Yet another Cuomo scandal:
You may want to sit down for this.
A Cuomo got caught lying last week. I know, I know. It’s always the ones you least expect.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo lied about the extent to which he worked behind the scenes to shield his brother, disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, from multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, according to documents released last week by the New York attorney general’s office.
In an effort to keep the then-governor one step ahead of the scandal, the younger, dumber Cuomo leaned on his journalism connections and sources, funneling information from outside sources, including, apparently, other reporters, to warn his brother ahead of time regarding new allegations and unflattering developments. The younger, dumber Cuomo also used his position at CNN to gather information on his brother's accusers for the explicit purpose of discrediting them.
Chris Cuomo, for example, sent an email to his brother's advisers “containing information about [accuser Charlotte] Bennett, including tweets, from her time in college,” according to the New York attorney general.
“I have a lead on the wedding girl,” he messaged a governor’s aide, referring to a woman who claims Andrew Cuomo tried to kiss her at a wedding.
It’s essential to note Chris Cuomo obtained information on his brother’s accusers using his status as a journalist. Yet, he reported none of it. Instead, he channeled it directly to his brother’s spin doctors.
It’s important also to remember Chris Cuomo explicitly told investigators — while under oath — he did nothing that could be considered opposition research.
"I would never do oppo research on anybody alleging anything like this. I'm not in the oppo research business," Cuomo told investigators. "I don't even know of any opposition research being done."
This appears to be a lie, at least according to the communications between Chris Cuomo and his brother’s aides.
Cuomo did, however, admit to investigators he did reach out to other journalists and "sources" to get inside information regarding additional complaints and developments.
“I would,” he said, “when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out.”
Most of all, it’s crucial to remember Chris Cuomo flat-out lied in August, after further details of his involvement in his brother’s crisis response efforts were reported, when he said, “I never misled anyone about the information I was delivering or not delivering on this program. I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.”
This was clearly a lie.
Following news last week of Cuomo’s secretive role in defending his brother, the then-most powerful man in the state of New York, CNN announced it had placed its prime-time anchor on indefinite suspension.
But don’t be fooled. Cuomo will be back. CNN didn't even fire chief legal analyst and public masturbator Jeffrey Toobin.
Speaking of people who shouldn’t be anywhere near an anchor’s desk:
MSNBC's Katy Tur used her position at the left-wing cable network in March to parrot the Cuomo team’s spin “like verbatim,” according to the people responsible for the spin.
On March 3, Cuomo addressed the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him by multiple women. He argued he did not, in fact, sexually harass anyone but that his accusers merely mistook his overly friendly manner for sexual overtures.
An independent investigation by New York’s state attorney general concluded eventually that Cuomo did indeed sexually harass at least 11 women, including state employees. He resigned later in disgrace.
But on March 3, as Tur covered Cuomo’s first public response to the scandal, the then-governor's inner circle was delighted by her reporting. Pro-Cuomo Democratic strategist Lis Smith even bragged in a private text exchange the anchor had parroted her spin “verbatim.”
“I’m texting [with] Katy tur,” Smith wrote. “Katy is saying my spin live. Like verbatim.”
Here is what Tur said:
"I’ve just been talking with somebody who is close to the family, and I asked them, given the moment we have been living in for the past two years, given how everyone has had a reckoning with this #MeToo moment, why would someone like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is a savvy politician, not have buttoned things up, not have gotten the message to be careful about what he says around his staffers, around others? And the person said, 'It’s not that he didn’t think the rules didn’t apply to him. It’s just that, in the Cuomo DNA, they are extraordinarily friendly, I guess, by nature.'"
If the “savvy politician” bit didn’t give it away, referring to Cuomo's hired flack as “somebody who is close to the family” should.
By referring to Smith as “somebody who is close to the family,” Tur misled everyone into thinking she did the hard and honest work of landing a genuine inside source. But she didn’t work her sources to gather information from a close family friend or relative. In reality, Tur was fed information directly from a hired gun brought on to spin the Cuomo sexual harassment scandal in a positive light.
Perhaps one can say Tur didn’t so much parrot the Cuomo spin “like verbatim” as she simply repeated his team’s position. But why repeat it at all? Tur didn’t have to repeat any of what Smith apparently told her. She certainly didn’t have to repeat it uncritically.
Also, the fact Smith was privately pleased with Tur’s coverage suggests Tur did indeed serve Cuomo’s interests instead of the interests of MSNBC's viewers.
Remember: Tur is not a pundit or a commentator. She is part of MSNBC’s “hard news” division. After what we learned about her coverage in March, it’s clear she shouldn’t be anywhere near the news division — or even commentary, for that matter.