CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has put himself in a compromising position as he avoids addressing the scandals plaguing his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after welcoming him on his show nearly a dozen times in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Cuomo is now facing a multitude of controversies, from the alleged cover-up of COVID nursing home death statistics to allegations of sexual harassment.
CNN says it has barred Chris Cuomo from covering his relative after admitting they lifted the “rule” in the early months of the pandemic for the host to conduct the gushy interviews.
The “Cuomo Prime Time” host did briefly acknowledge the controversies surrounding his brother in an awkward address to viewers on Monday, saying he was “aware of what’s going on with my brother, and obviously, I cannot cover it because he is my brother.”
“Now, of course, CNN has to cover it,” Cuomo said. “They have covered it extensively, and they will continue to do so. I have always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so. I just wanted to tell you that.”
Of course, neither Chris Cuomo nor CNN felt that way last year when the anchor welcomed the governor onto his program nearly a dozen times as much of the mainstream media fawned over the Democrat’s daily press briefings, juxtaposing them with President Trump’s response to the pandemic.
During one of their chummy interviews back in May, Chris Cuomo teased his brother about being a single man on the market.
“Do you think you are an attractive person now because you’re single and ready to mingle?” the CNN anchor asked. “Do you think that you’re some desirable single person and that this is not just people’s pain coming out of them?”
“I think that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” the governor smirked.
“Listen to you, you got an answer for anything. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself these days, aren’t ya?” the anchor chuckled.
That exchange took place just one month prior to when former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett alleges the governor sexually harassed her during an exchange in his office. During a conversation, Bennett claims, Cuomo asked her inappropriate questions about her sex life.
Back in April, Cuomo asked if his brother’s “Luv Guv” nickname was “bleeding into your demeanor” and making him “soft” on President Trump.
“You need him and now is not a time for fighting, but don’t you have to balance that with calling him out if he’s doing things you don’t think are great for the people of your state to be hearing and experiencing, Luv Guv?” Cuomo asked.
“I’ve always been a soft guy,” the governor playfully replied. “I am the Luv Guv. I’m a cool dude in a loose mood, you know that. I just say let it go, just go with the flow, baby.”
The CNN anchor repeatedly hyped his brother as a potential presidential contender, even as Joe Biden was on the cusp of clinching the 2020 Democratic nomination.
“Bernie Sanders is out. The word is that this increases the chances, with Sen. Sanders out, that you may get in the race for president. Is that true?” Cuomo asked.
Even after the governor put that possibility to bed, the CNN anchor pressed on, “Are you not thinking about running for president because now there is more political momentum around the idea of you accepting a vice-presidential bid from Joe Biden. Is that something that you’re considering?”
“Even if your party is jumping up and down with signs at a digital convention, they call you and say, ‘We need you, Luv Guv,'” Cuomo fantasized.
“Luv Guv says no way,” Gov. Cuomo shut down his brother’s excitement.
In March, the Cuomo brothers competed for their mother’s affection on CNN’s airwaves.
“No matter how hard you’re working, there’s always time to call Mom. She wants to hear from you, just so you know,” the anchor told the governor.
“I called Mom just before I came on this show,” Andrew Cuomo replied. “By the way, she said that I was her favorite. The good news is, she said you were her second favorite. Second favorite son, Christopher.”
“We both know that neither of us are Mom’s first and second favorite in the family. I can’t believe you’re lying to my audience. You’ve blown the credibility of the entire interview. I should have ended it before,” Chris Cuomo joked.
Perhaps the most iconic Cuomo-Cuomo moment was the prop comedy bit the CNN anchor conducted in May as the governor’s nursing home scandal began brewing.
The banter marathon between the two brothers later turned into a skit after the “Cuomo Prime Time” host played a clip of his brother taking a coronavirus test where a nurse placed a cotton swab up his nostril.
“Is it true that this was the swab that the nurse was actually using on you?” the anchor asked his brother while holding an overly-sized cotton swab.
Chris Cuomo then presented Andrew with an even larger cotton swab, asking the governor if that was the one the nurse used on him.
In his final interview, Chris Cuomo showered his brother with praise, putting any concerns about objective journalism to bed.
“Me having you on this show is an unusual thing. We’ve never really done it, but this is an unusual time and there are unusual needs and you stepped up in an unusual way that really was created by a vacuum of power on a federal level,” Cuomo began. “Of course, I won’t always be able to keep having you on this show. It will never be seen as fair in people’s eyes.”
Chris Cuomo then spoke about how proud their father, the late former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, was of his politician son.
“Everything that he had ever said about public service is what you demonstrated right here and right now during this period when your state needed it most,” Cuomo told the governor. “I just hope that you recognize even what I’m able to recognize … I hope you are able to appreciate what you did in your state and what it means for the rest of the country now and what it will always mean for those who love and care about you the most.”
He continued, “I’m wowed by what you did and more importantly, I’m wowed by how you did it… Obviously, I love you as a brother. Obviously, I’ll never be objective. Obviously, I think you’re the best politician in the country. But I hope you feel good about what you did for your people because I know they appreciate it. Nothing’s perfect, you’ll have your critics, but I’ve never seen anything like what you did and that’s why I’m so happy to have had you on this show and I hope you know that.”
The governor thanked the anchor for the “sweet talk.”
Shortly after the interview ended, Cuomo reiterated to his viewers, “He’s my big brother. I love him. Of course, I’m not objective, but let’s call it straight. Look at the state, look at the numbers … Yes, he’s my brother. There’s no question. I can cry about it in a second, but the results are there for all to see. Was it perfect? No, you tell me what is, but look at the state our country’s in. And if you don’t think this is going to be reflected in what happens in November, then you haven’t been paying attention.”
Cuomo later doubled down on his praise for his brother while sharing a clip of his remarks on Twitter, writing, “Not objective but true, the facts tell the story. NY had & has its struggles but they’re doing way better than what we see elsewhere & no way that happens without the Luv Guv dishing the real 24/7. He works with relentless intensity & NY’s better for it. And as a brother, I am proud.”
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