FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2018 file photo, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo attends the 12th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. CNN says it completely supports Cuomo after he was seen on video threatening to push a man down some stairs during a confrontation after the man apparently called him “Fredo,” in a seeming reference to the “Godfather” movies. The video appeared Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 on a conservative YouTube channel.
Photo: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File
Photo: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

CNN supports Chris Cuomo after his verbal tirade with man who calls him ‘Fredo’

Originally posted Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

In a video at a New York bar released Monday, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo took offense at an unidentified heckler who called him ‘Fredo,’ likening it as an Italian slur similar to the N-word for black people. 

Cuomo told the man “Fredo” is a reference to a character Fredo Corleone in the 1972 film "The Godfather," considered "a weak brother."

The anchor’s heated exchange turned into a mass of cursing and a challenge to fight: 

"I’ll (expletive) ruin your (expletive). I’ll (expletive) throw you down these stairs like a (expletive) punk … you’re gonna call me Fredo, take a (expletive) swing?"

The man did not take on the challenge. The  video was sent to a right-wing YouTube channel host, who posted it. 

While Donald Trump supported the heckler in a Tweet, his buddy and Fox News host Sean Hannity was Team Cuomo, was his employer CNN, who released this statement:

“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.”

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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