Social media utterly exploded on Monday evening with a viral video clip of an enraged CNN host Chris Cuomo launching into an expletive-laced rant that threatened physical violence against a man who mockingly called him “Fredo,” a reference to the incompetent and weak brother of the Corleone mafia family in The Godfather movies.
Cuomo received quite a bit of backlash from the many on the right over his behavior in the video, but there were also some conservatives who joined with the left in defending Cuomo’s reaction to heckler, including Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Hannity defends Cuomo
The Daily Wire reported that Hannity took to Twitter to share the video with his followers and wrote, “I say good for @ChrisCuomo.”
“He’s out with his 9-year-old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a j*****s in front of his family,” Hannity added. “[In my humble opinion] Chris Cuomo has zero to apologize for. He deserves the apology.”
That was a bit surprising, coming from a Fox host that has repeatedly clashed with the CNN host over the years, and especially considering how over the top and outrageous Cuomo’s reaction was.
If roles were reversed, it seems highly unlikely that Cuomo would offer his support if Hannity were to blow his top under similar circumstances.
Cuomo’s expletive-laced threats
The manner in which Cuomo responded to the man who insulted him was uncalled for, perhaps even more so if it is true that Cuomo’s wife and young son were present during the incident.
Cuomo was called “Fredo” — a fairly common insult for members of powerful families that are incompetent, stupid, and weak — and Cuomo full well knows that, yet he decided to pretend to be offended and disingenuously act as if the term “Fredo” was some sort of racial slur against Italians akin to calling a black person the “N”-word.
In response to being called “Fredo,” Cuomo fired back by repeatedly calling the man a “punk a** b****” and threatening physical violence against the man over what was in fact an apt description. (Cuomo is in fact the less-talented younger brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both of whom are sons of legendary former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.)
“You’re gonna have a f*****g problem,” Cuomo threatened the man. “I’ll f*****g ruin your s**t. I’ll f*****g throw you down these stairs like a f*****g punk.”
Should have walked away
Cuomo eventually issued a half-hearted apology for his behavior toward the heckler and admitted that he should have been the better man and simply walked away from the incident.
Hannity, who no doubt has been faced with similar situations in the past, knows that too, and probably could have gotten that particular “just walk away” message across to Cuomo in a supportive manner without going so far as to excuse his explicit threats or to suggest that he was due an apology.