In August 2020, the Cuomo brothers were at the center of the U.S news.
People everywhere gushed over Andrew Cuomo, who had just completed a book deal worth more than $5 million and went on to receive an Emmy award for his Covid-19 presentations that carried the entire nation. At the same time, his brother, CNN host, Chris Cuomo, averaged 1.8 million views per night, performing better on primetime than ever before.
The brothers were on top of the world, and people everywhere loved them.
Singer Billy Joel said, “In the midst of this storm, Andrew Cuomo became the nation’s governor. People across the country tuned into his press conferences every day.”
While actor Billy Crystal said, “In the darkest days of the pandemic, your daily briefings, live from New York, gave us hope, gave us clarity, gave us the truth, and gave us something we were not getting from Washington: Leadership.”
But in February, things began to change when Andrew Cuomo’s aide Melissa DeRosa admitted to a coverup surrounding the deaths in nursing homes. But Cuomo bounced back, and the country loved him once again.
It wasn’t until numerous sexual harassment and misconduct allegations that people turned their eyes on New York. One woman’s accusations soon became six women, then 11, with most of them much younger than the governor. People of New York and around the country began to change their opinion of Andrew Cuomo, and soon his reviews plummeted. And when New York Attorney General Letitia James began reporting, Cuomo’s career was over as he knew it.
People like Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand soon called for Cuomo’s resignation; New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) called for the governor to be criminally charged with sexual misconduct. President Biden also called on the governor to resign following the attorney general’s report.
As for Chris Cuomo, it was made apparent that he had violated not just CNN guidelines but journalistic norms as well. On August 16th, Chris Cuomo lied on-air, assuring audience members that he “never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.” Recently released transcripts from the New York attorney general’s investigation have shed light on how Chris Cuomo used his position to aid his brother by searching for information and dirt on his brother’s accusers.
He frequently advised Andrew Cuomo’s team on how to avoid accountability – aiding and abetting his brother’s harassment of women. He used his position as a journalist to gain information about who was coming forward next, saying in an interview with state investigators, “I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out.” Chris Cuomo told state investigators, “That’s it for me: How do I protect my family? How do I help protect him? Probably should have been thinking more about how I protect myself, which just never occurred to me.” However, while Cumo may have seen his acts as selfless, he disrupted a criminal investigation. It was power helping power, and he made sure to deceive the public while doing it.
CNN has since fired Chris Cuomo. Andrew Cuomo has been found guilty and charged with a misdemeanor sex crime.
And both New York and CNN look towards a new future, without the Cuomo name.