CNN has announced that the network will conduct a “thorough review” of documents released Monday by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office, some of which indicated that anchor Chris Cuomo played a much larger role than he suggested in advising his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.).
The documents indicated that the scope of how the anchor aimed to help his brother was more considerable and that he was more intimately involved than previously known, prompting CNN to initiate a review of the material.
“The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration,” CNN said in a statement. “We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days.”
CNN first became aware in May that the “Cuomo Primetime” host had advised his brother on how to handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault, and opted at the time not to suspend him. Instead, the network issued a statement calling the move “inappropriate” and saying that he would “not participate in such conversations going forward.”
Likewise, Chris Cuomo acknowledged that his actions had put CNN in a difficult position and promised that he would not take part in future calls. “When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his and advisors that did include some of his staff — I understand why that was a problem for CNN,” he said. “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.”
“Being a journalist and a brother to a politician is… a unique challenge, and I have a unique responsibility to balance those roles,” says @ChrisCuomo regarding reports that he offered advice to his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “It was a mistake.” pic.twitter.com/P0GkglgrYM
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) May 21, 2021
Fellow CNN anchor Brian Stelter responded to the “awkward” situation, saying that he wasn’t sure journalistic ethics really governed such a situation. “If we open up the journalism ethics book, there’s no page for this,” Stelter said. “It’s the craziest set of circumstances you can imagine, right? A governor and a brother are both in these high profile jobs. This was definitely awkward for CNN,” he told late night host Stephen Colbert.
Brian Stelter on how CNN should handle Chris Cuomo’s coverage of his brother Andrew: “If we open up the journalism ethics book, there’s no page for this.” pic.twitter.com/zNqGwoFKgV
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) August 11, 2021
The news that Cuomo’s involvement in advising his brother might have been more extensive than originally thought prompted critics to suggest that it might be time for him to go.
“There are good people who work at @CNN. What the network is doing to so many hardworking people by continuing to employ @ChrisCuomo is nothing short of ethical malpractice. He is a disgrace to journalism and a national embarrassment who tarnishes every SINGLE person at @CNN,” Meghan McCain tweeted.
“What’s the calculus on still employing Chris Cuomo ? His viewership keeps hitting all-time lows. more people watch the Hallmark Channel,” the Washington Free Beacon’s Joe Simonson added.