It was revealed earlier this month that CNN primetime host Chris Cuomo participated in private conference calls with his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), and other top aides to strategize an effective response to mounting allegations of sexual harassment posed by former staffers.
The host publicly apologized following that revelation, but fellow CNN anchor Jake Tapper recently chastised Cuomo for putting his co-workers and the network in a “bad spot” with what CNN labeled as “inappropriate” behavior, Mediaite reported.
Cuomo was alleged to have encouraged his embattled brother to “hold firm” and adopt a “defiant position” against the allegations, as giving in to them would be akin to submitting to “cancel culture” — advice that the governor clearly acted upon.
A “bad spot”
In an interview published May 27 in The New York Times, Tapper said of his colleague’s actions, “I cannot imagine a world in which anybody in journalism thinks that that was appropriate.”
Referencing a statement from CNN as well as Cuomo’s on-air apology, Tapper continued, “So I agree with that. And he said, Chris, in his apology that he delivered on-air, said that he put us in a bad spot. And I would also agree with that.”
Tapper also suggested that while Cuomo’s actions reflected poorly on the network and his colleagues, it had no bearing whatsoever on the job that he did on his own or anybody else’s program, saying, “It doesn’t affect my work.”
“Their work is not my work and my work is not their work. And yes, we all reflect on each other,” Tapper added. “But the only thing I have a role in, the only thing I have any control in, because I’m not management, right? I’m not the CNN bureau chief of D.C., I don’t have a say in anything other than what airs on my show.”
CNN admits it’s “inappropriate”
The Washington Post first reported on the revelation, per four unnamed people familiar with the discussions, of the cable news host’s participation in the conference calls with the governor, calls that also included the governor’s top aide, communications team, lawyers, and other outside advisers.
In response to the news from the Post, CNN said in a statement:
Chris has not been involved in CNN’s extensive coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo — on-air or behind the scenes. In part because, as he has said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because he often serves as a sounding board for his brother.
“However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges,” CNN added. “He will not participate in such conversations going forward.”
According to The Wrap, Cuomo had apologized to his viewers on-air after the story from the Washington Post was published, and admitted, “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’m sorry for that.”
“I told you back in March, I couldn’t cover my brother’s troubles, it wouldn’t be fair. Now today there are stories about me offering my brother advice. Of course I do, this is no revelation,” Cuomo added. “I can be objective about just about any topic, but not my family. I’m family first, job second. I know where the line is. I can respect it and still be there for my family.”