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For a second consecutive night, CNN prime-time host Chris Cuomo avoided any mention of the sexual harassment scandal that could destroy his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The “Cuomo Prime Time” host opened Wednesday night’s show with a reprise of his kickoff statement from Tuesday, once again telling viewers: “Of course, we’re focused on COVID.”
Cuomo did just that, devoting the first three segments of his show to the ongoing pandemic, specifically the rising number of hospitalizations and cases among children and teens in Florida, where Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been locked in a war of words with the White House in recent days over mask mandates.
The host then became emotional as he devoted the rest of the program to an interview with “America’s Got Talent” contestant Jane Marczewski, aka “Nightbirde”, who pulled out of the reality competition to focus on her battle with cancer.
“She’s beautiful,” Cuomo gushed about Marczewski, to whom he repeatedly referred as “kid” during the interview. “She’s proof that pain and purpose and hope can all co-exist.”
Cuomo continued to rave about the singer while handing off to colleague Don Lemon. Apologizing that his interview with Marczewski had gone 40 seconds longer than budgeted for, Cuomo told his colleague, “the [extra] 40 seconds that the audience got with that kid is a gift, brother. It’s so rare that somebody can reinforce the blessing and curse of this life and the fragility of our humanity at the same time, you know?”
“Not everybody can take on that fight the way she’s taking it and make it into a beautiful expression of life,” Cuomo told Lemon, who hurriedly responded: “And help many people in the process, and I think that’s a good place for us to leave it and move on and discuss other things in the news.”
As happened Tuesday night, Lemon led his show with the latest in the scandal surrounding the New York Democratic governor once Chris Cuomo had disappeared from the screen.
“The clock is ticking for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,” the “Don Lemon Tonight” host began. “A majority of New York State Assembly members, 80 Democrats and Republicans, telling CNN that they would vote to impeach. A source says articles of impeachment could be referred as soon as next week.
“That as at least four district attorneys are now investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the governor,” Lemon continued. “The long list of powerful Democratic politicians calling on Gov. Cuomo to step down, a list headed by the president of the United States himself, that list is getting longer tonight.”
Calls for CNN to give Chris Cuomo the boot have grown louder since an independent report detailed the extent of the work he did for older brother Andrew as the governor fought the harassment allegations against him. The report, released Tuesday by state Attorney General Letitia James, detailed how the younger Cuomo was given confidential and privileged information by the Executive Chamber, and appeared to draft or edit a proposed statement on the governor’s behalf.
The same report found that Andrew Cuomo had sexually assaulted 11 women — nine of them current or former state employees — in violation of state and federal law.
In May, Chris Cuomo admitted to viewers that advising his brother was “a mistake” that “was a problem for CNN.”
“I’m family first, job second,” he said at the time.
In March, as women came forward with claims against the governor, Chris Cuomo told his audience that while he was “aware of what’s going on … obviously I cannot cover it, because he is my brother.” Critics were quick to note the contrast with the fraternal gabfests in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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