Chris Cuomo is coming back to TV, and he announced his return the same way he got booted out of his old gig: by misleading viewers.
On Tuesday, NewsNation announced that Chris Cuomo would be getting an anchor gig at the network, which is formerly known as WGN America.
He made the announcement in an interview with NewsNation host Dan Abrams, a former colleague of Cuomo’s at ABC News. The new program will begin in the fall and run in his old CNN time slot, according to the New York Post.
“I’m going to come to NewsNation and I want to build something special here,” he said, noting that his new employer would be … somewhat less prestigious than his old one.
“I had decided that I can’t go back to what people see as ‘the big game,’” Cuomo said. “I don’t think I can make a difference there.
“I think we need insurgent media. I think we need outlets that aren’t fringe and just trying to fill their pockets.”
.@ChrisCuomo is joining NewsNation: The cable news veteran believes he can provide viewers a break from America’s “binary” media when his new show launches this fall. More: https://t.co/TXSo1HxHWI pic.twitter.com/5M9fl1JVxB
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) July 27, 2022
(Of course, Cuomo should have been booted from “the big game” long before a series of scandals ended his tenure at CNN in December. Here at The Western Journal, we chronicled his flagrant abuses of journalistic integrity since the beginning of the COVID crisis — all intended to prop up his brother, then the governor of New York. However, CNN just let him run with it until the pile of scandals got too high to ignore. We’ll keep bringing America the truth about Big Media. You can help us by subscribing.)
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Give Abrams credit for not being entirely chummy with NewsNation’s new hire, however.
Specifically, he confronted Cuomo about what originally sidelined him at CNN — his claim that he “never made calls to the press” about a series of sexual harassment scandals that ended with the resignation of Cuomo’s brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Abrams noted that, yes, Cuomo did contact the media about his brother’s situation.
“You said, ‘I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation,’” he said. “[But] you did make calls to the press about your brother’s situation.”
“But I think the distinction has a meaningful difference,” Cuomo shot back.
“The concern would be not that I called you and said ‘What do you think’s going on here?’ It’s me calling you and saying ‘Hey tonight in your segment, I hope you remember that,’” the former CNN host said.
.@danabrams questioned @ChrisCuomo about the accusations that he was attempting to get information from other journalists about reports on his brother. Cuomo says he never made calls to the press to manipulate the story.
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) July 27, 2022
That’s not what he said, however, and there’s a pretty good argument that’s not what he meant, either.
Let’s recap: The beginning of Cuomo’s downfall came after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report that revealed Chris Cuomo was way more dug in when it came to defending his brother against the sexual misconduct allegations against him than he led viewers (and, apparently, his bosses at CNN) to believe.
In one exchange, Andrew Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa asked Chris Cuomo about a rumored Ronan Farrow story on the governor’s misconduct to be published in The New Yorker.
“Rumor about Ronan getting ready to move,” DeRosa said in a March 9, 2021 message. “Can u check your sources?”
“Story not ready for tomorrow,” he texted back on March 15. The piece would eventually run March 18.
.@ChrisCuomo was giving updates to DeRosa about the state of @RonanFarrow’s story on a former Gov. Cuomo aide who accused him of sexual harassment, using his sources to relay information to the administration, text exchanges show. pic.twitter.com/VTsHt3v4OJ
— Josefa Velásquez (@J__Velasquez) November 29, 2021
Then there was his messaging to DeRosa in the case of Anna Ruch, who said the governor sexually harassed her at a wedding in 2019.
“I have a lead on the wedding girl being put up to it,” Chris Cuomo texted.
Chris Cuomo: “I have a lead on the wedding girl being put up to it.”
This apparently refers to Anna Ruch, who accused Andrew Cuomo of putting his hand on her lower back and, when she objected, putting his hands on her cheeks and asking to kiss her.https://t.co/c6HUWOpKRj pic.twitter.com/DvHaNyQqzP
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) November 29, 2021
When one is talking about the “wedding girl being put up to it,” this might not be telling people in the media “Hey, tonight, in your segment, I hope you remember that” — whatever that means to Chris Cuomo — but it sounds a lot less like him just asking, “What do you think is going on here?”
CNN initially suspended Cuomo over the texts, finally firing him after another accusation of sexual harassment surfaced against the anchor.
Cuomo is currently suing CNN for $125 million over breach of contract.
In Tuesday’s interview with Abrams, he insisted there were “no secrets” between him and his superiors about his communication with his brother and his PR team.
“It was known,” Cuomo said. “There’s litigation, I want to respect it. But the reason I’m shy on this subject is not just pro forma because there’s litigation.
“I really believe that I have to focus on things that I think are helpful to people. And I learned something during this period. I have been obsessed with what happened, when, what was known, and there have been a lot of facts that I believe are going to come out.
“I never lied and there were no secrets.”
It’s easy enough to distrust CNN. Even typing that sequence of letters invokes a pang of suspicion in my brain, as if the mere combination of keystrokes activates a chain of neurons preprogrammed to sniff out mendacity.
This presents a problem, though: Do you trust a mendacious cable news network or a man allegedly too mendacious to keep a show on that network?
All I’ll say is this — Chris Cuomo still stands by his statement that he “never made calls to the press” about his brother because, to hear him explain it, he just called them to ask, “What do you think is going on here?” You be the judge.
Whatever the case, he’s NewsNation’s problem now.
At least there won’t be anywhere near the number of people watching to see how many journalistic norms and bedrock truths Chris Cuomo will be violating tonight.