What I Like About Chris Cuomo’s ‘Fredo’ Rant
Throw out whether or not you 'like' Chris Cuomo, or whether you watch CNN. I'm only looking at this from the standpoint of a mid-30's guy who is observing a celebrity when he apparently doesn't think he's on camera or being recorded.
The CNN journalist/personalty went on an epic rant recently, threatening to ''ruin the f--ing life'' of a guy who approached him and called him 'Fredo' - a nickname given to Cuomo by Rush Limbaugh, a 'Godfather' reference that juxtaposes the second son of the Cuomo political powerhouse family with the second son of Vito Corleone - with Rush dubbing him the less-successful member of the family.
In fairness, dad was a former NY Governor and older brother Andrew is a former NY attorney general, has spent more than a decade as the governor of NY and, is rumored to be - at times - a possible presidential candidate. I mean, regardless of your political leanings, that is really hard to top, I think.
'The other guy'
First, I don't believe that the guy who called Chris Cuomo 'Fredo' really believed that was his name. His tone and weak claims of ''I thought that was your real name,'' just didn't pass the smell test to me. Your telling me this guy knows Chris Cuomo by face and reputation well enough to approach him, but simultaneously thought his 'real' name was Fredo? I'm not buying it. The guy was insulting the CNN talking head and wanted to see how the tv-star would react. He was insulting him while playing the ignorance card.
An neither was the 49-year-old Chris, whose reaction was aggressive to say the least - it was loud, vulgar and threatening.
In calling-out the guy who called him 'Fredo', and not buying his claims of ignorance, Cuomo dropped a lot of 'F' bombs. And, this gem: 'You wanna be a man, then stand up like a man...I'll f---ing ruin your s--t'. He also said he'd throw the guy down a flight of stairs.
He basically. Not basically, he did call the guy out for a fight. Several times.
Again, whether you liked him before or not is irrelevant. What you think of CNN, also meaningless. His behavior was unbecoming of a tv news personality, especially someone as 'famous' and 'prestigious' as Chris Cuomo is. As he noted in his apology on twitter, ''truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me...But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose."
He's right. You can't be a top tier, national tv news anchor/reporter/personality on CNN who walks around threatening to beat people up. The word 'inappropriate' isn't enough to describe his behavior considering his distinction.
But, that's kinda what caught my attention. And, frankly, what I kinda liked about it.
He probably does get a fair amount of ribbing, or maybe harassment, when he's in public. And, probably a near equal amount of praise. But, this guy walked right up to him, face to face, and Cuomo felt disrespected. He called the guy a punk and let him know he wasn't going to tolerate it.
I actually loved it. The man he was challenging wasn't a child, or a teenager, or an old man. He was a middle aged guy (like Cuomo). What he basically said, although in a pretty vulgar fashion, was: 'I know what you're doing. I don't think it's funny. Keep it up and I'll kick your ass.'
It was a reaction that many 'average, everyday guys' would have when they've had enough. The other guy thought he could get away with it. Cuomo didn't let him. Again, NOT appropriate for a someone in Chris Cuomo's position. But, I respected it.
The 'N' word
At one point Cuomo asks: ''Are you Italian? It's an insult to your people. It's like the 'N' word for us.''
I think that's a bit of an overstatement. Rather a huge overstatement. Using negative stereotypes on the Italian community, or any community, isn't okay. But to compare generations of slavery, stereotypes, discrimination, oppression and racism suffered by the African American community to an Italian Mob movie reference - said in jest - is quite a stretch.
One more thought
Although Chris' reaction made ME like him more than before, I think CNN's lack of action is absurd. By saying the ''completely support'' Cuomo's reaction is appalling. They're basically saying what he did was acceptable. I'm sure all of CNN's well known personalities, and all well known tv news personalities from any organization, get a fair share of 'hate' in public. But, that doesn't mean Cuomo's reaction is the kind of behavior that an international news organization like CNN should be condoning.