More than a year after Chris Cuomo made a mockery of journalistic standards by turning his prime-time hour into a propaganda platform for his brother Andrew, CNN has finally taken him off the air. Good.
Citing a new treasure trove of documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James pertaining to the investigation into the since-ousted governor of the Empire State, CNN has announced that the younger Cuomo brother is suspended "indefinitely, pending further evaluation" of "a greater level of involvement" in Andrew Cuomo's sex scandal strategizing than Chris Cuomo had previously disclosed.
Even as reports unfold that top CNN stars like Jake Tapper were furious at boss Jeff Zucker for keeping Chris Cuomo, himself separately accused of groping a former superior without her consent, many in the media, including Fox News's Tucker Carlson, have actually defended him on the grounds of familial loyalty.
The chris cuomo scandal is like the Voight-Kampff test but for pundits pic.twitter.com/wVW8xmCs05— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) December 1, 2021
As a matter of basic journalistic principles, Chris Cuomo committed an undeniable ethical offense by using his sources to get ahead of competitors' stories about his brother and influence fellow talking heads to spin the story. But there's a deeper ethical failure here, and it's one unrelated to his work: namely, that it is actually not good or OK to help your brother smear his sex abuse victims.
"Helping" someone doesn't mean merely helping him get away with a crime or get a further fix for whatever vice is consuming and degrading his soul. Helping him means helping him restore the sanctity of his person, even if that requires facing the music — especially if that means accepting accountability for his actions.
Would we consider someone securing further fentanyl for their brother's opioid addiction "helping" the brother, or would it instead mean enabling his own demise? We rightly consider those who covered for convicted rapists like Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein to be complicit in those rapes. Why wouldn't we consider the likes of Chris Cuomo just as nefarious for trying to help a serial predator get away with his crimes after the fact?
Chris Cuomo did not help his brother. He enabled his crimes, artificially bolstering the hubris that would ultimately damn him once and for all.