CNN's Brian Stelter whitewashes scope of Chris Cuomo scandal on media show, avoids mentioning first accuser

Why CNN fired Chris Cuomo

Network failed to act before suspension

CNN’s left-wing lackey Brian Stelter offered a very limited “timeline” of the events that led to the firing of its scandal-plagued primetime anchor Chris Cuomo, omitting key details while recapping the in-network drama. 

On Sunday’s installment of his poorly-watched media show “Reliable Sources,” Stelter kicked off the program by telling viewers he was hoping to explain “what happened” with his fallen colleague and “how it came to this point” while broadly acknowledging CNN management had previously “supported him all year long.”

However, his so-called “timeline” only began Monday, the day the New York Attorney General’s office released documents from its investigation into ousted Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, revealing Chris Cuomo’s role in helping his brother went far beyond what he told his viewers. 

In reality, Cuomo’s scandal goes far as back as March 2020 when CNN first allowed him to interview his brother and glorify his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The series of chummy interviews included prop comedy and discussions about the Democrat’s potential prospects for higher office all while the governor’s nursing home scandal began brewing. 

CNN’s Chris Cuomo performed prop comedy with his brother New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a widely panned segment in 2020. 

Gov. Cuomo began facing allegations of sexual misconduct in December 2020, which only escalated in the following months, forcing his anchor brother to address them on-air in March, saying he “obviously” cannot talk about the controversy despite having previously offered glowing coverage of the governor. 

It was then reported in May that the CNN anchor was participating in strategy sessions with the governor’s aides to help his brother respond to his accusers. Cuomo was then forced to issue an apology to his colleagues. 

Stelter failed to mention Cuomo’s claim in August amid the governor’s resignation when he told viewers, “I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation,” something that was proven false by the NY AG investigation, though Stelter previously acknowledged last week’s revelations “cast some doubt” in Cuomo’s past remarks. 

Stelter revealed that the “additional information” CNN learned to cause the network to fire Cuomo was the emergence of a new sexual misconduct accuser, described by the accuser’s attorney as a “former junior colleague” Stelter said worked with Cuomo at ABC News (Cuomo denied the new allegations). 

However, Stelter avoided mentioning the existence of Cuomo’s first accuser Shelley Ross, the veteran TV producer who came forward in September in a guest essay from The New York Times alleging Cuomo squeezed her buttock at a 2005 event while the two of them worked at ABC News. Ross provided a copy of the email Cuomo sent to there at the time apologizing for his actions. 

The CNN host previously did not acknowledge Ross’ claims when she first went public. 

While it wasn’t until Cuomo’s firing that Stelter admitted the scandals had caused “headaches” for the network and outrage among staffers, he attempted to defend CNN from its “once-in-a-lifetime ethical dilemma.”

“That doesn’t necessarily let him off the hook, but there’s never going to be another moment like this where there’s a brother, who’s an anchorman, and governor in the middle of COVID and one of them gets COVID. Like, this is a once-in-a-lifetime situation. That doesn’t mean everyone necessarily did the right thing at the right time, but it was unique,” Stelter said. 

The “Reliable Sources” host also repeatedly went out of his way to mention the support Cuomo had from the anchor’s staff as well as “viewers” who had reached out to Stelter upset about Cuomo’s firing. 

Stelter invited a panel of “three non-CNN voices” “to be as transparent as we can” about the scandal, except one was a former CNN employee (which Stelter did not acknowledge), one was a frequent CNN guest and the other showered Cuomo with praise while offering minimal criticism of the network, even struggling to acknowledge whether CNN “lost trust” with viewers.  

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