As mentioned on forthcoming episodes of The Editors and Three Martini Lunch podcasts, it is very easy to forget that a bit more than two months ago, Shelley Ross, a veteran television journalist and former executive producer at ABC and CBS, offered an account of Chris Cuomo grabbing her tush at a party, and shared Cuomo’s apologetic e-mail. The email, in which Cuomo said he felt ashamed, appeared to offer corroboration that, at minimum, Cuomo did something grossly inappropriate. (Cuomo did this in front of Ross’s husband. Never mind being lucky to keep his job; Cuomo is lucky he kept all his teeth.)
Ross wrote that she didn’t want to see Cuomo fired from his current position, but instead:
I would, however, like to see him journalistically repent: agree on air to study the impact of sexism, harassment and gender bias in the workplace, including his own, and then report on it. He could host a series of live town hall meetings, with documentary footage, produced by women with expert consultants. Call it “The Continuing Education of Chris Cuomo” and make this a watershed moment instead of another stain on the career of one more powerful male news anchor.
Cuomo told the Times in a statement: “As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public setting when she was a top executive at ABC. I apologized to her then, and I meant it.”
But in the aftermath of that op-ed . . . absolutely nothing happened. Chris Cuomo kept hosting his prime-time show. CNN offered no statement. Everyone more or less just pretended they didn’t see it.
A few days later, Ross said in an interview with Megyn Kelly, “I was hoping that in 15, 16 years that he had changed, but he’s no more enlightened today than he was then, as demonstrated by his response . . . I don’t acknowledge that there’s anything that was ‘our interaction.’ I was not a participant. I was groped.”
And now we learn that Cuomo was intensely involved with his brother Andrew Cuomo’s defense against multiple accusations of sexual harassment —much more involved than his previous statements indicated. Why was Chris Cuomo so helpful to Andrew Cuomo? Yes, part of it is because they’re family. But it is also probably partially because they’re both sexual harassers. They’re cut from the same cloth, and a pervasive public judgment that Andrew Cuomo is a creep and a lech and a bully would strongly suggest that Chris Cuomo is a creep and a lech and a bully, too.
CNN promised a “thorough review” of Cuomo.