Sorry, fam, count me out

Chris Cuomo has been suspended from his job at CNN as his efforts to support his brother, Andrew, with the influence of his media position, have been gradually exposed. Wait a minute, CNN didn’t think his bias was obvious from day one? And what’s with this “suspension” rather than just simply firing him?

CNN has suspended Chris Cuomo, one of its biggest stars, a day after the release of documents that detailed his efforts to help his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, fend off allegations of sexual misconduct.

Transcripts from the New York Attorney General’s office on Monday showed that the cable host was far more involved in the governor’s crisis-management efforts than the younger Cuomo had previously acknowledged.

The network and its president, Jeff Zucker, had previously backed Cuomo for months, even as details accumulated about his role advising his brother, who eventually resigned in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations.

What I’ve found more interesting than Cuomo family corruption, though, is all the people sympathizing with Chris Cuomo and saying they’d have done the same thing. It’s rather revealing.

(This tweet has since been deleted by Yglesias — I guess he noticed how bad it looked.)

Huh. I wouldn’t. Sorry, Jim and Mike, I love you like, ummm, brothers, but if you do something criminal or unethical — if you start sexually harassing young women, or robbing banks, or avoiding taxes, or telling people they should take Ivermectin for that case of COVID, or you start leaving thumbs-up on Joe Rogan videos — I’m not ever doing anything unethical to protect you. If you need money to hire a good lawyer, I’ll do what I can. I’m willing to be a character witness during the sentencing hearing. I’ll send you boxes of cookies in prison. I’ll be there for you when you get out, and help you get back on your feet and live an ethical life.

Mainly, though, I’m pretty sure you’re good people who wouldn’t do anything like that, and definitely wouldn’t expect me to do “unethical shit” to help you out. Likewise, I don’t expect you to lie about me if I were to explode in rage and punch a Republican in the nose. It’s OK, you can say I was wrong to do that.

True confession: my family has been there. We had a sweet little sister, cute as a button, a real charmer, who fell into a bad crowd, was addicted to drugs, and that addiction led to unforgivable behavior, like stealing from my parents. She spent time in jail, she ended up living on the street, and getting hooked on — yikes — evangelical Christianity (which didn’t help her at all). She eventually died of an untreated systemic infection, and we wept for her. We all loved our sister and wanted to help her, but we did not excuse her or worse, assist her in the reprehensible behavior the addiction drove her to.

That’s a difference that stays with me, that while their hearts were breaking my parents would not stoop to “unethical shit” themselves. I’m not going to, either. What’s wrong with these people who say they would?

By the way, I was shaped by growing up in a family with little interest in religion, and I think I grew a moral compass by following the examples my parents set. I sometimes wonder if my baby sister might have been saved, though, if she’d been brought up in a more rigidly authoritarian house — what was good for me might not have been good for her. Or maybe it was that her oldest brother abandoned her when he was 18 and she was 7 to flit off to college. What-might-have-been is a terrible game to play.