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CNN’s Chris Cuomo is facing backlash for refusing to cover his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s scandals after praising his pandemic response

By Eliza Relman

Chris Cuomo (left) interviewing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (right) on CNN in May 2020.

  • CNN host Chris Cuomo is facing criticism after he announced he won’t cover the allegations of sexual harassment against his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
  • The TV host said he “obviously” can’t cover his brother’s scandals because it presents a conflict of interest.
  • But critics noted that this standard didn’t apply when the CNN host regularly hosted his brother for softball interviews through the first months of the COVID-19 crisis.

CNN prime-time host Chris Cuomo is facing criticism after he announced on his Monday program that he won’t cover the allegations of sexual harassment against his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, despite hosting him several times over the past year for friendly interviews.

On Monday night, the governor was accused of sexual harassment and unwanted advances by a third woman, Anna Ruch, who said Cuomo touched her back, held her face, and asked to kiss her at a 2019 wedding. 

“Obviously, I’m aware of what’s going on with my brother,” the CNN host said. “And obviously, I cannot cover it, because he is my brother,” he continued. “Now, of course, CNN has to cover it. They have covered it, extensively, and they will continue to do so.”

CNN and Chris Cuomo both faced backlash for inviting the governor on the program for a series of interviews about the COVID-19 crisis. The governor received months of positive press for his handling of the pandemic, but is now dealing with a scandal over his administration’s withholding of data about nursing-home deaths.

On Monday and Tuesday, a slew of voices across the political spectrum called the network hypocritical and insisted that it never should have let the governor on “Cuomo Prime Time.”

“‘Obviously I can’t cover it because he is my brother'” would have been a pretty good rule from the beginning,” tweeted Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, a conservative magazine. 

Yashar Ali, a liberal journalist, argued that CNN’s decision to allow the Cuomos to appear together on TV was flawed. Meghan McCain, a conservative host of “The View,” slammed the Cuomos for their lighthearted interviews last year and accused CNN of undermining faith in the media. 

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