CNN is facing fierce backlash after it emerged star anchor Chris Cuomo was reportedly still advising embattled older brother Andrew Cuomo amid his sexual harassment allegation scandal — with some calling for the network to launch an investigation.
The prime-time personality was among a handful of people consulting Gov Cuomo as he tried to salvage his career in the wake of last week’s bombshell report accusing him of sexually harassing 11 women, the Washington Post revealed on Monday.
Gov Cuomo resigned from his position on Tuesday.
But the retaliation against CNN was swift with critics declaring it was “utter madness” that Chris was supposedly still conferring with Gov Cuomo.
Some went as far as calling for the CNN anchor to be investigated by the network.
It comes after reports first emerged in May that Chris had advised his brother and staffers to take a defiant approach as the accusations gained momentum.
CNN issued a statement at the time saying Chris would no longer engage in discussions with Gov Cuomo’s staffers about the allegations — and Chris declared on air that he understood how it could be problematic for the network.
“When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers that did include some of his staff, I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again,” Cuomo said in May.
“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.”
Washington Post opinion writer Erik Wemple on Monday called for CNN to “commission a report of its own to determine just how its star anchor fit into this sexual harassment pushback effort.”
“This has got to be Chris Cuomo’s last day on the job come on,” writer Jonathan Katz tweeted.
Variety editor-at-large Kate Arthur simply tweeted: “Utter madness.”
Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean said in response to the report: “So yeah, this is a problem. @CNN.”
Journalist Zaid Jilani said Chris had a “conflict of interest” by maintaining his role as a CNN host.
Fox News contributor Joe Concha tweeted: “I agree, help your brother… But you can’t continue to go on television claiming you’re an objective anchor that covers the big stories because he didn’t cover the biggest story in the world last week.”
Concha was referring to how the younger Cuomo failed to mention the bombshell report by state Attorney General Letitia James during his show last week.
Chris was mentioned four times in the 165-page report handed down by the attorney general last week.
It described Chris as one of several outside advisers who were “regularly provided with confidential and often privileged information” that impacted the government despite having no “formal role, duty, or obligation to the state.”
In past statements, CNN has said that Chris Cuomo has not been involved in the network’s coverage of harassment allegations against his brother.
Chris had previously told CNN viewers that he could not cover the initial allegations of sexual harassment against the governor, “because he is my brother.”