On Tuesday night, Chris Cuomo made one of his first on-air appearances anywhere since being fired from CNN last December over his role in helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, fend off accusations of sexual harassment. Cuomo’s appearance came on NewsNation, the fledgling news channel that replaced WGN America. During an interview with longtime friend Dan Abrams on Dan Abrams Live, it was announced that Cuomo would host a prime-time show on NewsNation this coming fall.
That’s a shame, because NewsNation is making a colossal mistake by giving Cuomo a lifeline. Cuomo was suspended and ultimately fired from CNN—primarily because he mined his sources, along with fellow journalists, for information on whether his brother had any more accusers coming forward.
Chris Cuomo’s firing came mere hours after a woman came forward with a sexual harassment claim against him, as well. With the New York Attorney General Letitia James’ revelations about the extent Chris went to help his brother, his credibility—the only currency you have as a journalist—was worth about as much as an East German mark was worth in 1989.
Less than 24 hours before Cuomo was fired from CNN, Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens wrote that the extent of his role in helping his brother defend himself is a big reason why survivors don’t come forward for years, if at all.
For anyone who has ever asked, “Why didn’t she come forward sooner?” Chris Cuomo texting “I have a lead on the wedding girl” to his embattled brother’s top aide is one answer. […]
Andrew Cuomo resigned in August.
The new details about Chris Cuomo’s role in the mess deliver another blow to the public’s trust in media, which is already at an all-time low.
They also reveal what survivors are up against — and what survivors know they’re up against — when they decide to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse.
People who amass power would often rather wield it than surrender it. And they often wield it to obscure, rather than reveal, the truth.
Cuomo used his power as a journalist to get information on stories about potential accusers so his brother’s team could get dirt on them. He forgot that, as a journalist, he’s supposed to punch up, not down.
This is still a big step down for Cuomo, whose show, Cuomo Primetime, was one of the top-rated programs on CNN in 2019 and 2020, averaging 2 million nightly viewers in 2020. NewsNation, launched in September 2020 by Nexstar Media Group, reportedly averaged only 46,000 viewers in primetime last year. NewsNation is trying to bill itself as a straight, unbiased news alternative to CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. But by taking on a man whose integrity is all but shot, NewsNation is taking a major hit to its own credibility.
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