Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who had a habit of blowing kisses toward fellow CNN presenter Don Lemon while frequently telling each other, “I adore you, brother,” turned upon Lemon and CNN anchor Jake Tapper in demand for arbitration, claiming they had violated “established journalism norms.”
Cuomo also accused Tapper of erroneously stating Cuomo “blackmailed” former CNN head Jeff Zucker, as well as Lemon of falsely claiming “that Cuomo had been found to break with those journalistic norms and then [was] compensated well for it,” per report.
Cuomo had no reason to suspect that his aid to Governor Cuomo was in violation of CNN’s or Turner’s standards or expectations, especially because Zucker and Gollust had urged him to do so and had offered Gov. Cuomo guidance. CNN created a culture in which the network’s standards and policies were continuously changing, and CNN executives could change them as they saw appropriate. This culture started with Zucker and Gollust at the top.
According to many individuals who have seen a tape of the exchange, CNN presenter Don Lemon counseled against handing former host Chris Cuomo a multimillion-dollar severance payment. According to The Wall Street Journal, during a video conference on Monday, Lemon cautioned WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar about the bad impact of giving Cuomo millions of dollars in severance money amid claims that he violated journalistic standards may have on the network.
“Prior to Cuomo’s firing, Zucker claimed he was uninformed of Cuomo’s contacts with Gov. Cuomo’s aides, although Zucker had done the same thing himself,” the demand continues. “Shortly after Cuomo was fired, Zucker alleged that Cuomo had broken his commitment and that Cuomo had overstated the degree of his brother’s support.
Other CNN employees engaged in the premeditated effort to defame Cuomo and ruin his name. CNN presenter Jake Tapper openly criticized Cuomo’s journalistic ethics and erroneously stated that Cuomo “threatened” Zucker. Another CNN anchor, Don Lemon, stated incorrectly that Cuomo had been “found to have broken those journalistic norms and then [was] handsomely compensated for it.”