CNN's Brian Stelter took aim at his ex-colleague Chris Cuomo, saying that the axed CNN primetime anchor was considered to be a problem at the left-wing network and its staffers long before Saturday's termination.
Cuomo was fired "effective immediately" after CNN had "indefinitely" suspended the TV personality earlier in the week pending a review of the damning revelations from the New York Attorney General's office about the younger Cuomo protecting his brother, New York's ousted Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate," CNN stated.
Stelter offered a blunt assessment on-air with CNN weekend anchor Jim Acosta:
"Chris Cuomo, one of the most popular anchors at CNN, one of the best-known names in television news, violated journalistic ethics and norms not once or twice, but many times and that's ultimately what is the result of today's news, Jim."
Stelter noted that an outside law firm went through the thousands of pages of text messages and sworn testimony that was released back on Monday.
"So there was clearly something in those documents that was found to be a serious breach of standards and practices," Stelter said to Acosta, adding that he has "no answers" as to the "additional information" CNN had learned as part of its investigation and when it would ever be made public.
The "Reliable Sources" host pivoted to lambast Cuomo for "acting like an unpaid staffer" for the New York governor based on the documents released by the attorney general despite how "it was known months ago" that the anchor was helping the Democrat leader. The embattled Andrew Cuomo had resigned in disgrace back in August amid a sexual misconduct scandal.
"I think this may be a situation where it was death by a thousand cuts, where there were just so many headaches time and time again involving Chris Cuomo that even though many viewers loved 'Cuomo Prime Time,' looked forward to his show, he was causing so many headaches for the network and for CNN staffers that ultimately this decision was reached," Stelter stated.
"I do think, you know, this is a moment where journalistic ethics are at play. I know there were many CNN staffers very unhappy with the situation, very frustrated by Chris Cuomo. At the same time, Jim, I was hearing from some fans of Chris, some viewers who said we understood he was looking out for his family."
Stelter had claimed on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that CNN covered Andrew Cuomo "just the same" as "any other story." Stelter said it was "an odd conflict but if we open up the journalism ethics there's no page for this."
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