Chris Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo’s brother, has been dismissed from CNN, the network he was anchor of. The alleged ‘fault’ is that he ‘dared’ to help his brother with the allegations of sexual harassment. And in such a scenario, one of the most renowned networks in the USA, as well as worldwide, seems to forget something important. Chris Cuomo did what other journalists like him did not have the strength to do: to show facts and truth, instead of precluding a due process.
‘Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense. We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate’. With these words CNN put an end to Chris Cuomo’s 8-year career.
CNN dismissed Cuomo after new information came to light about his involvement with his brother’s alleged scandals. He had been previously suspended from the network when this alleged involvement stood out, some days ago. But this is not likely to be the only reason the network used to justify the dismissal. Apparently, in fact, Debra Katz (attorney to Charlotte Bennett, who is one of the main Andrew Cuomo accusers for sexual harassment) presented a complaint from a woman accusing Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct.
Chris Cuomo dismissal: a proper choice?
According to the renowned US network, Cuomo violated the ethics of journalism, as he is supposed to have helped his brother, former governor of New York, by collecting information about the complainants for the benefit of the governor’s defense during the investigation. However, there is a crucial point which is worth pointing out. As a matter of fact, Chris Cuomo has never sought to influence his brother’s media coverage within or out of CNN. Furthermore, it sounds pretty ridiculous it is CNN to speak about ethics of any kind. For example, many are likely to remind when Jeffrey Toobin, one of the analysts working for the network, was caught in the act while masturbating during a Zoom call held with his colleagues. Toobin is still working for the network. But maybe masturbating in front of the others sounds ethic according to CNN.
The real lack of ethics of journalism was in the Cuomo case
The Cable News Network considers itself as able to judge what is ethic while it was one of the first networks to condemn through the media Andrew Cuomo when allegations against him came out, without the slightest hint to let him have a due process as he entitled. Every single ethic journalist ought to have defended a due process, element at the base of a stable, solid democracy. Every ethic journalist should have deeply verified the credibility of those accusing the governor. I do not mean they had to purposely find something to topple their credibility and dig the dirt on them, at all. Just to verify whether what they stated, both about Cuomo and their own past, was true.
An instance is well represented by the case of Charlotte Bennett, who apparently filed a false complaint concerning one of her classmates at university. But you know, this is the #MeToo era. And when someone attempts to deepen verifications about a woman, they are accused to slander the victim. Chris Cuomo may also have mistaken something in trying to help his brother in this way, but sought to help him in an attempt to give him what others had precluded: a due process.
Read also: Governor Cuomo: I do believe in his words