A series of scandals in which CNN personalities violated basic norms of journalism and decency has led to a crisis at the cable news network — and talk of a programming overhaul.
CNN seems to to proving out the conservative aphorism “Get woke, go broke.”
As former star CNN anchor Chris Cuomo recently detailed in legal papers demanding $125 million for being fired, his misconduct was hardly unusual among his most high-profile colleagues:
1. JAKE TAPPER: The CNN anchor reportedly tried and failed to talk Republican Sean Parnell out of challenging Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Penn., in the 2020 election.
- Lamb subsequently won reelection, and Tapper never publicly addressed the controversy or faced professional consequences.
2. JEFFREY TOOBIN: CNN’s chief legal correspondent was suspended by the network in October 2020 for masturbating on camera during a Zoom call with other staffers at The New Yorker.
- The New Yorker terminated Toobin, but CNN reinstated him eight months later.
3. DON LEMON: The CNN anchor tipped off Jussie Smollett that the Chicago police were investigating his hate-crime hoax, the actor testified in December 2021.
- Lemon, who had acknowledged an ongoing friendship with Smollett, nevertheless continued reporting on the case without mentioning his involvement.
4. CHRIS CUOMO: CNN fired him in December for helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, spin sexual misconduct allegations.
- The network had defended Chris Cuomo and kept him on air after it emerged in May that he had helped advise the then-governor on how to response to sexual harassment allegations.
- But the subsequent release of texts and transcripts showing the extent of Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s PR — along with his own sexual harassment allegations — led to his ouster.
- In the legal filing this month, Cuomo called his firing “the epitome of hypocrisy” given CNN’s handling of its other scandals.
5. JEFF ZUCKER: The former CNN president was forced to step down in February after an internal investigation initially focused on the Cuomo brothers uncovered a workplace relationship that Zucker had not disclosed.
6. ALLISON GOLLUST: CNN’s communications and marketing chief and Zucker’s paramour was pushed out weeks later, reportedly because she had misled investigators about the timeline of their romance and interfered with news coverage of Andrew Cuomo.
Chris Licht, the new president of CNN, reportedly plans to reverse CNN’s turn as a liberal anti-Trump outlet — raising questions about the job security of other on-air personalities.
Fantastic news: Brian Stelter, who spent most of the last half decade trying to cost other people their jobs, has told several people that be thinks he’s going to lose his job at CNN.
Where else could he go? Who on earth would ever put that guy on TV again?
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) February 27, 2022