Chris Cuomo’s got a brand new bag.
Fired from CNN for advising his brother Andrew, the former governor of New York, Chris Cuomo attempts a comeback – his way — with a new current affairs show on News Nation.
Cuomo admits he’s got lingering issues: The anger. The self-loathing. The feelings of betrayal from his ‘friends’ in the media.
“They took that from me. I was number one on the most powerful media platform in the world. And any way you want to look at it, I was number one. I had the smallest team. I was never the face of cnn. They never used me like that in the promos. That’s Anderson’s house. And when it’s politics, it’s Wolf’s house.”
Listen to the no-holds-barred conversation about his brother, his childhood, and the partisan state of the media.
And for the first time, his version of the infamous “Fredo” incident.
“One of these three assholes says ‘Hey Fredo, will you take a picture?’ And I look at him, I say, ‘what’d you call me?’ And he’s like, ‘Isn’t that your name?'”
“I said, ‘I don’t know. Is your name bitch?'”
That, and Black Like Me: The American story of the LeDuff family’s racial transformation from Black to White. Fleeing the Jim Crow south only to find Jim Crow in the north.
Speaker 1 (00:00:00):
All we say to America is be true to what you said on paper. I’m so justice. As I say, we aren’t going to let any dogs or water hoses turn us around. We aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around. Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead, but it really doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop.
Speaker 2 (00:00:40):
Speaker 1 (00:00:45):
Like anybody. I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place, but I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will and he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain and I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with, but I want you to know that we as people will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man my have seen the glory of the
Speaker 3 (00:01:46):
Live downtown Detroit. It’s
Speaker 4 (00:02:04):
Speaker 5 (00:02:04):
Speaker 6 (00:02:15):
Just a breaking the Dobo bullshit. Dobo bullshit.
Speaker 7 (00:02:20):
Happy MLK Day, Karen. Happy
Speaker 8 (00:02:23):
M L K and Monday and New Year and all that stuff to
Speaker 7 (00:02:26):
You too. Let me put it in context what that was. That was this last speech that Martin Luther King Jr. Delivered. It was the night before he was assassinated. He was in Memphis, Tennessee. But what was going on in Memphis, Tennessee, there was a garbage strike. <affirmative>. Two sanitation workers in Memphis had been crushed to death. The wages were low, the conditions were horrible. And if you know in the prior year, Dr. King started the Poor People’s Campaign. It became now bigger. Well, I don’t know if you can say bigger. It became the next move. You have Civil Rights Act, voting Rights Act. Then he figured out what we’re living now, which is the biggest chair at the table in this country are poor people, right? White. He went to Appalachia Black, the Barrios, the reservations, the big movement was to combine everybody because we would have the biggest voice and then he took a bullet the next day.
Speaker 8 (00:03:26):
Yeah, doesn’t seem coincidental, but
Speaker 7 (00:03:28):
Okay, that’s where the I am a man comes from. Those are sanitation workers saying I deserve a decent wage and decent working conditions. I think that’s really important with where we’re at in America now with everything kind of sliding away.
Speaker 8 (00:03:41):
I was going to say, and yet here we still are.
Speaker 7 (00:03:44):
So with us is Chris Cuomo who’s in his basically hunting and fishing lodge down there in his basement trying to come up with an idea. He has a new show. It’s Cuomo. It’s on News Nation 8:00 PM Eastern seventh Central, trying to figure out what he wants to say tonight because the guy’s working hard. Isn’t that right, Chris? Didn’t that help you at all about how you can
Speaker 9 (00:04:13):
Yes, I think all of your work is very helpful, which is why I am fan first then friend.
Speaker 7 (00:04:21):
There’s a professional right there kissing my ass right off the top. I appreciate that. Thank you brother.
Speaker 9 (00:04:27):
Yes, because that’s how I’m known. I am a great look. There are always so many different ways to look at history. The present we get stuck in myopia when the reality is a kaleidoscope. And there are one of the best things that I try to adhere to is be very careful about simple or single factors, solutions to complex situations. They’re almost always incomplete. And in dealing with race <laugh>, let alone class, let alone nation these are such heavy, complicated things, which is why we’ve always relied on the genius of simplicity. Jesus’ message fundamentally was love, mercy, love each other the way I have loved you, do it for the love of me and my name is truth.
It became very simple. So on a day like today, you got to weed through so much stuff to get to what matters. I was telling Charlie earlier, for the rest of you, she didn’t hear it. I know you at home didn’t hear it. There are a lot of white people who come after me or anybody who’s white for talking about Dr. King because you should be shutting up and letting people of color speak. And two things can be true at once. Yes, you should give more voice to the minority, any minority, any group that needs should speak for themselves as much as possible. However, what is the obvious reality? Nothing
Speaker 7 (00:06:22):
Changes. Let me throw Karen in. Should this white man be talking about? I
Speaker 8 (00:06:25):
Was going to say, don’t, don’t make me the resident black person.
Speaker 7 (00:06:27):
Why not? You’re proud <laugh>. Say
Speaker 8 (00:06:30):
It loud. But this is the thing though. I think first of all, the conversation about the issue of race and social and economic inequality is something that should not be relegated to one or two days a year or one month a year. That’s the first thing because then it becomes, what is it, Charlie, that I always say that things that have no substance performing internet. Exactly. And so all these conversations and marches and people wearing t-shirts and all that stuff, what does it mean when the next day you can’t look a person who doesn’t look like you in the eye? What does it mean when the next day you aren’t doing something to help someone other than yourself? So I don’t care about the conversation, I care about the commitment and I care about the action 365 days a year. Bingo.
Speaker 7 (00:07:16):
Now before we get into it,
Speaker 9 (00:07:18):
Chris, you just don’t get those two without the conversation.
Speaker 8 (00:07:21):
And I understand and the conversation
Speaker 9 (00:07:23):
Culture is proof
Speaker 8 (00:07:24):
Of that and the conversation has to take place. And I think everybody is entitled to that conversation. And I think the conversation has to be candid. It has to be honest, respectful and it has to be substantive and results oriented. We can’t just have conversation for the sake of filling time.
Speaker 7 (00:07:41):
All right, let me say this simplicity, living it, your history, who you are, what you did, they’re all very complicated things. But I want to lead with this, Chris, I hope you’ll watch it before we get into you, what you’re doing, where you’ve been, where you’re going. This is a story I did for Fox. It’s about my family. It’s about our history, our legacy, where we come from. And I’m really disappointed because with the consolidation of media, the whole archive of what I did for them is blown out. You can’t even find this under any fox banner. So I dug it up. It’s really important to me and about the things we’re talking about and the history and the future, and this is me finding out some things about my family’s racial history and let’s play. Please watch it. Chris and all of you watching as a white kid growing up in the suburbs, there was a lot I wasn’t taught about the city. The short version of what I was taught was something like this
Speaker 10 (00:08:47):
Pendulum is swinging.
Speaker 7 (00:08:50):
In 1967, the blacks went crazy and burned down the greatest city in America and we whites were forced to leave. The adults never said why I left Michigan as a young man and returned a middle-aged reporter. And that story didn’t make sense anymore. So I traced my own people’s journey North. We weren’t Cajuns like I’d been told. Were Creoles, Louisiana, people who’d been born black but lived in Detroit as white.
Speaker 11 (00:09:18):
Speaker 7 (00:09:20):
I went to my grandfather’s birthplace on the banks of the Mississippi. His cousins still live there.
Speaker 11 (00:09:27):
Good morning. How you doing? Cheer fun. It’s a
Speaker 7 (00:09:32):
Speaker 11 (00:09:37):
Or whatever. They called this, they moved away. They were really like a class within two classes you, one was white, one was black, and here you are a little ve. This one didn’t want you around. That one didn’t want you around.
Speaker 7 (00:10:04):
Great grandpa Anri la Duff was the illiterate son of a sharecropper. No picture of him exists, but he was said to be light-skinned. Born to this man, donk la Duff Henry would take Inez Porsche as his wife. She was from a well-to-do Creole family. When Ari went north to seek his fortune in Detroit’s factories, she stayed here in Baton Rouge with her two sons. My grandfather Roy and his brother Earl. The census listed them as Mulattos.
Speaker 12 (00:10:35):
Back in the 1920s, folks like Henry Lauff who wanted to be a part of the American dream and move on up north would’ve come to this place. This was the depot of the Texas and Pacific Railroad in new roads and those tracks led north.
Speaker 7 (00:10:50):
So this was his car would’ve been segregated.
Speaker 12 (00:10:52):
It would’ve been because he would’ve
Speaker 7 (00:10:53):
Got in the colored car
Speaker 12 (00:10:54):
Exactly, even though he was as fair as you and I probably if you had just a portion of black blood, I think it was one 64th and you were 63, 64, you were still considered black. When he got up north, he could register on the census as a white man and no one new.
Speaker 7 (00:11:10):
When Enri duff got off the train, he decided to pass a white and call himself Henry. He took a room in a white woman’s boarding house on Detroit’s east side, telling the census man, his mother was from Paris and spoke only French. Henry escaped the segregated Jim Crow south for the north where every man was supposedly equal.
Speaker 13 (00:11:30):
When he came to Detroit, he would’ve found a world that in many ways resonated with what he knew about Louisiana. It would’ve been a world in which blacks were restricted in terms of where they could live and where they could work. The jobs that were available were the ones that employers deemed suitable replacement for the immigrant workforce. The worst jobs, the dirtiest jobs, the most unhealthy jobs.
Speaker 7 (00:11:50):
Between 1910 and 19, 31 million people moved to Detroit. 120,000 of them were black and blacks were legally barred in Detroit from living in all but the worst ghettos since great grandpa Henry was now white, it allowed him to buy property and build his house here on Burwood Street. In 1924, he sent for his wife and teenage sons.
Speaker 13 (00:12:12):
White supremacy was so powerful an ideology in Detroit that in 1924 the Ku Klux Klan endorsed candidate actually won a majority of the vote for mayor. He could not take office because it was a writing campaign and so many of his supporters had misspelled his name. They were burning crosses on the steps of city hall. And so it would’ve been something of a shock, I think, given the expectation that the north was going to be so substantially different.
Speaker 7 (00:12:37):
My great-grandmother, much darker than her husband, rarely ventured out,
Speaker 14 (00:12:41):
Was never any party at our house. Daddy would go out on his home, was at the bars, and his friends never took mother with him. He never has even introduced any of his friends.
Speaker 7 (00:13:02):
Do you know you’re black?
Speaker 14 (00:13:05):
No, they never said anything. They never mentioned anything about their life. When they first got married, they never had a picture taken when they were married. Oh no, I won’t say that. Maybe they did. But the church burned down.
Speaker 7 (00:13:30):
But that church still stands on the banks of the Mississippi. It turns out nothing burned down except the past.
Speaker 11 (00:13:37):
I think they wanted to stay white and have a better living. Someone told me somewhere sometime that their children were doctors.
Speaker 7 (00:13:50):
In 1930, my great-grandparents and their three children were designated on the census as w. After two centuries, wheel duffs were miraculously scrubbed white with the end of World War ii. The city was now 1.8 million people. 300,000 of them black restrictive mortgages still forbade selling or renting the blacks. The federal government even paid for this. A racial Berlin wall along the same street. My great-grandfather built his home to keep the blacks out. Around that time, my cousin Jerry’s family came up from Louisiana. They came as blacks.
Speaker 15 (00:14:24):
It’s like living up south instead of down south. It’s the same thing. You know, were faced with the same problems, not to the same decre, but they were still there. Jim Crow era happened here. That’s all over Detroit, right? In the city of Detroit, that black person couldn’t live.
Speaker 7 (00:14:46):
Great grandpa Henry LeDuff passed on in 1951, joining his wife that same year, his son, my grandfather Roy, met Betsy Steele, a waitress. They danced at the Vanity Ballroom on the east side of the city. She called herself white, which was half true. She was also a Chippewa Indian. This
Speaker 16 (00:15:05):
From my grandparents met. It couldn’t have been a Monday night because that was black night only because they didn’t want people mixing. Nobody knew that they were both mixed. They came up with somebody like me.
Speaker 7 (00:15:18):
Grandpa Roy brought two children from a previous marriage, including my father. Betsy brought six children, including my mother. Together they made 10, a white family with Priscilla curtains and crystal gobles in the house. That great grandpa Henry built. Later in life. My mother and father fell in love and married. You think grandpa knew he
Speaker 17 (00:15:38):
Speaker 18 (00:15:38):
Black? Your grandpa or my grandpa? My grandpa. Your grandpa. Yes. Yeah. He was old enough when we left Louisiana.
Speaker 17 (00:15:47):
I don’t care if he was black and I could have seen it. I loved that man. I’ll love that man till I go to my grave. And that’s what I see.
Speaker 7 (00:15:58):
As the family was living, the white life trouble was brewing. Blacks began to jump the cinder block wall in search of a better life.
Speaker 13 (00:16:05):
The restrictions placed on what blacks could do in the way of employment, in terms of living and the circumstances of their entire lives are increasingly oppressive as the black community is expanding dramatically. By the time we get to 19 66, 19 67, the police force remains overwhelmingly white. And in fact, the police commissioner later testified that his principal job was to persuade the white officers who represented about 96, 90 5% of the police force, that they did not have the constitutional right to beat African Americans when they took them into custody.
Speaker 7 (00:16:39):
And on July 23rd, 1967, white cops began knocking black heads at an after hours party on Claremont Street Blacks. One back and the city burned for five days. It was at the time the most devastating riot in the history of America. Detroit has never recovered.
Speaker 15 (00:17:05):
We call it an insurrection against the powers that were, regardless of the fact where they were turning a lot of their anger and their anxieties on their own community. But that’s all they knew.
Speaker 18 (00:17:17):
Most of the people back then still had the old segregationist way of thinking. Just nothing had changed up to that point. And the riots forced the issue.
Speaker 7 (00:17:38):
My father was working that hot Sunday evening. My mom and grandparents stood on the lawn of the house on Burwood Street and watched the city burn
Speaker 17 (00:17:45):
The haded, went out and bought a gun. He didn’t own a gun, he didn’t didn’t believe in hunting or actually went out and bought a gun. And she wanted dad to sell and he just said he would hang on. And then I guess they had some heated discussions and he told her, he said, how many can there be? And
Speaker 7 (00:18:07):
He was one of them.
Speaker 14 (00:18:09):
Speaker 18 (00:18:10):
True. We’ve all been prejudiced. And I probably have been also. And here I was talking about myself.
Speaker 14 (00:18:21):
That’s one gift he gave me. His whole family was that we’re raised as white people.
Speaker 19 (00:18:31):
And why is that a gift? Why is that a gift?
Speaker 14 (00:18:35):
Oh, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have that.
Speaker 19 (00:18:42):
Speaker 14 (00:18:44):
That’s very true.
Speaker 19 (00:18:45):
It’s hard to be black.
Speaker 14 (00:18:46):
Yeah, it’s very hard.
Speaker 8 (00:18:52):
I remember that piece, Charlie. It’s a powerful story.
Speaker 7 (00:18:55):
Still make me want to cry.
Speaker 8 (00:18:57):
No, don’t cry. I mean the sad part about it is that we could change the dates on most of that conversation and it still applies.
Speaker 7 (00:19:06):
Speaker 8 (00:19:08):
But it’s the same.
Speaker 7 (00:19:09):
That’s different when you’re all mixed up. Yeah.
Speaker 8 (00:19:12):
Tell me about it.
Speaker 7 (00:19:13):
If you think about it, the big argument is when you get people like us and there’s somewhere Chris is the answer. I just think if you speak honestly enough
Speaker 8 (00:19:26):
Hatefully that I, and respectfully
Speaker 7 (00:19:28):
That’s the answer.
Speaker 8 (00:19:29):
Speaker 9 (00:19:31):
Speaker 8 (00:19:33):
I think it
Speaker 7 (00:19:34):
Could be. I got no better one.
Speaker 9 (00:19:37):
I’ll tell you what, let’s play with it a little bit first.
Speaker 7 (00:19:41):
Speaker 9 (00:19:42):
With it. Charlie, you did a great <laugh>, you did a great job. You did a great job. And look in today’s culture the cancel culture it is at complete odds with progress. And we don’t seem to understand that everything is getting more entrenched, more vicious, under the guise of better canceling has not helped the cause policing language. Now that we have a generation of kids who say N word, like n n word. They say N word without any real understanding of why are you so afraid? Why is that so disrespectful? Why is it different? And any time there’s any questioning of it in any way that seems to deflect from its importance, here comes the canceling. But what it has done is that piece is a portrait of America. There’s so many people who are mixed. The future of this country is going to be a very tough telling of what you are unless you buy into at some point actually just being a nation.
Speaker 7 (00:20:59):
So is there
Speaker 9 (00:21:00):
Speaker 7 (00:21:01):
King Charlie, what was he doing at the end? Well, we’ll he doing it. What was he doing at the end there? Look, we’re not all created equal, but hold
Speaker 9 (00:21:09):
On Charlie, I
Speaker 7 (00:21:09):
Really that Hold on, hold on. We’re not all created equal. I’ll just say something for real. We’re not all created equal. It’s misunderstood I think. But the great promises, Dr. King said the beginning is what you wrote down. That everybody has the right to an equal opportunity and we just haven’t gotten
Speaker 8 (00:21:27):
There. Well, but you got to remember too, Charlie, black people initially were considered property. So for people that look at that as a constitutional obligation, that still leaves out black people because well, you weren’t considered humans. So you could argue that point. And people say, well, it didn’t include you in the first place.
Speaker 7 (00:21:47):
Can’t be denied.
Speaker 9 (00:21:47):
It’s also type versus talent type versus talent. We are not all born with equal talent. That’s true. You’re not going to have equal outcomes. That’s true. But we’re talking about type, all men are created equal. It’s supposed to be about type. And there are people who would listen to this conversation, especially if it’s excerpted the right way and say, huh man, are these people just so woken missing it? I would so rather be black today. I will get things given to me. I’ll get an advantage getting into school. Anybody who wants a job going against me is going to lose. And I don’t have to be as good. I can anchor a TV show and as long as I’m black, I check that box. I’m in good shape. Boy is
Speaker 7 (00:22:35):
That, what is that? You see?
Speaker 8 (00:22:36):
Yeah, I disagree. Is that
Speaker 7 (00:22:38):
Disagree with, is that no. Well is that what you see Chris?
Speaker 9 (00:22:40):
Of course you’re going to disagree. I’m just telling you what white people say when you’re not around is,
Speaker 8 (00:22:46):
Speaker 9 (00:22:48):
My kids can’t get into school. My kids can’t get into school. My kids an A student, my kid’s captain of this and captain of that and four H this and national security. A and they can’t get in cause it’s all diversity. White kids are screwed because the pendulum is swinging back way too far. And the majority’s being forgotten. And if you don’t think that this is real, then you’ve got a real problem explaining the power of Trump, the power of the lamest recognition as a symbol of this that gets elected Marjorie Taylor Green. How do you explain? And if you write it off as racism, you do nothing to deepen the understanding or to improve the situation. Do you think this, I know I don’t.
Speaker 7 (00:23:36):
Do you think there’s truth to that sentiment?
Speaker 9 (00:23:40):
I think that there must be if you look at truth as what is true to them, and you’ll say, well no, that’s not truth. Two plus two is four. That’s truth. Truth is always true. Alright, you’re oversimplifying humanity and society. What
Speaker 7 (00:23:59):
Do you think personally that there’s truth to what that segment of the population feels?
Speaker 9 (00:24:06):
I think it’s perspective. I think that correction, inclusion change has to have a net effect of less people who were given advantage. Getting advantage. That is the necessary objective requirement of change. If everybody who looks like Lauff was given an advantage over people who are browner than Lauff, then at some point there’s got to be less people like Lauff so that there can be more people who are browner than
Speaker 7 (00:24:39):
Lauff. Well then you see what my, the gift and it was pushback on black friends of mine. What you mean a gift? I go, but the gift is my family telling the truth. My great auntie telling the truth. Yeah, it’s way harder to be black. But at the same time, you see what we come from, you look at me, I go, what advantage? My dad wasn’t governor, my dad not rich. You know what I mean? We grew up single mom, five kids. It was a fucking brawl. What advantage, what privilege?
Speaker 8 (00:25:09):
But I guess Charlie, the thing about that is, and I do agree and I think that that is what Chris said.
Speaker 7 (00:25:15):
Oh, now you’re agreeing with Chris.
Speaker 8 (00:25:16):
Well yeah, I do mean that people do feel that way. And I do think that that fueled the whole Trump thing and people are like, Hey, our country is turning the complexion of our country is changing and we’ve got to protect it. I do. I do agree with that. But it is it more difficult. I mean we had this conversation, Chris talked about cancel culture when a group of people came after me for saying something. And the first thing people see, which is why black people were treated as property is the color of your skin. So that’s always, are people being rude or are people being racist? I mean that is the very first identifier. So that’s always a reason for whether it’s inclusion, exclusion, judgmental behavior or perspectives. I mean that’s something you can’t hide. I say mean. Nobody knew that you were a broker. You’re a single parent, they look at you and they see you as a white guy.
Speaker 7 (00:26:11):
They could see how you dress. Oh no, you’re going to know a high class black person and a lower class white person for real who’s looking down on whom? Just part like I’m telling you again what Dr. King who lives this starts doing what he actually starts doing. If you want change, everybody must be involved in it. Can’t be Hector in each other. I agree.
Speaker 9 (00:26:32):
Huh. That’s the part that’s meant by the left. The left is the one that’s getting that wrong. And that’s my point. And again,
Speaker 7 (00:26:39):
Oh no, no longer cnn. Chris is like the left now on a left. No,
Speaker 9 (00:26:44):
Listen and look, this is easy. Okay, I will take on my record at CNN at how I covered this and everything else. Any day for any amount of money.
Speaker 7 (00:26:57):
They have it written right here. Good.
Speaker 9 (00:26:59):
Especially if they’re in the media because the argument is easy for me to win. The problem with our media is it doesn’t matter how bad I beat your ass on the facts. You’ll just write whatever you want anyway. Go on social media, find your tribe and talk your shit. That’s the problem in our media is that it’s not about what’s demonstrable anymore. It’s about what you want to be said. And that’s fine. That’s fine. We got plenty of problems. But you said, is it rude or racist? Right there you are closing off any chance at a coalition because you have all these people who are white in America as far as they know who will say, no, I’m not rude, I’m not racist. You are black and that’s what you are. And I’m white. Doesn’t come with a judgment. But of course that’s what I see first.
I’m not going to see the content of your character first. That’s not how we work. Yes. And the only way we get to a better place. And now here’s another problem with left. No, I’m not going to ameliorate the stupid and the bigot. Sorry Chris. You want to take it easy on them for liking Trump and I’m not because he’s a bigot and they’re stupid to be doing that. Okay. You win, you win. You win. If we’re at Harvard, oops. If we’re at Harvard, you win. Okay, you win Marshall, you win. If we’re at Harvard, leave it alone. My kid is messing with my phone to the angry. Beat it. <laugh> beat it. If you are, you’re at Harvard, you win. If you are in Congress, you get half. If you are in Walmart, you lose. So what do you want? If you want people to find a way to empower common good, you can’t keep it bifurcated like this as an argument. Now Charlie knows my whole spiel about why it’s bifurcated and how that works for the game and why the parties like it won’t keep it that way. I won’t belabor that. Martin Luther King was born. You
Speaker 7 (00:29:05):
Should write this down by the way. You should write this down for this monologue. For the monologue.
Speaker 9 (00:29:11):
I got it in my head. Okay. Okay. Martin Luther King was born. Michael, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve dealt with online who said he wasn’t even a doctor. They’re always got to build up the minority got to build him up, always make him better. And that’s because they don’t want to know. Of course he was a doctor. You got a doctorate. Yeah. That’s not a real doctor. Shut up. But he was born Michael. So why is he Martin Luther, his father had this epi trip that started as a pilgrimage, then was at a conference and he was so taken by a couple. And this is misunderstood also a couple of aspects of Martin Luther. The And what were they specifically? Well, he said what they were specifically, so it wasn’t Catholic suck. Cause a lot of Catholics had tried to do that to Dr.
King and to the Abian church, which is, they’re just ungrateful. It’s not what it was. And it’s not about the Protestant reformation. Martin Luther believed in the power of the individual and the responsibility of the individual to themself. Dr. King’s father was enamored of this idea and thought it was so powerful to remove the individual from an institution. Don’t be looking for, we stick with me. And that is very resonant in Dr. King Jr’s language and his messaging. So the father changed his name to Martin Luther and his son’s name. And they’ll say some of his deepest family still called him Mike until the day he died. Which by the way, he was only 38. Amazing. What a monumental contribution Dr. King Jr. Made. And so at 38, I was lucky if I was paying my own bills, this guy changed our society in terms of what I ideals should be for generations to come. So what is the point of this to show that I googled something? No.
Speaker 7 (00:31:12):
Well, I was wondering,
Speaker 9 (00:31:13):
There is symbolism. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Wanted not black people, but really non-black people to recognize that if you’re Christian, if you think you’re a good person, if you think you’re a moral person, if you think you’re an American, sure I’m speaking to you through gospel rhetoric. But if you check any of those boxes, you have to share the same vision. And I believe that’s was his greatest power that was left on the table. Listen, was
Speaker 7 (00:31:53):
Almost Caucasian explaining to me. No. So that goes back to your thing, which is Chris, everybody can say what they wish, don’t be bullied about, you know, can speak about the legacy of Dr. King. Dr. King’s a legacy for all of us. That’s the point, isn’t it?
Speaker 9 (00:32:11):
I’m talking about it as an instruction.
Speaker 7 (00:32:13):
Have an issue with that. Yeah. Well let’s do this. Let me get
Speaker 9 (00:32:16):
Just called it White’s claiming. So the,
Speaker 7 (00:32:18):
I’m just playing
Speaker 9 (00:32:19):
Also. He’s playing to his power.
Speaker 7 (00:32:21):
Yeah. Know you made the right, I believe the right explanation. This is white on white crime. Well, I’m, I’m mulatto, whatever. You know what I mean? We all wait. Some of us, some of us not. No.
Speaker 9 (00:32:35):
I told Charlie this joke. My father’s last joke my father told before he lost his ability to be himself was he saw something written up about me being number one at CNN because of white privilege. And he went like this hot damn. We made it
Speaker 20 (00:32:53):
Speaker 9 (00:32:55):
Because he had always been written off as the swar, the ethnic, the hot-blooded Italian mercurial, Mario Mafia. Samari
Speaker 7 (00:33:04):
Alfredo. Yeah. All that shit. Right? Because you know what, when the New York Times was cleaning out their physical archives called the morgue, the old newspaper clippings. Right. And they digitized them all. They were throwing ’em away. I have it in my file some way. It was buried in the paper, Chris? 19, I want to say 28 maybe. 1923. And it’s just buried in there. It’s a crime story. And the headline is Italian Kills man.
Speaker 20 (00:33:31):
Speaker 7 (00:33:33):
So that, that’s like the history of the country. The I’m a man, the Puerto Ricans, the Dominicans, the new, the newcomers now, right? Yep. That’s Get in line.
Speaker 8 (00:33:43):
That’s this country though, Charlie. It’s serious. I mean, that is this country. It’s always us versus them. Everybody. I mean, but
Speaker 9 (00:33:50):
You can’t identify it. You can’t identify as that anymore though. If Lauff wants to play it’s a little different with that name. But let’s say it was McDuff. Okay? If he wanted to play to how his grandparents or probably great-grandparents took a beat down here from the English and the other Protestants. Not anymore. Now you’re white. Shut up. Much more recent for me, right? I’m second generation in this country. My grandfather didn’t speak English. He dug ditches. Cause that’s all he could do. Next generation had one good job my father. Right? So Neva, you’re not ethnic, you’re white. Period. Don’t, don’t say you’re ethnic. Don’t say you identify as that. Don’t do that.
Speaker 7 (00:34:35):
No, no. If you’re a Irish descent, you go to Ireland, they’ll tell you get the fuck out of here. You’re not Irish. You’re, you’re a mayor. You’re white. Let me, let’s get to what Chris Cuomo’s doing. Where he is been, where he going? We going to do Luke first? Or you want me to do the reads? We can do Luke. Yeah. Oh, go ahead. Roll that.
Speaker 20 (00:34:52):
Speaker 7 (00:34:54):
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Speaker 9 (00:35:18):
Speaker 7 (00:35:21):
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Speaker 8 (00:36:24):
I’m trying to give away a pair of tickets. Sterly like we still on talk radio.
Speaker 7 (00:36:28):
This is a fucking broken down podcast. I’m giving shit up.
Speaker 8 (00:36:32):
Yeah, you should give away a pair of tickets to We got to figure it out. Where can
Speaker 21 (00:36:36):
They meet you to pick up those
Speaker 8 (00:36:37):
Tickets here? They can’t meet me at all. Oh. But you know, got to think about that.
Speaker 7 (00:36:40):
Huh? I got to give ’em away. I
Speaker 8 (00:36:43):
Leave. Let Jesus do
Speaker 7 (00:36:44):
My easy high paying media job. Here’s,
Speaker 9 (00:36:48):
Here’s a solution. Here’s a solution. Chris, make it easy for you guys. You guys are all about problems. I want to buy four tickets to your show. And now please give him away. Cause I’m not going <laugh>. Alright. I will pay you for four.
Speaker 8 (00:37:02):
Was that a
Speaker 9 (00:37:03):
Compliment or four $59 tickets. <laugh>. I want to buy 4 59 tickets. Talk about no bullshit news 59. Cause you don’t want to say 60. I’ll buy four $59 tickets and you give them away to whoever wants them. Was listening and watching the podcast. Okay.
Speaker 7 (00:37:19):
So done. There you go. So th Thursday we’re going to have a contest. Give those away.
Speaker 8 (00:37:22):
We got to have a contest, but it
Speaker 7 (00:37:23):
Needs to be somewhere. It’s the homo table.
Speaker 8 (00:37:25):
<laugh>. There you go. But it needs to be somebody that not just listens to the podcast, but also watches his show. And that can, we got to figure that out. It’s
Speaker 9 (00:37:33):
Too small on audience buying the tickets. Maybe
Speaker 8 (00:37:36):
We’ll give him to Charlie <laugh>.
Speaker 7 (00:37:39):
Yeah, I I’m going to fucking pawn ’em out front for 20. No, now, okay, so we write this down the Cuomo table for tickets.
Speaker 9 (00:37:48):
You don’t have to call it that. I’m just going to pay
Speaker 7 (00:37:50):
Oh, we’re going to call it that. And
Speaker 8 (00:37:51):
You Yeah. It needs to have reserved quo. Yeah, you need to do the whole thing.
Speaker 7 (00:37:55):
And you notice how the name of the restaurant I’m the Ammos are these people, these cuomos, these syllable,
Speaker 8 (00:38:00):
They stick together.
Speaker 7 (00:38:01):
I will people, they’re everywhere.
Speaker 21 (00:38:03):
I mean, there’s a hundred dollar meet and greet.
Speaker 9 (00:38:06):
Is there the only epic group you can make fun of A
Speaker 8 (00:38:08):
Speaker 21 (00:38:10):
What Italians are, Chris?
Speaker 9 (00:38:12):
Absolutely. If you can see, Hey Cuomo, you Italian. Hey Cuomo, you Italian, right? Hey, pizza. Hey, you can’t be No. Nobody’s going to get in trouble with you. No, you’re fine. You’re fine. It’s the only ethnic group you can do that with.
Speaker 7 (00:38:26):
Yeah. You know why we Italians, you know why we Italians wear mustaches?
Speaker 8 (00:38:30):
I don’t want know Charlie.
Speaker 7 (00:38:31):
It reminds of us, our grandma.
Speaker 9 (00:38:34):
Speaker 8 (00:38:35):
Okay. Back to the notes. Char
Speaker 9 (00:38:38):
Speaker 8 (00:38:39):
That’s a good one. Let’s put this back on track.
Speaker 7 (00:38:41):
Hey, now in case you’re just tuning in really please my, they just tune in. My new BFF is Chris Cuomo, but I’ve always respected you bro. But just doing a little research on your career. I mean, this is a, you’re like prime here. So you started at Fox News at Fox News as a reporter. Then you went to ABC News, then you anchored Good Morning America, anchored 2020. I remember you doing the heroin. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> special. That was really important to my family because my niece died in 2008 of that Mexican black tar heroin. So my family has deep respect for that. Then you went to New Day at C n and then Cuomo primetime, which was the number one show at C N N. And now you’re at News Nation. You said the show Cuomo, you want to be less partisan. And I’m going to quote you here that extremes are not America’s majority. Is that what the media’s doing? Are they pandering to the extremes? Yes. And you said, of course. Is it destroying the country?
Speaker 9 (00:39:57):
It’s too much. It is a reflection of the country. It is a magnifier of the country. The media is a mirror. And for a different metaphor can be an accelerant. But again, back to Martin Luther, look at yourself. Look at yourself. What we spend our time here is looking at everybody else. That’s the upside of tribalism is that you have a group of people who share your feeling that everybody else is killing you. And it is the key to our stagnation, which I think is the right word. I don’t think we’ve gone backwards. I don’t think we’re going forwards the way that our dream suggests. There’s stagnation maybe 40 years worth.
Speaker 7 (00:40:40):
That’s true. Now look, I’ve, I’ve been to cnn, I’ve, I’ve been on the air there many times. It’s a joyless place, Chris. I mean, it’s just an awful newsroom. And the only newsroom I’ve been to in my career that’s worse is Morning Joe. It is just beaten dogs silence, crappy carpeting. When you were at cnn, because you can hear Cuomo now, did they put you in a partisan box that Zucker put you in the partisan box to pander to the silo? Far left.
Speaker 9 (00:41:17):
No, you did.
Speaker 7 (00:41:19):
Speaker 9 (00:41:20):
Yeah, you did. It’s the people who watch, and especially in the media, which is always a problem because you’re your critic base is your competition deciding that that’s what I was, because it’s subjective. So you hear and you see what you want, and you use and hear what you want. Big problem with social media is that more is not always better. And how can it be that I’m part of some lefty silo? And at the same time I had the left eating my groin on a regular basis for having Trumpers on and giving them an audience and having anchors who I respected liked, love saying to me on air. Why did you have her on? Why did you have him on? Why are you boths it again? Why are you so equivalent? And I would always joke back, I know that some people in the audience will understand this or believe what you’re saying.
I’m the least equivalent human being you will meet. That is silly to say that about me. But it’s what serves, again, I disagree with your assessment of CNN for two reasons. One was Zucker. I do not like how he handled getting rid of me. He did not have to lie about what he knew and what I did and what I didn’t do. I never did anything to have to lie about. Explain. I don’t like that. I never did anything to manipulate media coverage of my brother. And here’s the obvious proof of that. Find me the journalist who say, I worked them for my brother’s faith. What do they not coming out? Because they’re my
Speaker 7 (00:42:53):
Friends, your own colleagues and friends over there. They piled on you pretty good, bro.
Speaker 9 (00:42:57):
Said, look, I get what some of them did because of what they were told. Charlie, I’m not the blame game, does the, I’ll never get out of it. I’ll never get out of the rage. If I want to live there. I’m not going to live there. I’m saying the media that writes Chris Cuomo, who was fired by CNN for lying about helping his brother go after accusers and manipulate media coverage. That’s a fucking lie. Okay? I never manipulated anything. And the proof is you think the media wouldn’t come out and throw me under the bus if I had worked them or asked for a favor, really then nothing about the media. And second, the people who did the job for my brother will come out in litigation and say, not only was he not part of what we believed was right to do, vis-a-vis the people making accusations, but he would constantly get on our ass about what we were doing.
So we would cut him out. So let’s put that to the side. CNN is the lefty operation. Not in my experience. Jeff Zucker wanted it that way. Jeff Zucker, even though he handled me wrong, gave me the best opportunity in my TV career. So I got to see it fair. CNN played to the left, CNN N and all of the media played it to the left of Donald Trump. But you have to be fair, he was a complete aberration of all norms that our generation of journalism had ever dealt with. He lied with impunity. He lied when the truth was a better story. And he attacked social norms, morality and decency in a way that we had never seen before. And were almost forced to police. So don’t hold out cnn. Ms. N C did the same thing. B, C, BS, B, C. They all did the same thing. They just weren’t as aggressive. Facts. I don’t think it’s a fair attack on cnn.
Speaker 21 (00:44:50):
I think, Chris, what is the difference now? Cause I’ve watched both shows and you seem, I don’t know if freer is the right word looser definitely on News Nation than you were on cnn. So what is agree, agreed. What is the difference?
Speaker 7 (00:45:04):
And if I might, that’s a good que and I’ll say this, n now that I know the guy and I talk to the man and I watch what he’s doing now,
Speaker 21 (00:45:13):
And I do like this show better,
Speaker 7 (00:45:14):
Yeah, I do.
Speaker 8 (00:45:16):
Well, but it goes back to everybody’s trying to save their behind. Whether it’s the media outlet, whether it’s your colleagues, whether it’s your critics. I mean, people fuel those fires because those fires sell. And so everybody’s trying to save their Yes, exactly. And so a different platform. Charlie, you have your own platform. You say things now that you weren’t able to say. We talk all the time about people just in this market who don’t ask questions, who don’t challenge, who play the game so that they can keep the access. I mean, I can’t imagine that it’s any different anywhere
Speaker 7 (00:45:52):
Else. So going back to Mark’s question, do you feel freer and more yourself now that y you know, have more control, I guess?
Speaker 8 (00:46:00):
Or more freedom? More
Speaker 9 (00:46:01):
Freedom. I’ve always had. I’ve always control. Maybe I have some more now because News Nation is completely devoid of groupthink. It’s a startup. So there is no culture there. It’s developing in real time. It’s got a great leader. Mike Corn was my producer for years at ABC News. He’s done all the jobs. That’s rare in a boss. Usually they’re house mice. They’re from the control room world, their management world. Mike isn’t. He’s been all over the country cover news. So that’s a good advantage. But look, here’s the truth, here’s the emotional truth. And this is what I’m my agent and my trusted people, loved ones tell me not to say anymore. Cause it don’t make people think I’m unstable. I am emotionally and psychologically beat up and changed by what I went through. I was somebody who more than anything else, identified myself as a seer.
I saw what was coming. I saw the game. I knew what was going to happen. I’d be able to tell people, be careful about this, be careful about that. This is the way they’re going to play it. This is the way it’s going to run. He’s going to react because I’ve grown up in it my entire life on both sides of the ball, the way very few people have. The idea that Cuomos have money is demonstrably false. My father was a public servant. He never made more than 200 grand a year until was I was 26 and he became a lawyer at a firm who A law firm. Oh wow. They’re so rich. Anyway, what we do have is a fortune in political perspective. I have been in the room where it happens when there is no la duff, when there is no camera about how they speak about the media and what they do with the media and how they do it with the media and why they need to.
And of course they’ve been at the top of the food chain on the other side. I know exactly why we cover it. I know why we don’t cover it. I know how we cover it. I know when we’re going to cover it. And to get my ass hit the way I did when I thought I knew how to see it coming was very destructive to my sense of self and hurt me. So I am a different person now. Do I do things differently at work? No, not per se, not. I’m going to do my job differently now. I am different. And I am coming from a place where I am so hunted and people make threats and accusations about me for money all the time now because they realize that if I’m back working, I can’t fight anything. And they’re right. So that I’m coming from a different place personally. So my show is different because I am different. Not that I was in some lefty silo. That is bull shit.
Speaker 7 (00:48:51):
Well, you were in the lefty silo. You’re saying you weren’t lefty. You said it’s a lefty silo. But
Speaker 9 (00:48:58):
I don’t think CNN was a lefty silo. I think that people on the right said that. And competitive media said that to reduce the impact that CNN was having.
Speaker 7 (00:49:06):
Oh, it’s terrible. And I even interviewed for c n and I was going to get a show and it was all set in. The eight we’re in the room and Vinny member Vinny, he goes, all right, Le, what do you think of cnn? What would you do to change it? I go, what would I do to change it? I said, Don lemon’s a drip. He’s got to go wolf blitzer. He puts me to sleep. He’s got to go. We walk out, the agent goes, what the fuck did you do? I said, I told the truth.
Speaker 8 (00:49:27):
Can’t do that, Charlie.
Speaker 7 (00:49:28):
I told the fucking truth. No.
Speaker 9 (00:49:31):
You think that’s why they didn’t give you a show?
Speaker 7 (00:49:34):
No, because I’m a fucking nut bro. But I mean just like you, everywhere I went, everywhere I go, I’m number one. I’m just going, I worked for the New York Times. I’m no left wing nut. I worked for Fox. I’m no right wing nut. I’m a guy living. And I refuse to be told what the analysis going on in here, how that’s going to change on your screen or in your newspaper. I refuse.
Speaker 8 (00:50:02):
There’s always a penalty for that, Charlie. I refuse to do it. It’s always a penalty for that.
Speaker 7 (00:50:05):
So now Chris, that’s
Speaker 9 (00:50:06):
Why you’re wearing, that’s why you’re wearing overalls in your basement, brother.
Speaker 7 (00:50:09):
I got plumbing. I got plumbing to do after this, bro. <laugh>, which is another thing. I grew up as a working person, and you want to know how I take care of healthcare? I actually work with my hands part of the week. So this doesn’t become too esoteric and highfalutin. I want to keep it back to where it belongs, which is informing my people. That’s all. Now having said that, what’s very important, and you advised your brother and everybody can Google it, whether Chris is saying, go hit accusers or not, you defended your brother. I doesn’t matter what my position in life is, I will always help my brother and I will always tell my brother the truth of what I think he needs to do. That’s what you did, Chris. Yeah,
Speaker 9 (00:51:01):
But that’s not what I got in trouble for. That’s not what I got in trouble.
Speaker 7 (00:51:06):
Speaker 9 (00:51:07):
You’re being too easy on me.
Speaker 7 (00:51:09):
I was going to get
Speaker 9 (00:51:10):
That. Here’s the, here’s what, go ahead. You just take too long. Go ahead. Hit me with it already.
Speaker 7 (00:51:15):
Would you do that again?
Speaker 9 (00:51:18):
Speaker 7 (00:51:18):
Would you advise him in front of scummy political people? Would you send emails?
Speaker 9 (00:51:25):
Yes. The only thing one of my great regrets is that I don’t know how I could have avoided this. The one argument that I came up with was I should have taken a leave. They say at cnn, I was asked to take a leave. Of course I wasn’t. If I was asked to take a leave, I would’ve had to take a leave. Okay. Zucker was a real boss. Okay but what would’ve happened if I took a lead? Would I not have been accused of these things? No. I think I would have and would’ve said he can’t come back. So I think I would’ve wound up in the same place functionally. It just wouldn’t have been as big a surprise to me because I probably would’ve been more aware of the resistance.
At the end of the day, I, they didn’t attack me because I helped my brother. That is too favorable an assessment. It’s how I helped my brother that people are getting wrong and they’re using it for high ground because they know they lose on the proposition that you just brought up. Charlie, if it, I’ve only had one person say, I wouldn’t help my brother in that situation. And it was Kara Swisher. And then I wound up having a dialogue with her brother. I was like, damn, I feel for you brother. And he invited me to their New Year’s, their Christmas Eve seven fishes thing that he does. He’s a good cook apparently. And he’s a really nice guy in my dealings with him. But that’s the only person I ever had say, yeah, I wouldn’t have helped my brother because it would’ve affected my journalism. We were raised different. I feel differently, but it wasn’t about my attachment to my family. That’s absolute. It’s about how I did it that people criticize me for. They just don’t have the facts. Right. But I’ll fix that.
Speaker 7 (00:53:08):
Let me go to your brother for a second. Okay. Here’s my thought on it. Knowing the New York media, just your brother was held up and most of ’em are liberal, right? And it was Trump versus Andrew Cuomo, and who’s a better covid? The emergency, your brother was held up and not really questioned by the liberal East coast media when it starts to come out that the nursing home count is being fudged. Whether your brother knew it or not. I mean, you could make the, I’m not even going to make that. When they found out it wasn’t true, the fact that they all had gone along with it, not done their jobs and questioned the state bureaucracy, not the governor, but the state bureaucracy. They got caught with their pants down and they were humiliated. It was a scandal. But since they couldn’t attack themselves, they went with the hashtag me too euro Bo, would you agree with that? The attack on your brother comes not from his alleged boar’s behavior with underlings and women, but the fact that the media got it wrong in the first place.
Speaker 9 (00:54:27):
Well, I think it’s all of it. I mean, the media’s not in the business of saying it did something wrong. It does use negativity as a proxy for insight. But that’s why corrections are these little bitty things in an outlet. And the headline is this big honking thing. Because they don’t want to take the beating because the rest of the media will jump on the person who apologizes or says they got it wrong. Because everybody’s trying to gain advantage because your competition is your critic base. Andrew is an and nursing home scandal which is not what people believe it to be, from my understanding, which is pretty deep. But he did not handle it well, and his team didn’t handle it well. And they let it fester and they let a narrative be developed that then would hang them. And it did. So it was that, and the allegations and the fact that he’s a Democrat.
You put an R after his name instead of a D, he’s still governor. In all likelihood. I’m not a New York because it’s hard to win as Republican. Obvious. But it was complicated. It’s complex. It’s not just one thing. Did the media have to go after him because they got it wrong? Well, maybe. But they had plenty of reason to go after him. Now, did they dig up the reasons? Did they help orchestrate the reasons? Yes. But that’s not a value judgment. It doesn’t mean that they’re false allegations. And I know people will say, that’s a weird thing to say talking about your brother’s allegations. No, I’m saying that just because I in the media find more victims or more accusers, doesn’t mean that they’re fake. So I think it’s complicated. And I think Andrew played on a team or plays on a team that has rules, and he violated the rule.
Cause remember the rule, Charlie, the rule isn’t do this. It’s don’t be accused of this. And he was accused multiple times of what you cannot survive in that party. Look at Al Franken. I still don’t know who did he ever touch? Who did he ever he even try to touch but he’s out. Why? That’s the rule in the party. And people can say due process and there’s no prime. That’s naive. It’s naive. This is about we’ve been doing this in America since we started America, which is this is the court of public opinion and people hanging you for gossip. And that’s what it is. And that’s why Andrew lost. And I saw it happening very, very early. He and his people didn’t see it. And I understand that because they were living it. And I’m in the media. So I knew this was never going to end well. Nobody wanted to hear any defense. It was over. It was just a question of when. And he eventually had to step away. And I wish he had done it much sooner for his own benefit.
Speaker 7 (00:57:20):
Now, I think you said in something to the effect of, in a deposition, in all of these lawsuits I’m going to paraphrase that there. There’s really little difference between the media and the politicals because we all know each other. That about,
Speaker 9 (00:57:38):
I don’t remember saying that, but the idea that a lot of people in the media give advice and suggestions to people in politics is a duh. It. It’s not a once in a while. It’s not a one-off. I mean, Charlie, anybody who says differently is never covered politics and is not
Speaker 7 (00:57:58):
Relevant. That’s important because you’re a big player in this country and the very smart regular working people that listen to this program know that. But for you to say it is important to them,
Speaker 9 (00:58:12):
Charlie, you’ve never had a politician who you were talking to say, I mean, is this working? I mean, do you think this is the right way for me to do it? I mean, why? What did I do wrong here? You were like, I’ll tell you what you did wrong. You should have done this and you shouldn’t have done that. And if you had done that, they wouldn’t be kicking your ass this way. Now come on, you’ve had that conversation.
Speaker 7 (00:58:30):
I, they all, so they want to hire me and Karen and you walk around your backyard. This could be a really interesting opportunity. And then you got to check yourself and say, that’s not who I’m serving.
Speaker 8 (00:58:41):
But it does happen. Charlie, having been in politics and having been on that side, it does happen. Those conversations happen. Now, the context in which they happen and whether or not how far that goes, I mean, that’s the danger of people in those positions hanging out with people in the media. Remember you say, come on Karen, let’s go. No, we aren’t going to be friends. You’re going to do your job and I’m going to do my job and we’re going to walk that line of respect. But Chris is right. It happens all the time.
Speaker 7 (00:59:07):
But I find the way you describe it, the way that you conducted yourself to be rare, but
Speaker 8 (00:59:13):
Speaker 7 (00:59:14):
Wasn’t doing it. It’s all a black widow thing where everybody’s trying to and that’s okay. Seduce each other.
Speaker 8 (00:59:19):
And I wasn’t doing it. I wasn not because that way there’s no appearance of impropriety. No. Hey, I know Karen’s hanging out with this person. Nope, Karen’s not hanging out. So we don’t even have that gray area. But it does
Speaker 7 (00:59:30):
Happen. Just so Chris knows Karen, that’s
Speaker 9 (00:59:33):
Speaker 7 (00:59:33):
There’s the kid.
Speaker 8 (00:59:35):
But it’s doable. I mean, you could blame it on your kid.
Speaker 7 (00:59:41):
No, it’s good. So we’ve all been on that side. We’ve all been on that side of things. And I want to get to the final point, but I just want to bring this up. Just we were talking before the show, Karen, and about Chris, and here’s the deal with me. No, it was you, mark. Mm-hmm. I’m going to be me. And I don’t care what that contract says or you know, work in such a thing and you have some public presence. Chris, I was joking about Fredo, but I want to say this. When a bunch of fucking punks decide they’re going to surround me and they’re going to browbeat me and harass me and stick cameras in my fucking face and call me names. Yeah. I might threaten to push you down the stairs. Oh, you know what? I might get in a brawl in Patty’s day. You can Google it, dude. You know what I mean? But I’m you. You’re not allowed to fuck with me just because I have a job. So I was actually, I found it attractive. <laugh>
Speaker 8 (01:00:42):
Speaker 9 (01:00:43):
You know what? They didn’t report
Speaker 7 (01:00:45):
Speaker 9 (01:00:47):
I show up on my boat. It’s a water restaurant. My wife is inside with her friends. They were supposed to meet me at the boat, but of course, nobody does what I want. So I got to anchor the boat. I got to walk into the water into the restaurant to get them so I can get out of there. Okay? Welcome to She restaurant in this place called Shelter Island. Not really my seat but my wife is actually popular and people love her so she can go to these places. So I am going inside to get her. I walk up the stairs and my nine year old has greeted me. At the time she was nine, now she’s going to be 13 in a couple weeks. And she says, oh, we’re upstairs. Come upstairs. She leads me up the stairs. I see these guys stop her on the way up, which is not unusual.
People talk to her all the time. She’s a funny kid. She’s a chatty kid. And I see her kind of looking at them a little quizzically, and she leaves. I walk up and one of these three assholes says Hey Fredo, will you take a picture? And I look at him, I say, what’d you call me <laugh>? And he’s like, isn’t that your name? I said, I don’t know. Is your name bitch? Tell you your name? And yeah, there’s three of ’em. And I see him size up a little bit. And as you guys don’t know I have spent more time studying how to fight and self-defense than most people have spent in school. And this is all I know. This is all I do. I see scenarios all over all the time. And here’s what was unfair to me. They called Merek to my nine year old daughter.
And all the media was told that and none of them reported it. I wonder why. I wonder why? Because it takes this thing out of me being a bully. Because I’ll give you an immutable truth. You find me a woman or a man who will say differently than this. Oh yeah, you can stop my kid who’s a kid, okay, they’re not fair. You can stop my nine year old and call me an insult to them, to my child, and I’ll be cool. Yeah, go ahead. Tell me that’s you. You’re full of shit if you say that’s you. Mm-hmm. Because they matter most to us. And that’s why I was hot. And the fact that I did not put hands on those guys is a triumph. And what I was told, because I’m the one who told CNN about what happened, I said, this is what happened.
These guys came at me, we got in the thing, the guy pulled out the camera. I was like, I’m glad you got the camera out. I want people to hear this. Three guys. You said you were going to beat my ass. You touched me. I said, don’t touch me again. That was a warning I didn’t even have to give him. As soon as he touched me, I could have used this and changed how he looked for the rest of his life. And I didn’t. And it was mature and it was the right response. I was told by my bosses, and they weren’t wrong. If you had touched them, we would’ve had to fire you. Tell my nine year old I’m Alfredo, which is insulting to me. Sorry. Sorry. It is. It’s insulting to Italians to be called that. And I don’t care what stupid Fugazi Italian says, no, it isn’t. Probably doesn’t even speak the language. He probably thinks that the Godfather is a good thing for Italians. And it’s insult. I don’t care what that
Speaker 7 (01:04:03):
Should, it’s insulting when your brother’s the governor and you’re doing C N N. You know what I mean? There is the Michael Fred.
Speaker 9 (01:04:08):
It’s insulting, period. It’s an Italian epithet. Everybody knows, but that’s not the point. The point is, I got done dirty for two reasons. One, the media had a chance to take me down. And we love taking down boldface names, especially in the media because our competition is our critic base. So it’s great for them to take you down. I get it. The second one was Trump knew that. So he started playing with it, even though he told me personally it’s not true. He told someone who told me personally, yeah, he did the right thing. Yeah, I would’ve slapped the shit out of those guys. But he said, oh, we’re supposed to be the angry ones. We’re the violent ones. Look at this guy. And then he started calling me Fredo. So the media amplified his attacks. That’s the deal in a nutshell. And that’s what happened.
Have I been called Fredo since? Yeah, but not in person. I am not somebody. I’m not the expression. I’m not the guy. I am not a pretend fake guy. It’s something that I work on a real basis to control how I feel. I have so much anger, I have so much rage about what I’ve lived through, but it’s mostly self-directed. So I don’t have a problem with Zucker. I’m going to litigate that. I don’t hate cnn. I love cnn. I think it’s the best news organization in the world. I wish them well. They were good to me. They didn’t do this to me. My boss and the new owners did this to me. Look,
Speaker 7 (01:05:39):
Obviously Zucker Zucker’s a tool. Dude, I can’t. Zucker is a tool. I
Speaker 9 (01:05:44):
Speaker 7 (01:05:44):
It. You don’t think
Speaker 9 (01:05:45):
Zucker’s a tool. I don’t like how he fired me. He didn’t need to do it that way. He gave me the best opportunities of my career. He me. He gave me the chance to create the Chris Cuomo that people know
Speaker 7 (01:05:57):
I wouldn’t on tv. I wouldn’t discount Chris Cuomo. Good Morning, America. Now that was,
Speaker 9 (01:06:02):
It’s a long time ago, Charlie. This is a very short attention span culture.
Speaker 7 (01:06:08):
So let me remind everybody like you’re doing something new now at Newton’s nations called Cuomo. It’s on at eight o’clock every night, seven o’clock central. What do you hope to be doing there, Chris? What’s the goal here? Help whom help
Speaker 9 (01:06:26):
As many as I can. I want to tell ’em things and show ’em things that they may not hear other places. To empower them as critical thinkers to remind us of our interconnectedness and interdependence on one another as human beings. To make them feel that. To show them the game that is being played on their time and with their power and with their franchise. See it in the media. See it in politics, see it. And how the media covers politics. See why it is how it is. Because it’s easy to understand for guys like us, instead of playing the game or even refereeing, I just expose it. I want to help.
Speaker 7 (01:07:08):
Do you hope to win? That’s
Speaker 9 (01:07:09):
Speaker 7 (01:07:09):
There is. Do you hope to win? I mean, I like the competition. I agree with all of that. And that’s the first goal of doing journalism. But there is the competitive nature. Okay, fine. Fine. I’m going to go
Speaker 9 (01:07:24):
Over here. I don’t think helping. I don’t think helping is the goal of journalism. I don’t believe that. I think it can be informing, but I don’t think it is. I think informing. Yeah. Yeah. I think informing. I don’t want to just inform.
Speaker 7 (01:07:35):
Don’t you want to build that into a, do you want to build that into a jugg or not? Do you want them to see, oh, you made a mistake, man. Cuomo’s going to go over here and rebuild it. Yes.
Speaker 9 (01:07:48):
Listen, say it. It’s just not how my head works. No. I’ll tell you what, Charlie, look, when I asked you to come on the show, and the reason that I wanted you on is really a reflection of what my goal is. I want people who live the truth to tell the truth. And it doesn’t matter if it’s offensive to me or anybody else, it doesn’t matter. I’ll never be what I was, Charlie. It’s never going to happen. They took that from me. I was number one on the most powerful media platform in the world. And any way you want to look at it, I was number one. I had the smallest team. I was never the face of cnn. They never used me like that in the promos. That’s Anderson’s house. And when it’s politics, it’s Wolf’s house. Now maybe Jake Tapper’s house was never my house.
All I did was succeed. I built them a morning show that made more money and had more presence in the media. Nobody can even name another CNN morning show other than New Day. I made that with Jeff. But I made Cuomo primetime successful with my team that I was never allowed to say goodbye to an office I was never allowed to clear out. That was sent to me in boxes with half my ship broken. They took that from me. I’ll never get it back. I’ll never be that guy again. I’ll never be number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on some bullshit media power list. I’m okay with that. I want to help. I know things I understand things I see things didn’t help me personally. Okay, I’m living with that. I’m dealing with that. But it’ll help you. And anybody who says that guy, he’s a hack. Put your resume up against mine. Put your resume up against mine. Anytime, anywhere. Even if you want to do something stupid like awards. There’s only one award that they give out in television journalism a means a major one that I haven’t won. Cause I never applied for it. The RFK Award because my brother was married into the family. So you want to play that game? I’ll play it. Nobody’s got the lose sight I got. But
Speaker 8 (01:09:53):
Chris, it’s about, I don’t think you ought to discount, and maybe you’re not an, I apologize if this comes across the wrong, but I don’t think you ought to discount. I mean, life and growth are things that come in some very odd ways. Sometimes bad things or things that we think that are bad actually turn out to our benefit and to the benefit of those that we seek to inform or to serve. So you know, said a while ago, you’re not the same. The show is different because you’re a different person. Maybe you are a better person and maybe now you see things differently. So to hell with CNN and the people behind you and the people, I’ve got a long list of people who have worked diligently to undermine me. And at the end of the day, they’re still in a place behind me and Charlie. And so I think you are where you are for a reason. And this could be better and bigger, and not necessarily bigger by somebody else’s standards, but bigger by reaching impact of those that you touch and those that you inform and those that you engage than maybe CNN ever could have been.
Speaker 9 (01:11:00):
I don’t disagree with you. I am coming from a different vector to the same place. I don’t believe that things happen for a reason. I think you have to figure out, well, I mean obviously there are reasons there. There’s cause and effect. But I believe you have to figure out the reason for whatever happens to you and everything that happens, positive or negative, whatever the balance is, it is an opportunity for you to do something with it. And there you’re also right that much more of what shapes us in life is often what goes wrong and what goes right. It’s hard for people to remember their successes, but they remember their formative failures. I have chosen to do that with this. I’m not going back to part of the alphabet soup. I’m not doing it. And part of the reason that I’m not doing it, she won’t want to. Did you go in the hot tub? Yeah. Cook for her. My daughter’s rehabbing from a surgery and they wanted her to start doing some hot water immersion. So we’re sending her this place so she can do that. And she’s been worried about doing it cause it hurt too much. So this is a good day. Cause you got a hot tub, something to help herself. You got a hot tub? No, I sent her to one.
Speaker 7 (01:12:05):
Maybe you can send one like give me four tickets to the white boy rig show and hot tub
Speaker 9 (01:12:11):
Tub. Hot tub. You need, what you need can’t be washed off. You understand? What I’m saying is this, you have an opportunity to do something with whatever happens, good or bad, that comes your way. That’s what I’m focused on. I fucked up a lot of things. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I did not do what I was accused of. But what gave me the peace with medication and therapy <laugh> to move my life on is the mistake I can’t make is I’m a victim. I was wronged. Nah, nah, nah, nah. Yeah, I didn’t do what they say I did. That’s true. But I have done plenty of stupid bad shit to myself, to others, to people I care about. I am no one not to suffer. And okay, I didn’t do what they say. Okay, I’ll deal with that. We’re in arbitration. I never trash cnn.
I don’t trash the situation. I don’t try to convince people of my situation. I don’t do it. Why? I’ll take care of it where it matters. And I will never do interviews about it because I do not believe anybody wants to tell the truth about it because it’ll make them look bad because they like that extra a positive phrase. Chris Cuomo fired by cnn. They like the next one because it makes me less than them in their estimation. And that’s what our business is often about. That’s okay. That’s okay. That’s amazing. I don’t have to be that way. I’m at a one-off outlet. It’s a startup outlet I have guests on who are different. You’re not going to see Charlie Lauff on CNN primetime or MSNBC primetime. The way you’re going to see him on my show, and he’s not going to talk to them the way he’s going to talk to me because he knows me.
And I don’t want to be Tucker Carlson. Tucker Carlson is playing to our worst. He’s a demagogue. And I’m against that, but I’m also not a leader and I don’t have answers for people. I just want to show you what I see. And if that means that Charlie and I go down to the border and I can show you why Fentanyl is my number one. As a guy who’s been around drugs my whole life, who’s been around addiction and worked with people in addiction my whole life, who’s watched a lot of people die and knows rehab and is part of sober communities. I’ve never seen anything like this. And it scares the shit out of me. Okay? And I’m not doing that to hype it for you. I’m talking about for my kids. I’m having conversations with my kid about how, listen, I know you’re going to smoke weed, okay?
I love thc, I love weed. You’re going to get it from me from a dispensary because I do not know that someone’s not going to fle it up trying to super boost it with fentanyl and get it wrong. And I’m going to lose you and my life will be over. So I can’t say that in a lot of places. I can say it where I am now. I can say it on the Chris Cuomo project, my podcast, which is all I thought I was going to do, Charlie, I didn’t think I was going to do TV again, as I told you. But they gave me an opportunity. They’ve left me alone. I do stories that people don’t do and they’re not esoterica. I different
Speaker 7 (01:15:07):
Takes you. You’re very good at it, dude. I mean, again, not knowing the
Speaker 9 (01:15:12):
25 years, Charlie, I
Speaker 7 (01:15:13):
Guess I didn’t know, didn’t get all the stuff you did because it’s not easy to do. And what I find impressive about you is I can talk to you, throw something out there. It’s pretty deep, been covering issues for many years and I don’t really have a lot of respect for the cable can in broadcast Barbie because there’s not a lot there. So have I said that to you, mark? Absolutely. This guy’s actually, yeah, really impressive when you speak to him so well.
Speaker 21 (01:15:46):
He seems like Chris, you seem like a guy you can disagree with and you’ll listen and realize that yeah, we all come from different perspectives, right? Different
Speaker 9 (01:15:53):
Lies. I’m also wrong a lot. I’m also just wrong a lot. I mean, the reason that I love talking to O’Reilly is the guy’s never been wrong in his life. And he’ll say to me, he’ll say to me, you can’t be wrong. They’ll kill you. Can’t back off what it is. You got to stick with it. And that’s what Trump thinks. And you know what? They’re right. It’s not true for the game. But I don’t know a lot of things. I don’t know. I don’t, I fucked up in my own life all the time. My ability to repeat mistakes is staggeringly impressive.
Speaker 7 (01:16:25):
I think staggering stuff he wants to tell me. That’s huge. Yeah. I think there’s stuff you want to tell me and we, I’ll, I’ll call you.
Speaker 8 (01:16:31):
Well then we don’t get to know what’s being said.
Speaker 7 (01:16:34):
Heaven them back.
Speaker 9 (01:16:37):
What do you want to know? Whatever You want
Speaker 7 (01:16:39):
To know what, what’s, look what you keep saying, I fucked up bad. I fucked up bad amount. Give me, give me, I have therapy in medication. What? What’d you do that’s so humiliated to yourself? Well,
Speaker 9 (01:16:50):
My therapy, therapy is a tool. My therapist is like a life
Speaker 7 (01:16:53):
Coach. What came out of that? What
Speaker 9 (01:16:54):
Did you do? Well, therapy’s ongoing. Therapy’s ongoing.
Speaker 7 (01:16:58):
Yeah, but what did you discover?
Speaker 9 (01:17:00):
Speaker 7 (01:17:01):
Dad issues, brother issues, wife issues, intimacy
Speaker 9 (01:17:04):
Issues. Everybody’s got, got all that shit.
Speaker 7 (01:17:07):
I know. But if we can hear a little bit of yours, it’s going to make us feel a little bit better, a little more superior. It’ll
Speaker 9 (01:17:13):
Help people because you were in the, no, it won’t help people, but it will help you because that’s part of being a reporter animal, is you like to pull out things that you know people aren’t used to hearing. I get it. I’m okay with that. There’s no shame in my game.
Speaker 7 (01:17:25):
But I never pull my cat out at Patty’s day. That’s a lie.
Speaker 9 (01:17:30):
Okay. Okay. Good to know. Just
Speaker 7 (01:17:32):
Say, see, I gave you one. You give me one.
Speaker 9 (01:17:35):
Well you, no, you gave me something that didn’t happen, which is a little different anyway.
Speaker 7 (01:17:40):
But my anger, the idea that me, the anger issue, bro. From childhood four brothers. Look, we
Speaker 9 (01:17:45):
Speaker 7 (01:17:46):
Three dads. We all have Dr. Phil now <laugh>. Why not?
Speaker 9 (01:17:51):
No, listen, I just had Dr. Phil on the podcast and ooh, we all have these things. It’s about how you decide to process and use them. My traumas are not impressive. Well, give me one. They are formative.
Speaker 7 (01:18:03):
Speaker 9 (01:18:03):
Judge and ignoring them.
Speaker 7 (01:18:05):
Give me one. One. Just one. Chris, I gave you
Speaker 9 (01:18:09):
One. Yeah, I’ll give you, I’ll give you one. All right. I’ll give you one that is instructive. Okay. Okay. And there have been many. I’m 52. I’ve fucked up as a parent. I’ve fucked up as a spouse. I fucked up as a friend. I fucked up as a sibling. I mean, you know, live lose and you got to learn from it. Taking a kid out of Queens, whose identity was, I’m another Italian Catholic kid from Queens played sports, was okay, got better as I got older, but was blessed with a lot of diversity. So growing up in Queens, most of the guys on my teams were black, Latino, Puerto Rican, Korean, Haitian, whatever it was. But there was a lot of colors of Benetton going on as we used to call ’em. And many of us reunited by Catholicism, but not all. There were Jews and stuff.
Also, not a lot of Muslims, not yet. But then I got plucked, no notice, 12 going on 13 formative age. And my father all of a sudden went from, I had no idea what he did for a living. No idea. To all of a sudden he’s like the man. And I’m living in a mansion. Archie Bunker. One day, Benson the next day, and you’re in a mansion. I don’t know anybody. A couple of my Puerto Rican brothers decided I thought I was somebody special after my father won. So I was like fighting a lot and I got in trouble. So now I’m in a military day school in Albany in a mansion. Oh, that really sucks. Yeah, it did suck. I didn’t know anybody. My parents went on a thank you tour around the state. My, I’m much younger than all my siblings. So I was alone in a house with a bunch of people. I didn’t know you were forgotten. And we didn’t have these smartphones. I couldn’t get in touch with anybody back home. Nobody ever answered that freaking phone. And I didn’t write letters. So it was a very formative time. Then all of a sudden, you don’t know who you
Speaker 7 (01:20:06):
Are. If I might, I mean, it’s kind of,
Speaker 9 (01:20:09):
And everybody wanted to beat my ass. Was the only kid of my military who didn’t want my name on my jersey.
Speaker 7 (01:20:14):
Is it like a abandonment issue? It’s almost, forgive the analogy, but spare like Prince Harry, right? Alright, everybody.
Speaker 9 (01:20:23):
I was the man. I was the man show. I was the blue eyed boy. I was the good looking one. I was no Harry. Alright. And I knew who my daddy was.
Speaker 7 (01:20:34):
And your mom didn’t jet around doing guys on yachts and stuff. But I hear you.
Speaker 9 (01:20:41):
But my father used to joke five for five. Charlie, he’s got five kids. He used to joke five for five. Your fascination with sex is what makes you weak. That’s what he used to say to me. And my mother would be next to him and she’d be like this. He’s not wrong. How old school? Where I came from was, okay, old school. Old school.
Speaker 7 (01:21:04):
All right bro. Well look,
Speaker 9 (01:21:05):
There’s no place to,
Speaker 7 (01:21:07):
Here’s what, listen, I’ve been thinking about the border. I got something for you. I’m going to get a hold of you and let you know what I’m thinking, what I found out.
Speaker 9 (01:21:15):
All right? And I have a tentative timeline as of last night. That’ll be confirmed today. So I’ll talk to you about the piece that I got to do. And then I am open. I mean, look, even that Charlie, sometimes in newspapers, sometimes in print, no TV anchor shares shine with anybody. It doesn’t happen. You’re always told things over the years as a correspondent, keep the intro short part of the intro we gave to fill in the blanks. So he or she can say that they know and they steal your shit and they leave you with your only answer is, well that’s right Charlie, you have it right, and that’s why blah blah blah. And then you get your little tag and you get out and they own the emotive nature of it. Then they do a guest so they can pretend that they did your reporting.
I want you to come and I want you to own to eat what you kill. And I’ll give you my platform so that people can be helped by the perspective. I don’t give a shit what it means for me. I don’t care how big news Nation gets. If they pay me what I need to be paid, that’s enough. I don’t need to be on the media list. I was there, it didn’t make me happy and nobody gave you shit. Anyway, I won the awards. It didn’t make me happy. And nobody gave a shit. Anyway. Anyway, you slice it. I was the number one guy at cnn. Anyway. Pick your metric. Nobody made the money. No, for the network.
So what did that do for me? I still got shit can. I’m still miserable. I’m still spiraling. I still have to deal in this vortex of accusations and threats and people who say things about me that I did. And I said that I never did. I never said I can’t defend myself. So none of that changes any of that. So what do I really want? I want better. Well, how do I do that? I take care of myself. I try to live going forward. I try to get my head out of my ass about the past. Past, which is really hard for me, really hard for me. I can write an essay on it, I can tell it to other people, but I always say I don’t have the answers. I’m not a guru. I’m telling you what I’ve read, what I’ve tried to put in a practice and what I keep failing at. So maybe you’ll be able to do better for yourself because I’m okay saying that. I take antidepressants, they help me, they help me. I’m 52 years old. You tell me I can take something that’s going to help me keep on muscle and keep my reaction speed up. So when Lauff gets loud and when you’re sitting in some Mexican bar, I can fucking give you kick. You know? Just quit ping with my head. He falls down. I run out. Well good. I got
Speaker 7 (01:23:40):
A hard head. I’ll take motherfucker and I can take a punch. That’s
Speaker 9 (01:23:42):
Good. That’s good, that’s good. I’m not going to punch. Youm going to hit you in your throat. You see, I’m not here to fight you. I’m here. Put you on your ex. So
Speaker 7 (01:23:50):
Better strike clean motherfucker. You got one shot?
Speaker 9 (01:23:54):
I no, I don’t want a shot. I don’t want to cry this. Cause I love you and I love what you do and I love what you’re about, Charlie. I look up to you because of how you do the work. And I mean that. That’s no bullshit. I appreciate that. 52. I don’t eat heroes. You’re really good at what you do. And I love having you in my life and I appreciate the opportunity
Speaker 7 (01:24:10):
Equally, man. And so I don’t have the jet set life. I’m romance. Hey, I told you man. I told you, but I’m,
Speaker 9 (01:24:19):
You see how they disparage men caring about each? No,
Speaker 8 (01:24:21):
No, no. I’m women
Speaker 9 (01:24:22):
Speaker 7 (01:24:22):
Want, she doesn’t understand K days. You know what I mean? Don’t
Speaker 8 (01:24:25):
Gender issues too. Don’t say that. They don’t.
Speaker 9 (01:24:28):
I’m just caring about each other.
Speaker 7 (01:24:29):
Don’t not just meet
Speaker 8 (01:24:30):
Heads. I’m I’m kidding with Charlie Chris. He knows that this is all well and fine with me other than him abruptly getting off the phone to take with me to take your call. I’m good. Everything else is fine. The right
Speaker 9 (01:24:41):
Move. <laugh> is the right move. Right move.
Speaker 7 (01:24:45):
All right. Having said that, thank you brother for the honesty and your time and get ahold of you. You as well, Karen and everybody out there. Try love one another. Consider the day. See you.