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CNN Chief Zucker Did About-Face on Chris Cuomo

'Wall Street Journal' explains the shift from staunch support to slams about 'lack of candor'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2021 2:45 PM CST
CNN Chief Zucker Does About-Face on Chris Cuomo
CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker.   (Photo by Jason Mendez/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Chris Cuomo is out at CNN, and the Wall Street Journal digs in to why network exec Jeff Zucker came to make a "U-turn" on the anchor he had long defended. Zucker backed Cuomo in the spring when allegations first surfaced that he helped his brother, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid a sexual harassment scandal. According to the Journal, Zucker felt Chris Cuomo misled him into thinking he provided minimal support for his brother. But when the New York state attorney general came out with a report last week showing that Chris Cuomo was in close, regular contact with his brother's advisers, Zucker reportedly felt betrayed. Separately, a female colleague accused Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct, and that cemented things.

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Statements from each camp illustrate the rift. Cuomo alleges that Zucker knew the "details" of the help he provided his brother all along, an assertion denied by CNN:

  • Cuomo: The ousted anchor "has the highest level of admiration and respect for Mr. Zucker," a spokesman tells the Journal. "They were widely known to be extremely close and in regular contact, including about the details of Mr. Cuomo’s support for his brother. There were no secrets about this, as other individuals besides Mr. Cuomo can attest.”
  • Zucker: Chris Cuomo "has made a number of accusations that are patently false,” says a network statement in response. “This reinforces why he was terminated for violating our standards and practices, as well as his lack of candor.”

Meanwhile, critics of the Cuomo brothers continued to revel in the downfall of both. "The moral of the Cuomo story is that bad people who abuse their privilege and believe the rules don’t apply to them do get their comeuppance," writes Miranda Devine at the New York Post. And at the Federalist, Margot Cleveland sees the controversy as part of a larger problem. "How is the media’s actual reporting, born of the incestuous relationship between the anti-Trump media and partisans within the government, any less troubling than the help Chris Cuomo provided his brother?" (Read more Chris Cuomo stories.)

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