Though CNN might have issued a statement defending anchor Chris Cuomo after the newsman blew up when he was called “Fredo,” Page Six is reporting that the staff of CNN are not quite on the same page. Rather, the rank and file are “embarrassed” after Cuomo released a string of expletives and threats in the video, in addition to likening the insult to the n-word.
“Everyone thinks it’s fine to stand up to trolls, but it escalated way past where it needed to,” said one insider.
“It was embarrassing,” the source added.
The incident happened after Cuomo was approached by a man at a bar in the hot spot of Shelter Island, New York. The man asked for a picture, and called Cuomo “Fredo” in the process. Fredo is the name of the dim-witted and disloyal brother in The Godfather.
Cuomo immediately became upset after the insult, and responded by calling the man “a punk-ass b*tch” and told him, “I’ll f**king ruin your sh*t. I’ll f**king throw you down these stairs.”
He also likened using the name to using the n-word. After footage of the altercation went viral, CNN quickly issued a statement defending its anchor.
“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.”
Another insider said that no one was shocked that the network was quick to support Cuomo, as “he’s BFFs with [CNN president Jeff] Zucker.”
However, others are reportedly unimpressed with the actions of the liberal anchor.
“It was an unforced error, and he gave the right — and the president — ammunition to use against him and CNN,” said the first source.
Unsurprisingly, President Trump has pounced on Cuomo’s meltdown, and has not only tweeted about the incident, but also is selling merchandise featuring screenshots of the video.
“I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings,” he wrote in a tweet.
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Scroll through… I have a feeling that his new moniker, Chris “Fake News Fredo” Cuomo is going to stick. I wonder, does CNN’s head of PR still think “Fredo” is an ethnic slur after watching the video on here? Because if it’s the N word for Italians like @ChrisCuomo says, I don’t understand why Chris seems so at ease with someone saying it here. An excuse just as fake as his news. #FredoCuomo.
But Trump was not the only person to offer criticism towards the CNN host. Many liberals particularly took umbrage at Cuomo’s likening of Fredo to the n-word, with pieces in publications such as Vox denouncing the comparison.
Other critics have pointed out that the word was used on Cuomo’s show as recently as this past January. During the segment, The View co-host Ana Navarro referred to Donald Trump Jr. as Fredo. Cuomo did not offer any rebuke or even reaction, per The New York Times.