In a video that surfaced online on Monday night, CNN’s Chris Cuomo confronted a heckler who called him the name “Fredo,” a reference to a character from “The Godfather” films. Confronting the man, Cuomo said the term was an “aspersion” against Italians and compared it to the N-word.
“Punk a** b****es from the Right call me Fredo,” Cuomo told him. “I’m an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from ‘The Godfather,’ he was that weak brother. And they use it as an Italian aspersion. … It’s like the ‘N word’ for us.”
This isn’t the first time Cuomo has compared an insult against him to the N-word. In February 2017, the CNN host said calling a journalist “fake news” is like calling a black person the N-word.
“I see being called ‘fake news’ as the equivalent of the N-word for journalists,” Cuomo said on Sirius XM’s “POTUS,” according to The Hill.
“[It’s] the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity. That’s what fake news is to a journalist,” the “New Day” host continued, adding: “It is an ugly insult, and you had better be right if you’re going to charge a journalist with lying on purpose.”
Cuomo apologized for the comment days later on Twitter. “I was wrong. Calling a journalist fake [is] nothing compared to the pain of a racial slur. I should not have said it. I apologize,” he wrote.
Cuomo has yet to offer any clarification for his latest claim that the name Fredo is equivalent to the N-word, though he did apologize for his aggressive actions in a Tuesday tweet.
“Appreciate all the support but — truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me,” he posted. “This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”
CNN quickly defended Cuomo following the release of the video, however. As noted by The Daily Wire Monday night, a top PR official for the network, Matt Dornic, said in a tweet that calling an Italian the name Fredo is “an ethnic slur.”
“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him,” Dornic posted.