Pages upon pages of evidence released by the office of the New York State Attorney General on Monday linked the network’s most popular host to a rather influential consultatory role in his brother, Andrew’s attempted cover-up of his troubling history of sexual assault accusations. Left with no immediate recourse, and staring down the barrel of a reporting scandal, CNN, on Tuesday, suspended Chris Cuomo indefinitely, as already potent questions about the lines drawn between political actors and media personalities continue to be the source of contentious debate.
The documents, which represent the yield of a months-long investigation, referenced a variety of sources, including verbal testimony from those in the former governor’s inner circle and text messages from Chris Cuomo himself. And although it was already well known that Mr. Cuomo had been of service to his brother in the months leading up to his resignation, the reports came as a surprise to many, including those at CNN, who initially thought—as Mr. Cuomo explained back in August—that the Primetime host had only a small part to play in his brother’s affairs.
With the information released clearly indicating that Mr. Cuomo did in fact serve as a trusted ally to the former governor within the media, CNN acted forcefully and resolutely, actively censuring the host and declaring his status within the organization as “…suspended indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
The investigation painted a picture of Chris Cuomo, as a younger brother, blessed by political and social influence, eager to serve his older, more politically experienced counterpart as his cherished reputation began to fade. He was shown texting the governor’s associates, inquiring about other news outlets’ articles and reporting, and even attempting to come up with dirt on his brother’s accusers, all of which are flagrant violations of traditional journalistic boundaries and CNN’s own rules about reporting conduct.
This development is the latest chapter in the Cuomo family’s ever-progressing scandal, and even marks the first time that a modern journalist has been accused of so blatantly transcending the boundaries between media and government.