Chris Cuomo and the Great Fredo Kerfuffle of 2019

CNN journalist Chris Cuomo, left, is seen at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Character Fredo Corleone, right, portrayed by actor John Cazale, is pictured in a scene from The Godfather.

By Al Perrotta Published on August 13, 2019

The news has been so bleak and dark of late getting the opportunity to write about something utterly trivial and doofy comes with great joy. Even watching major news outlets sweating to turn this into an Important Story brings a chuckle.

Seems CNN host Chris Cuomo lost his meatballs when some fellow called him “Fredo.” Launched a foul-mouthed tirade and threatened to toss the man down the stairs. Cuomo would go on to declare being called “Fredo” is an ethnic slur equivalent to the N-word.

So Who is Fredo?

Fredo is a character in The Godfather movies. He’s the middle son of the Godfather Don Vito Corleone. And let’s just say Fredo is a few bullets shy of a clip. He’s slow and weak-minded. He has neither the strength and charisma of his older brother Sonny, nor the shrewdness of his younger brother Michael. Sister Connie’s made of tougher stuff, as we learn in Godfather III. Even Fredo’s unofficially adopted brother Tom has a lot more going on.

Fredo becomes so jealous when their father puts Michael in charge he ends up betraying the Corleone crime family. This earns him a one-way boat ride out onto Lake Tahoe.

Fredo was, in short, the runt in a powerful litter.

Which gets us to Chris Cuomo.

Who is Chris Cuomo?

Like Fredo, Cuomo is the son of a powerful, larger-than-life Italian-American figure: New York’s late great Governor Mario Cuomo.

Like Fredo, Cuomo is outshined by his smarter, more savvy sibling who took over the family business. Namely, New York’s current governor Andrew Cuomo.

Like Fredo, his sister’s no slouch either. Margaret is a radiologist who has spent decades promoting cancer prevention.

Frankly, it’s no surprise being called “Fredo” would hit a nerve. And clearly his nerve was hit with an anvil. (WATCH here: But be warned, the language gets foul.)

Like Fredo shouting “I’m smart!,” Cuomo felt obligated to shout his credentials. He’s no Fredo! He’s a CNN anchor!

On one hand he does have a point. Even if their ratings and credibility sleep with the fishes, being a prime time host isn’t small potatoes. And Cuomo’s estimated $4 million a year salary could make even a gangster go legit.

Also, Cuomo was confronted while out with his family. That’s just wrong. We say it’s wrong when it happens (all the time) to conservatives. We say it’s wrong now. Even Fox News rival Sean Hannity defended Cuomo for getting back in the guy’s face. “I say good for Chris Cuomo,” Hannity tweeted. “He’s out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jack*** in front of his family.”

Hannity said Cuomo has “nothing to apologize for.” Well …

Cuomo Pulls a Fredo Move

Unfortunately, Cuomo pulled a Fredo move. He whined about being a victim. He said being called Fredo is an “ethnic” slur. Sorry, mio fratello, that’s just not true. That’s flat out wrong and regrettable. Like director Francis Ford Coppolla casting his daughter Sophia in Godfather III. And as a consequence Cuomo is being mocked nearly as mercilessly as the unfortunate Sophia.

Cuomo went further. “Fredo” wasn’t just an ethic slur. No, it’s the equivalent of the “N-word.” And he doesn’t mean “nincompoop.” For a guy who spends each night acting like he’s “woke,” that’s downright comatose. Can that statement be any more hurtful to those for whom the N-word remains a bitter lash?

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There’s something more about Fredo. It’s not just that he’s weak. One wants to lift up the weak, not mock. Fredo’s something of a buffoon, a clown. And here’s where Cuomo scores again.

Even if Cuomo was right, being called “Fredo” is a horror equal to the “N-word,” he still tripped over his own feet. One of Cuomo’s very own guests called Donald Trump, Jr., “Fredo” … and Cuomo uttered not a peep about it.

Don Jr. himself pounced. “An excuse just as fake as his news,” he tweeted.

President Trump also weighed in — I’ll wait as you express shock. Trump mocked the CNN host on Twitter. “Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?”

As John Zmirak and others pointed out this afternoon, this tweet undercuts Trump’s case for Red Flag laws. Then again, how could Trump pass up the chance to launch such an epic slap-down of someone from CNN? (See John’s article “Trump Proved In One Tweet Why Red Flag Laws are Dangerous.”)

Cuomo Stands Up

In Cuomo’s defense, he did take responsibility for flipping his enlarged lid. “Truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me,” he tweeted. “No need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”

The problem, of course, is Cuomo has shown zero interest standing up for civility. This is a man who praises and supports Antifa. If they want to target conservatives, power to the people. This is the same Antifa, which aside from its wave of other crimes, attacked Fox News rival Tucker Carlson’s house and practically beat the door in.

This is the double standard. As Ben Shapiro noted, had Cuomo been a conservative big shot cursing and and physically threatening someone the media would be all over him like spaghetti on pasta.

“Let’s be clear,” said Shapiro. If this were somebody on the right shouting at a protester and threatening to throw them down the f-ing stairs, it would be another in the line of data points proposed by the media that the right is too violent.”

And leading that charge would be Cuomo.

So maybe Cuomo isn’t Fredo. He’s just one of the soldiers of the MSM organized syndicate, spending his nights carrying out the orders to shoot down The Donald, his family and his supporters.

Perhaps after this experience, Chris Cuomo will put down his gun, and take the cannoli.


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, 2nd generation Italian-American and co-author, with @JZmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl.

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