New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's sexual harassment investigation has impacted other people, most notably his brother who is a CNN anchor. As information started to surface in 2020, some of the attention turned to Chris Cuomo to see how a monumental story involving his brother would play out on the prime-time airwaves of the largest cable news network.
Now that the New York attorney general’s office has concluded that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed and intimidated victims, things have gotten worse for his brother. After growing frustrations that Cuomo is still on the air or at the very least hasn’t said a word on air regarding the investigation into his brother, Cuomo Prime Time has been absent from the evening lineup. Has Cuomo been fired or has he taken a leave of absence?
Is Chris Cuomo on vacation?
On Aug. 6, Cuomo started what he called a previously scheduled vacation planned around his birthday. “Every year I take my birthday week off,” Cuomo, who will turn 51 on Aug. 9, said on a CNN podcast. “I’m looking forward to it.”
It will be tough to convince skeptics that the timing of his brother’s sexual harassment investigations coincidentally aligned with Cuomo’s annual birthday bash. However, it’s reasonable to assume that this was preplanned and a lucky break.
On his podcast “The Handoff”—a weekly podcast that Cuomo co-hosts with his CNN colleague Don Lemon—he told Lemon that the time away was much needed and that he was looking forward to it.
“I’ll be right here at home because I don’t know why I’d go anywhere else than the East End of Long Island during the summer. It’s the most beautiful place in the world,” said Cuomo, who is a fixture of the Hamptons summer scene, along with Lemon. “I’ll be fishing, I’ll be hanging out with you, and I’ll be making memories with the kids.”
What will happen to Cuomo Prime Time going forward?
There’s no telling whether Cuomo will do an about-face and address the allegations against his brother. However, criticism is building due to his silence, even when his pal Lemon addressed it seconds after their nightly handoff.
Perhaps the conflict of interest is too much for a cable news anchor who has been quick to hold others’ feet to the fire. To be fair, Cuomo's lack of coverage on his brother’s investigation isn’t entirely his doing, which CNN host Brian Stelter confirmed on his show during his opening monologue. Stelter also said that Cuomo's show should be canceled if viewers don’t turn in as a result. Stelter also added validity to Cuomo’s “long-planned vacation” in a bid to shoot down rumors that he was suspended by CNN.
Regardless of how this plays out, the optics of a prominent news anchor enthralled in a scandal involving his brother, the governor of New York, is impossible to get right. It was made even more complicated when it was revealed that Cuomo was advising the governor’s staff on how to proceed with the investigation in May.