Politics

Chris Cuomo’s conflict of interest grows while his brother resigns as NY Governor

CNN prime time anchorman Chris Cuomo, brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has found himself mired in further controversy as new details become clear about his role as an adviser to his brother throughout the last several months.

In May, it was made public that Chris Cuomo, host of CNN’s evening news show, Cuomo Prime Time, had been involved in February emails and phone calls advising his brother, Governor Chris Cuomo, on how to handle the accusations of sexual harassment by former governor’s aide Charlotte Bennett. According to the attorney general’s report from the investigation into the allegations against Governor Cuomo, his brother Chris was copied on emails regarding the scandal, as well as phone calls where he advised the governor to take a defiant stance and refuse to resign.

He also reportedly sent an email suggesting language the governor might use in his public address, and much of the governor’s subsequent February 28 public television speech was taken, almost verbatim, from Chris Cuomo’s email.

Chris Cuomo addressed the conflict of interest and his self-proclaimed missteps on air on his show in May, telling viewers, “When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped in to calls with other friends of his and advisers that did include some of his staff — I understand why that was a problem for CNN.” He continued, “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.”

At the time of Cuomo’s apology to viewers and colleagues, however, it was not known that his role included writing part of Governor Cuomo’s speech. Chris Cuomo also admits to advising his brother to resign after the NYAG investigation report was made public and it was concluded that the governor had sexually harassed or assaulted 11 women.

Cuomo had remained true to his promise to viewers to steer clear of covering his brother’s scandal as a journalist, and had kept true to his word, avoiding discussion of the topic on his show. However, according to Brian Stelter, an anchor and executive producer at CNN, some CNN colleagues are angry with Chris Cuomo for once again advising his brother this past week after his commitment to stay out of such discussions due to his role as a journalist.

At this time it does not appear that CNN has any plans to cut ties with Chris Cuomo, though his absence from the prime time lineup last week as his brother’s resignation unfolded was not unnoticed by viewers. CNN released a statement last week reiterating that Cuomo’s relationship to the governor did not affect coverage of the scandal in any way.

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SLATE

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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