Former ABC News executive producer Shelley Ross slammed a small cable news channel this week for hiring disgraced former CNN host Chris Cuomo, calling Cuomo the “same old arrogant, misogynistic proud member of the old boy’s club.”
Ross, who later became an executive producer at CBS News, said that at a going-away party in 2005, Cuomo approached her “and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock.”
“‘I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’ he said to me with a kind of cocky arrogance,” Ross wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “‘No you can’t,’ I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left.”
Ross responded to a post online by NewsNation host Dan Abrams in which Abrams defended his network’s decision to hire Cuomo to host a new primetime show on the channel this fall.
“Dan, I’m a decades-long fan of yours,” Ross wrote. “But you’ve got this one wrong. The (modest) mixed reaction to Cuomo’s new job does not prove the status quo of the media is under threat. Cuomo IS the status quo, same old same old arrogant, misogynistic proud member of the old boy’s club. No one cares what News Nation [sic] ratings are. I am rooting for something new, fresh and honest. Just maybe some of us don’t see Cuomo as that answer … those who have been disappointed in his lack of genuine contrition. As he continues to parse his words, hide behind the love of a brother, deny wrongdoing, he remains tone-deaf and phony to many of us. I’m all for second chances. But I won’t believe he is a disrupter until he disrupts something and finds a greater cause than himself.”
The Washington Post reported that the small cable news network wants to provide “down-the-middle, unbiased news reporting and analysis.” It’s unclear how Cuomo helps NewsNation reach its objective, considering that he was under investigation at CNN over his alleged role in trying to help his brother, then-New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, navigate a sexual misconduct scandal that ultimately led to his resignation.
Chris Cuomo filed a $125 million lawsuit against CNN, demanding $15 million in lost salary and $110 million in further damages, after the network fired him following an investigation into him.
Debra S. Katz, a Left-wing attorney, said in a statement in December that she was representing a client who claimed that Chris Cuomo engaged in “serious sexual misconduct” against her at another network.
Katz said she notified CNN of the allegations and that the allegations are ultimately what led to Chris Cuomo being fired from CNN. Katz said in a statement that Cuomo demonstrated hypocrisy when he claimed he cared “very deeply” about the issue of sexual harassment only to be revealed in an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James to have aided his brother’s efforts to smear his accusers.
“Hearing the hypocrisy of Chris Cuomo’s on-air words and disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women, my client retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN,” Katz said.