Politics and journalism depend on one another, sharing a fraternal cultural relationship. Yet when those two fields literally intersect with — and are respectively represented by — two brothers, there can be lines blurred. Chris Cuomo, the host of CNN’s nightly Cuomo Prime Time, has previously covered his older brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Their faux sibling rivalry banter proved to be a welcome reprieve from anxieties surrounding the pandemic in the spring, and even their mother was called on-air!
The brothers seem to have always been close. Andrew is said to have taken a paternal role in Chris’ upbringing; however, their 13-year age difference placed both men on different personal and professional trajectories. Andrew followed in their father Mario Cuomo’s footsteps, entering politics and eventually occupying the same Albany office, while Chris pursued broadcast journalism — first at ABC News and then as co-host of 20/20 before launching CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time in 2018. “My pop didn’t want me to go into journalism,” Chris said, per Biography. “He used to say, ‘Why do you just cover these things? Why don’t you go out and do them?'”
While some critics argued Chris shouldn’t have been interviewing Andrew on Prime Time in the first place, as of February 2021, CNN is reinstating a previous ban on the brothers’ on-screen interactions. Keep scrolling to find out why this is being put in place now.
Chris Cuomo can't interview Governor Andrew Cuomo after a scandal
Per the New York Post, CNN announced on Feb. 17, 2021 that there is a “rule” being re-implemented to bar Prime Time host Chris Cuomo from “interviewing or covering his brother.” This ban is reportedly following the nursing home scandal currently surrounding Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal New York City prosecutors are investigating Andrew’s coronavirus task force. “The full scope of the investigation is not immediately clear, but the sources said there was a particular interest in nursing homes,” ABC News reported. Andrew admitted that “his handling of nursing home fatality data created a ‘void.'”
“The void we created by not providing information was filled with skepticism and cynicism and conspiracy theories which fueled the confusion… and that caused more anxiety for loved ones,” the Governor stated in a news conference.
CNN issued an official statement surrounding Prime Time coverage of the current investigation: “We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest. As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today.”
While neither brother has made their reaction public, Chris previously told Rolling Stone that Prime Time isn’t personal. “I’m an intermediary between power and people,” Chris explained. That relationship has just been reaffirmed.
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