After Cuomo Revelations, Too Many Men Are Proudly Announcing That They’d Help Their Abuser Brothers Too
When new documents were made public Monday revealing CNN’s Chris Cuomo had played a larger, more aggressive role in combating sexual harassment and abuse allegations against his brother (former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo) than previously was previously known, reactions were … mixed.
There was a good amount of outrage aimed at Cuomo and at CNN, and Tuesday evening the network announced it was indefinitely suspending the anchor. But the news was also met with a wave of “who cares?” responses. Online, a lot of people were reacting to the news by saying that they don’t see what the big deal is and that they would also do anything they could to help their brother.
That did not need to be said. We know. We know that most men would and do choose to protect abusive men with whom they have personal relationships (or even those they don’t) over the women they’ve abused.
Men bragging about how they’d do unethical shit to cover up sexual harassment is literally the least surprising development.
We know, my dudes. We know.
— 🎅🏿Imani Gandy Cane🎅🏿 (@AngryBlackLady) December 1, 2021
There is, however, also a big difference between a regular guy trying to help his sexual abuser brother (still not great and maybe the best way to “help” your brother is by not facilitating his abuse—just a thought!) and a powerful media figure using his industry resources to help his brother who also happens to be the governor of a whole state. That’s both a major breach of journalistic ethics as well as an abuse of power on so many different levels.
Which is why it was especially infuriating (if not entirely surprising) to see that it wasn’t just non-media people sharing the opinion that they would do what Cuomo did if faced with the same scenario, but journalists and other media figures as well.
Journalistic ethics really is far more flexible for a lot of folks than I was told. https://t.co/ltdp3Mw6RK
— Max Burns (@themaxburns) December 1, 2021
There’s a very literal “bros before hoes” thing happening in media right now that I guess I should’ve expected pic.twitter.com/SfcGEstjvj
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) December 1, 2021
It is primarily men sharing this opinion, although not exclusively, as political strategist and former Pete Buttigieg communications director Lis Smith showed us:
Did not think Lis Smith could top her psychopath score from yesterday but here we are pic.twitter.com/VBPWhfee4K
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) December 1, 2021
It’s bad enough to announce unprompted that you would help your brother cover up abuse allegations and retaliate against his accusers but using terms like “gets embroiled in scandal” and “fell into trouble” is just cowardly. Andrew Cuomo didn’t fall into trouble, he has been accused of routinely and systematically harassing and abusing his employees and other women over a period of many years. If you’re willing to leverage your career to help facilitate that kind of behavior and keep that person in a position of extreme power, at least have the courage to say so.
Announcing you’d cover for your rapey brother is fucking weird. Even weirder to coordinate.
Weirdo enabler behavior.
— Wagatwe Wanjuki 🇰🇪 🇧🇸 (@wagatwe) December 1, 2021
my brother? my huge sex pervert brother? obviously i would help my brother the sex pervert continue to do sex crimes. he’s my brother.
— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) December 1, 2021
I dunno, maybe “I would do unethical things to help my brother” is yet another reason we should avoid building a society in which dynastic failsons hold immense power
— Will Stancil (@whstancil) December 1, 2021
Instead of saying, “CNN, my bro needs me, I’m taking a leave of absence so I can help him,” Chris Cuomo chose to use CNN resources to try and dig up dirt on his brother’s accusers.
Chris Cuomo didn’t just refuse to step away, he actively chose to leverage his CNN power.
— Max Burns (@themaxburns) December 1, 2021
If my brother teepeed someone’s house, okay, I might not rat him out. But if he was the governor and abusing power and sexually harassing women? I’d expose him and then smack him with the Pulitzer I’d eventually win
— Lyz Lenz (@lyzl) December 1, 2021
(image: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
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