On so many levels, it is hard to sympathize with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. That he is a simpering, leftist pundit who appears to have no interest in objectivity, rationality, or truth is not really in doubt. That he has the right to defend himself and his family against verbal or physical attack – as does every human being – is also not in doubt. His recent public outburst, though, was inappropriate on so many levels and he should be man enough to use his own airtime to acknowledge that fact and to decry the toxic political climate that he himself has helped to create.
First and foremost, it should be said that the cable news host’s reaction to being publicly heckled by a man who referred to him as “Fredo” – a weak, cowardly, and deceitful character from the movie The Godfather – was entirely uncalled for. Cuomo had his wife and young daughter with him when he launched into a profanity-filled tirade against his tormentor and then threatened the man with serious physical violence. More than anything else, this is not the way any decent father behaves in front of his own child.
Add “Fredo” to the List of Racist Words
Then there is the word that sparked the whole Cuomo tantrum: A member of the public called him “Fredo.” Not in anybody’s book is “Fredo” a racial slur, but CNN, Cuomo himself, and other leftists have suddenly decided that it is – on this occasion. Cuomo is of Italian stock and there are a number of well-known derogatory terms for Italians – but “Fredo”? The suggestion is utter nonsense and Cuomo himself knows this very well. During a 2010 radio interview, in fact, the host, Curtis Sliwa, referred to the Cuomo family as “La Cuomo Nostra” – Chris Cuomo’s older brother, Andrew, is governor of New York. “Who am I, then, Fredo?” Cuomo jokingly responded.
In fact, there is no previously recorded instance of Cuomo – or anyone else at CNN – suggesting that referring to someone as “Fredo” was racially offensive. The CNN host’s recent tantrum, then, can be seen as one of only two things: Dangerously unhinged and irrational or an act for the camera – a display of completely phony outrage designed to play up the idea that media figures are routinely attacked and harassed by Trump supporters and that they are no longer going to take it.
The real issue here is that where once it was fairly uncommon for any person to be publicly harassed or intimidated for their political views, it has now become almost routine. The left – including media figures like Chris Cuomo in particular – is largely responsible.
CNN, along with MSNBC, delivers an almost constant stream of highly divisive rhetoric aimed at President Donald Trump and everyone who supports him. One simply cannot watch the network for more than an hour, on any given day, without hearing at least one anti-Trump, anti-Republican, or anti-conservative rant that includes the most extreme accusations and allegations. The people responsible cannot be unaware that such tirades fuel considerable anger that flows in both directions: Leftists are stirred to anger against conservatives, while the latter become angry over the constant demonization, insults, and false allegations leveled at them.
The rise of Antifa – the masked, suburbian, west coast brats who have decided that freedom of thought is entirely unacceptable – has brought political violence almost into the mainstream. Cuomo is a big fan of these thugs, who hide behind the banner of anti-fascism and behave exactly like fascists.
Back in April 2019, during one of his idiotic political sermons, Cuomo spoke of Antifa and the more general acceptability of political violence. “[A]ll punches are not equal, morally,” he suggested. “[W]hen someone comes to call out bigots and it gets hot, even physical, are they equally wrong as the bigot they are fighting? I argue, no.” Here, the CNN newsman is getting to the heart of why leftists believe their use of violence is acceptable while their opponents’ use of it would not be.
“Now, how you fight matters too,” Cuomo continued. “There’s no question about that. But drawing a moral equivalency between those espousing hate and those fighting it because they both resort to violence emboldens hate, legitimizes hateful belief and elevates what should be stamped out.”
The Left’s Sick Justification of Violence
The left believes any idea or opinion it classes as “hate” – which encompasses any political opinion with which it disagrees – should be “stamped out” and that using violence to stamp it out is completely acceptable.
To conservatives, though, Cuomo and his ilk are the ones spewing hate. Are they then not also legitimate targets for violence? By the left’s own standard, they are, but that standard is the problem. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought are not only permissible but essential to a civilized society, and leftists like Cuomo are no more deserving of being physically assaulted – or even publicly insulted – for their beliefs than are conservatives.
Other than on the field of battle or the sporting arena, violence should be accepted only when it is used in measured response to a physical assault. Attacking someone, or even threatening to attack someone, over mere words should not be something either side of the political chasm is willing to tolerate.
No matter how abhorrent one might find another person’s opinions, they are just opinions and they cannot do harm to anybody. Rationalizing violence against a person for expressing an opinion is indicative of a very warped sense of morality – one that, if given free rein, would result in the descent of society into an abyss of unchecked savagery.
In fairness to Cuomo, he publicly acknowledged that he did not handle the situation well. “Appreciate all the support but — truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me,” he tweeted the day after a video emerged of him threatening a man in public. “This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”
Unfortunately, Cuomo adds to the ugliness on an almost daily basis from a CNN studio. Nobody deserves to be publicly harassed but Cuomo’s words – along with the words of many other media personalities – are causing a lot of people to now be harassed and even physically assaulted. Perhaps those who use national television to constantly peddle politically-charged invective should reconsider what they are doing to the nation before they whine about having to reap what they sow.