s comments were made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Liberty Mutual and Rocket Mortgage. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time
May 20, 2021
9:00:33 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: If you would, allow me a moment. If you’ll remember I told you back in the beginning of March I can’t cover my brother’s troubles, it wouldn’t be fair. And you got it then and I appreciate you understanding.

Now, today there are stories out there about me offering my brother advice. Of course, I do. This is no revelation. I have said it publicly and I certainly have never hidden it. I can be objective about just about any topic. But not about my family. Those of you who watch this show get it. Like you, I bet, my family means everything to me. And I am fiercely loyal to them. I am family first, job second.

But, being a journalist and a brother to a politician is unique and a unique challenge, and I have a unique responsibility to balance those roles. It’s not always easy.

People can say and write what they want, but I want you to know the truth. How I helped my brother also matters. When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers, that did include some of his staff, 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.

It’s also important for you to understand not only do I not cover this here, I’ve never tried to influence this network’s coverage of my brother. In fact, I’ve been walled off from it.

This is a unique and difficult situation, and that’s okay. I know where the line is. I can respect it and still be there for my family, which I must. I have to do that. I love my brother, I love my family, I love my job, and I love and respect my colleagues here at CNN.

And again, to them I am truly sorry. You know who I am. You know what I’m about, and I want this to be said in public to you who give me the opportunity and to my colleagues who make me better at what I do.

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