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This Is CNN: ‘Thorough Review’ To Decide if Helping Brother Smear Harassment Victims Worse Than Public Masturbation

Jeffrey Toobin kept his job. Will Chris Cuomo? (Probably.)

• November 30, 2021 1:00 pm

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CNN will conduct a "thorough review" of host Chris Cuomo's efforts to assist his brother, disgraced former governor Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.), by collecting and sharing information on the women accusing the "Luv Guv" of sexual harassment.

Text messages released Monday show that Cuomo reached out to the governor's chief of staff, Melissa DeRosa, after obtaining "a lead" on one of the alleged victims, Anna Ruch, who according to the network star "had been put up to" making the accusation by sinister forces. The CNN host also sought information about investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, who was working on a story about Cuomo's accusers, and relayed that to the governor's staff.

The text exchanges, made public as part of New York attorney general Letitia James's investigation into Andrew Cuomo, reveal that the younger Cuomo's involvement in the scandal was more extensive than previously known. As a result, CNN was forced to release an innocuous statement about "having conversations and seeking additional clarity" about the network anchor, who has also been accused of sexual harassment, and his ethically dubious behavior.

Among other things, CNN will have to determine if helping your politician brother smear the women accusing him of sexual harassment is a more serious journalistic offense than masturbating in front of one's colleagues on a Zoom call. The network's chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, was fired from his job at the New Yorker after pleasuring himself during an online work meeting in October 2020. CNN apparently does not consider public masturbation to be a fireable offense. The network granted Toobin "time off while he deals with a personal issue" and welcomed him back on the air in June.

CNN's chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter, has done his part by reporting new details about the controversy parroting the views of the network's public relations team and reiterating past statements. "For what it's worth, when [Chris Cuomo] addressed his actions on the air back in August, he said ‘this will be my final word on it,' and he hasn't addressed the matter on TV since," Stelter wrote in his Reliable Sources newsletter after noting that Cuomo did not mention the scandal on his show Monday night.

"Flashback to what I said during a lengthy on-air report about the Cuomo brothers in August: ‘This has been a conundrum for CNN that has no perfect answer, no perfect solution,'" Stelter wrote. "I think those words remain true today…"

For those unfamiliar with the network, CNN frequently presents itself as a serious media outlet solely committed to uncovering the truth and holding the powerful to account.

Update 7:00 p.m. — CNN announced Tuesday night that it indefinitely suspended Chris Cuomo "pending further evaluation," saying the documents released by the New York attorney general "point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew."