The hosts of popular ABC daytime show The View rallied around Chris Cuomo on Friday morning and shrugged off revelations that the embattled CNN anchor advised his brother on dismissing sexual harassment allegations, merely saying Cuomo put “family first.”
Taking her defense of Cuomo even further, co-host Sunny Hostin said that he shouldn’t be disciplined for his clandestine actions, claiming he’s been “transparent” while insisting that it’s all “faux outrage coming from the right” because Fox News does the same thing.
A bombshell Washington Post report revealed on Thursday that Cuomo encouraged his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to remain defiant in strategy calls with the governor’s senior staff. CNN acknowledged that the primetime host’s actions were “inappropriate.” At the same time, the network said he wouldn’t be disciplined.
Despite women’s group UltraViolet calling on CNN to immediately suspend Cuomo and launch a probe into his involvement in his brother’s attempts to squash sexual harassment allegations, the women of The View—with one notable exception—took the CNN star’s side.
“He took responsibility for it,” co-host Ana Navarro, who is also a CNN contributor, said. “I work for CNN. Chris is my friend. He’s my colleague. I love the guy.”
She said Cuomo had “taken responsibility”—referencing his on-air apology and insistence that it will “never happen again”—before asserting that Cuomo has not tried to influence CNN’s coverage of his brother. She also credited Cuomo for “not talking about his brother” on-air recently.
Conservative host Meghan McCain, meanwhile, said it was “hypocritical” for “sanctimonious tool” Cuomo to give political advice to his brother but refrain from talking about it on air. “Quite frankly if my dad had been accused of sexual assault, I would be talking about it on The View. I’m not a snowflake,” she said.
“CNN can’t have it both ways,” McCain added. “You can’t spend hours a day criticizing Fox and Fox News contributor relationships and at the same time give him a very slight slap on the wrist.”
Co-host Joy Behar, meanwhile, referenced Fox News host Sean Hannity’s chummy relationship with former President Donald Trump to deflect from Cuomo’s behavior.
“It turns out Hannity was Trump’s adviser and gave family members strategy and messaging,” Behar exclaimed. “Here’s a quote from Hannity, ‘Do I talk to my friend and speak my mind? I can’t not speak my mind.’ I don’t remember him being chastised over there for also advising Trump. Supposedly, he’s a journalist. It happens in a lot of stations, not just CNN.”
Hostin then took Behar’s whataboutism and ran with it.
“I don’t actually think he should be punished. He’s been transparent,” she declared. “There are so many people in the media that are hired because of their access. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Chris Cuomo had his brother on, the governor, repeatedly during the COVID crisis because he had that access.”
After saying it “wasn’t a mistake” for Cuomo to host his brother for friendly chats on-air, Hostin then waved off the intense backlash against Cuomo and CNN as largely partisan.
“I think this is faux outrage coming from the right because if, like you said, Joy, think about Fox News,” she stated. “Sean Hannity was the unofficial adviser to the White House. Fox News Channel became the White House news channel and then you also have Governor DeSantis who signs a voter suppression bill, but only invites Fox News to cover it.”
“This is something that goes on across the spectrum,” she continued. “I think by far Chris Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo have been more transparent about their relationship than you’ve seen on other networks like Fox News.”
In the end, however, Hostin acknowledged that she’s “sort of biased” because Cuomo and his wife are her friends and she personally knows Gov. Cuomo.
“I hold that family in high regard,” she concluded. “I think they’re dealing with this very transparently and I appreciate the transparency.”