CNN‘s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday night failed once again to address the scandal surrounding his brother – fueling criticism that the $5 million-a-year anchor should not be allowed to continue hosting his show.
On Tuesday – hours after Andrew Cuomo, the 63-year-old governor of New York, was accused in a bombshell attorney general report of sexually harassing 11 women, and Joe Biden called on him to resign – Chris, 50, pointedly ignored the story.
On Wednesday he did the same.
His failure to address the topic was seen as all the more damaging given that Chris features in the attorney general’s report. He was advising his brother on media strategy when the scandal first broke in March – for which he apologized in May.
Furthermore, his colleague Don Lemon, who took over CNN’s coverage at 10pm ET, immediately launched into a summary of the Andrew Cuomo scandal.
Chris Cuomo on Wednesday failed to address the scandal surrounding his brother, for the second night in a row. He handed over to Don Lemon (left) – who immediately launched into a segment focusing on calls for Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor, to resign
The New York governor (left) is pictured with his journalist brother Chris (right) in May 2015
Chris filled his show with a series of segments about COVID-19, and then became emotional during a feature on America’s Got Talent contestant Jane Marczewski, 30, who has withdrawn from the show to fight cancer.
‘She’s beautiful,’ Cuomo gushed about Marczewski, to whom he repeatedly referred as ‘kid’ during the interview.
‘She’s proof that pain and purpose and hope can all co-exist.’
Cuomo continued to rave about the singer while handing off to Lemon.
He apologized to Lemon that his interview with Marczewski had gone 40 seconds longer than was planned, and told Lemon: ‘The 40 seconds that the audience got with that kid is a gift, brother.
‘It’s so rare that somebody can reinforce the blessing and curse of this life and the fragility of our humanity at the same time, you know?’
‘Not everybody can take on that fight the way she’s taking it and make it into a beautiful expression of life.’
Chris became emotional while speaking to America’s Got Talent contestant Jane Marczewski, 30, who has withdrawn from the show to fight cancer
CNN struggles to win ratings war as Cuomo struggles to know how to deal with scandal of his brother
CNN has gone an entire week without reaching one million viewers, according to the latest data from Nielsen.
From July 28 to August 3 the network dropped below a million – with even Chris Cuomo’s show, which attracted viewers keen to see if he’d discuss his brother, attracting only 930,000 people on Tuesday night.
His show, Cuomo Prime Time, the highest-rated on CNN, averaged 872,000 viewers last week.
Most watched was Fox News’ Hannity, followed by MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, with 1.6 million viewers.
The last time CNN reached over one million viewers was on July 27 during its coverage of the Democrat-led House select committee investigating the Capitol riot.
Lemon hurriedly responded: ‘And help many people in the process, and I think that’s a good place for us to leave it and move on and discuss other things in the news.’
Lemon then launched into the main news of the day.
‘The clock is ticking for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,’ he said.
‘A majority of New York State Assembly members, 80 Democrats and Republicans, telling CNN that they would vote to impeach. A source says articles of impeachment could be referred as soon as next week.
‘That as at least four district attorneys are now investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the governor.
‘The long list of powerful Democratic politicians calling on Gov. Cuomo to step down, a list headed by the president of the United States himself, that list is getting longer tonight.’
Chris Cuomo had his brother on his show frequently for friendly, light-hearted interviews last year at the height of the pandemic, when hundreds of people were dying every day.
Earlier this year, Chris Cuomo was reportedly offered a ‘leave of absence’ to formally advise his brother through his sex-pest scandal.
Executives with the network informally proposed the idea that the younger Cuomo could take an optional leave of absence to advise his brother and return to the network later, sources told The New York Times.
The possible leave of absence was suggested in May when the Washington Post revealed Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s scandal.
In response to the proposal, Chris Cuomo told network executives he wanted to continue on his primetime program while obeying rules preventing him from commenting on the scandal, sources told The New York Times.
Glory days: Chris Cuomo quarantining in his Hamptons basement last year with Cuomo, speaking with his brother on his show, when Andrew was a pandemic hero
The two regularly joked around on Chris’s show at a time when hundreds were dying from COVID. Chris played with a giant swab on one show
He publicly said at the time that when his brother’s situation ‘became turbulent’ he started getting ‘looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers that did include some of his staff.’
Cuomo told his viewers: ‘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.’
Chris Cuomo on Tuesday night was discussing COVID – and studiously ignoring the major news scrolling constantly beneath his screen. He didn’t mention the AG report – which he is named in – once
These text messages between Cuomo’s senior aides in February this year show how Chris Cuomo helped his brother draft statements to make sure they had ‘enough contrition’ when the allegations emerged. He was ignoring the subject on his own CNN show at the time
Chris Cuomo added that has never tried to influence CNN’s coverage of his brother and has in fact ‘been walled off from it.’
A CNN spokesman admitted at the time that Chris Cuomo’s behavior was ‘inappropriate’.
The network added that he would not face punishment – but allowed unnamed staff members to stick the knife into him in its own report on the gaffe.