Fredo Snaps

Chris Cuomo is a fascinating case. Maybe someone will write an opera about him.

He’s the younger, less ambitious, less accomplished son of a popular and (in some circles) revered governor of New York. If the term privileged has any meaning at all, it applies to him. He graduated from elite schools, including law school, but as he has proven again and again, he neither acquired any skill at critical thinking, nor at legal reasoning and the basic principles of law. He’s emotional, and not very bright. The younger Cuomo was blessed with good looks, a usually amiable nature, and charisma, and these, along with some excellent contacts, were enough to get him an anchor’s position on CNN. In this position he has embarrassed himself repeatedly; fortunately for him, the news organization he works for has become immune from embarrassment, as evidenced by the fact that it also  employs Brian Stelter and Don Lemon, among others.

Every now and then his amiability is cracked open to reveal the traditional frustration and anger of the lesser son. Cuomo erupted a while back when he was first referred to as “Fredo,” alluding to the elder but mentally deficient son of Vito Corleone in the “Godfather” saga. The nickname is mean but apt, and frankly, as long as CNN allows someone of Chris Cuomo’s limitations to pretend to inform its audience, it is also useful. Cuomo is a fraud, and by presenting him as a trustworthy journalist, CNN is mistreating its audience. Yes, I’m sure Cuomo does the best he can, but then, so did Fredo Corleone.

Cuomo is ill with the Wuhan virus, and quarantined. I’m sure this is hard for him, but his stresses are still less than those of most Americans. He’s broadcasting (and making a fool of himself) from home; he’s getting a 7-figure salary; his ordeal is relatively minor.

Apparently a confrontation with  someone Cuomo considers one of the little people  on Easter Sunday caused the CNN anchor to snap and reveal the turmoil within, much like Fredo in his famous lament to Michael in “Godfather II.” On his Sirius-XM  satellite radio show, Cuomo vented about the incident, in which a stranger on a bicycle confronted him on Easter Sunday for being outside his Southampton home with his family despite the positive Wuhan virus diagnosis.

Cuomo said that he resented having to endure “some jackass, loser, fat tire biker being able to pull over and get in my space and talk bullshit” to him.  Adding that his critic “didn’t know the rules”—classic Fredo: Chris doesn’t know the rules. Social distancing is not for the infected, and in a quarantine, you can’t go outside, even if your brother is Governor—and he wanted to tell him to “go to hell,”  Cuomo said, “I don’t want to hear it.I don’t want some jackass, loser, fat tire biker being able to pull over and get in my space and talk bullshit to me, I don’t want to hear it.  But here I am in an almost powerless position against this asshole because I’m a celebrity and he’s allowed to say whatever he wants to me. And I have to take it or he’s gonna call the New York Post and lie about something and then I’m going to have to deal with it.”

The indignity of having to tolerate a justified dressing down by a nobody triggered a more general and revealing rant. Cuomo told his radio audience, which I hope is on par with that of the Lithuanian Folk Dance channel,

“I have to tolerate people’s opinion about me because I’m a public figure. I don’t want to do that, I don’t think its worth it to me. I don’t want to spend my time doing things that I don’t think are valuable enough to me personally. I don’t value indulging irrationality, hyper-partisanship… I don’t like what I do professionally… I don’t think it’s worth my time…. I’ve saved my money and I don’t need it anymore… I want to be able to tell you to go to hell, to shut your mouth… I don’t get that doing what I do for a living. Me being able to tell you to shut your mouth or I will do you the way you guys do each other.”…

Cuomo went on to say that he detested  “trafficking in things that I think are ridiculous,” like “talking to Democrats about things that I don’t really believe they mean” and “talking to Republicans about them parroting things they feel they have to say.”  He feels burdened by the task of  analyzing President Trump, “Who we all know is full of shit by design.”…

“I don’t think its worth it to me because I don’t think I mean enough, I don’t think I matter enough, I don’t think I can really change anything, so then what am I really doing? I’m basically being perceived as successful in a system that I don’t value… I’m seen as being good at being on TV and advocating for different positions… but I don’t know if I value those things, certainly not as much as I value being able to live my life on my own terms.”

Poor Chris! He has to work! He has to endure the burden of being an obscenely paid celebrity! As Marty McFly says about Mad Dog Tannen in “Back to the Future III,” “What an asshole!”

Being more charitable than I, Ann Althouse wants to give Cuomo a break because his brains may be addled by the virus. That’s not a symptom, Ann, and if it was, it is still unethical to go on the radio when you can’t behave professionally. Such public petulance about one’s job would, and should, get any professional fired, especially one who never should have been hired to begin with.

Ann does, however, remind us that Dr. Nancy Snyderman lost her job on NBC for violating her quarantine during the Ebola crisis. Ethics Alarms covered that episode here, not including her later, forced resignation.

That’s another reason to get rid of Cuomo. At least he won’t be shot while saying Hail Marys over fish bait.

10 thoughts on “Fredo Snaps

  1. It is scary when you think about people like this advocating for taking guns away ‘from the little people’. Yeah, he’s upset he didn’t have an armed bodyguard there to threaten the guy.

  2. Poor Chris! He has to work! He has to endure the burden of being an obscenely paid celebrity! As Marty McFly says about Mad Dog Tannen in “Back to the Future III,” “What an asshole!”

    Heh. Reminds me of a scene in Jerry Maguire where a crying athlete on a sports show says (paraphrasing), “People just don’t understand the kind of pressure that comes with making 40 million dollars.”

    Poor Chris, indeed.

    Cuomo’s brains are addled all right, but not by the virus.

  3. I read that, and my first impulse was to also snap. He’s a clear example of character that isn’t built, but rather revealed. I once lambasted John McCain for being a jerk who came from privilege earned by others, in his case his dad and grandad. He should have been satisfied with what he did achieve and how far he got. He was not. He died bitter, and made his funeral a monument to bitterness, which is thankfully mostly forgotten now. I’m somewhat more willing to cut him a little bit more of a break because he did perform a necessary and valuable service to his country, and paid a terrible price no one should have to pay doing it.

    Chris Cuomo has performed no valuable service to anyone. There’s no indication in his background, at least not on Wikipedia, that he ever even actually practiced law. He didn’t spend any time in the Manhattan DA’s office or the US Attorney’s office, although I’m sure those posts would have been his for the asking as the son of a former governor and brother to a cabinet secretary. He never worked on any kind of legal services or pro bono project either. He’s spent his entire career writing stuff no one fact checked too closely and reading from a teleprompter a good amount of the time. No one’s ever held him to any standards, and now no one ever will, so he doesn’t even bother trying.

    Under the good looks and the adequate-for-CNN delivery, he’s just the school bully who’s never been beaten up, as that stupid “Fredo” incident showed. I only wish that other guy had told him “If you think you can throw me down those stairs, then come ahead and try it.” One of two things would have happened. Either he’d have ended up in jail for assault, or in the hospital with the tobacco juice beaten out of him. Even if he’d been convicted of assault, for which he probably wouldn’t have spent one day in jail, he probably still wouldn’t have lost his gig at CNN, though, where once he said it was perfectly ok for Antifa to beat up right-wingers, but not the other way around.

    This last incident, though, is three offenses in one. First, he violated quarantine when he knows damn well he is actually ill. His own network and every other network has been beating the drum for EVERYONE to observe social distancing and quarantine. He put others at risk by going out. Someone who wasn’t a celebrity called him on it, and he publicly indicated that he thought this other person was beneath his contempt. THEN he got on the radio and spewed that he really doesn’t give a damn about anything, including his job, because it means he might have to hear some things he doesn’t want to, when what he wants to do is go after the folks who say these things he doesn’t want to hear and either tell them off or punch their lights out. But hey, he’s rich, so he can walk away any time he feels like it.

    Look, we all get disillusioned with our jobs from time to time, and we all think about the times we took garbage we didn’t think we should have to take, and how satisfying it would have been to punch the other guy out. Believe me, I know better than most. However, I can honestly say that pretty much every time I DIDN’T do to the other guy like the kid standing up to the bully in “A History of Violence” it was the right decision. I may not be happy at times with my job, and sometimes I will grumble that my efforts aren’t worth it. I certainly have the right to hand in my two weeks’ notice and go someplace else. I don’t have the right to create a public display that will reflect poorly on my employer.

    Chris Cuomo struck out here, and it’s time for his employer, after he comes off of quarantine, to have a meeting with him and tell him that he is dragging the network down, and maybe his brother can find him a do-nothing post in Albany.

  4. He does know, does he not, that us “little people” who are not public figures must still allow other people to have opinions about us, to speak those opinions to others, even let us know what they think of us should they meet us on the street. We are not allowed to “do them” if we don’t like what they have to say.

  5. Get fired? Hell, if he worked for me, those remarks would be accepted as his resignation! I can’t imagine any exec I ever worked for who would allow such an intense and unequivocal expression of dislike for the job to go without immediate terminal consequences to my employment. And, if one truly felt that way (whatever the reason), one should have the professional integrity to leave forthwith.

  6. “Cuomo vented about the incident, in which a stranger on a bicycle confronted him on Easter Sunday for being outside his Southampton home with his family despite the positive Wuhan virus diagnosis.”
    Isn’t spending time with his family when he knows he has a highly communicable disease assault? And if a member of his family dies then wouldn’t that be manslaughter?

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