CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was caught on video in a heated altercation with a man who called him Fredo, apparently a reference to the hapless Corleone brother in The Godfather film series. A heated Cuomo told the man that calling an Italian person “Fredo” was comparable to calling an African-American the n-word.
“It’s an insult to your people,” he said. “It’s like the n-word for us.”
The man in the video repeatedly tells Cuomo he thought the anchor’s name was Fredo, but Cuomo isn’t buying it.
CNN stood by its host. “Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup,” CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said on Twitter. “We completely support him.”
Cuomo hosts Cuomo Prime Time on CNN. He’s the son of Mario Cuomo, former New York governor, and brother of Andrew Cuomo, current governor.
The video appeared on a YouTube channel called That’s the Point. The Washington Post reported that the video was shot at a bar in Shelter Island, New York, near the Hamptons, on August 11.
President Trump, who frequently battles with CNN, weighed in on Twitter. “I thought Chris was Fredo also,” Trump said. “The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.”
Cuomo is fired up in the video, getting in his opponent’s face and spewing profanities. “I’ll f---ing ruin your s---,” he said. “I’ll f---ing throw you down these stairs like a f---ing punk.”
Cuomo then challenges the man to take a swing.
Fox News host Sean Hannity defended Cuomo, saying he deserved an apology.
Trump added on Twitter, “Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.