Monday, fresh information that came to light courtesy of newly released documents from New York State Attorney General Tish James’ office about CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s role in helping craft an expansive and targeted response strategy earlier this year to the numerous allegations of sexual harassment that were made against his brother Andrew Cuomo (D), who at the time was the state’s governor.
To quickly recap, the new info revealed that Chris Cuomo and CNN were dishonest about the depth of the “Prime Time” anchor’s involvement. Instead of merely acting in a brotherly capacity, as CNN and Chris Cuomo suggested at the time the Washington Post broke the initial story of him helping Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo abused his role as a prominent media figure on behalf of his powerful brother, including being on the lookout for potential future damaging stories on Andrew Cuomo, monitoring stories he knew were coming and advising the governor’s office as to what he knew while also helping draft a formal statement.
Surprisingly, CNN themselves weighed in yesterday on the matter, saying the documents deserved “a thorough review and consideration” while noting that the network would be “having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days.”
Not surprisingly, however, was how CNN’s media hall monitor Brian Stelter, who would have ripped Fox News a new one up one side and down the other for days on end if a similar scandal had happened there, took the clinical “newsy” approach in response to the Chris Cuomo story, merely relaying what had already been reported in a few tweets and writing about it in his newsletter and at the website sans the usual biting snark he unleashes daily on Fox News for merely reporting the news.
But it was a tweet Stelter posted in response to Northeastern University Journalism Professor Dan Kennedy observing that Cuomo didn’t address the topic on his program last night that very likely made matters worse for his embattled colleague:
Oops. By reminding people of how Cuomo said in August he didn’t plan on addressing the subject again, Stelter – as someone who works in the same office as Cuomo and who is the network’s chief media critic – inadvertently put the pressure on him to revisit an uncomfortable and embarrassing chapter in his professional life again on another episode of his nightly program in the very near future.
It also didn’t make Stelter himself look too good, considering in his capacity as a “media expert” he’s paid to be providing commentary (not just basic news reports) on issues just like this one. In other words, for all his past talk about supposedly wanting to restore faith and trust in the media, his actions indicate otherwise – especially when it comes to his employer: