Fredo Launches ‘The Chris Cuomo Project’ ‘My Goal Here is Fairness’

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We finally got an answer to the question of whether or not Chris “Fredo” Cuomo would be making a return to television. On Thursday, the fired CNN host launched a new podcast called The Chris Cuomo Project, a “collaborative enterprise” where he can be more “real” and “authentic” without having stories “massaged to stay on message, no one is telling me to stay on a story even if I think it’s been run into the ground. Nobody is going to encourage the stoking of flames I believe should be smothered.”

Cuomo began by thanking his supporters and saying he didn’t want to “re-litigate what was said and done involving my brother [disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)].” And noted, “there are some outstanding legal fights [with CNN] that I have to respect.”

Sounding like he’s in the mafia, Cuomo defended what he did for the family: “But let me be clear, I really do regret how everything ended. But I will never regret helping my family. I promised my father I would always be there for my brother.” Cuomo didn’t address his attempts to intimidate at least one of his brother’s sexual misconduct accusers.

And despite that ongoing lawsuit with CNN for the rest of his contract, Cuomo said he would “never be a hater” of his former network because “CNN has great people” and “has a great purpose.” “And I wish them all the best and I miss so many of the people there. But, it’s time for me to move on. And I believe I can be more than I ever was before,” he added, apologizing to his former Cuomo PrimeTime crew.

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Speaking about the future of his new endeavor, Cuomo declared, that “being a reliable source of information and analysis for you, matters to me a great deal.” “My goal is to help all of us get to a better place. I know there are solutions. I know there are better ways that we can speak to each other,” said the guy who said protests didn’t have to be peaceful.

While explaining how this new platform would allow him to be more “real” and “authentic,” Cuomo did throw CNN under the bus just a bit, suggesting they were stoking dangerous fires:

These words are my own. That have not been massaged to stay on message, no one is telling me to stay on a story even if I think it’s been run into the ground. Nobody is going to encourage the stoking of flames I believe should be smothered. I’m done with that game.

And it is a game. It’s measured minute-by-minute for what resonates, processed by groups of pros before being relayed to those who present to the audience.

But that didn’t stop him from touting how “our media is good and strong. I believe it’s the best I’ve ever seen this world.” “Are there problems? Yes. Are they getting worse? Yes. I know what they are, I’ve struggled with them myself, and I can show them to you in real-time in situations that matter,” he said. “But my goal is not some gotcha contest.”

Moving on to pitching his brand of so-called journalism, Cuomo noted that “journalists don’t usually share personal opinion or positions” because “it’s a nod to impartiality” and “it also keeps them out of trouble.” But he then wondered: “maybe the time has come to be more transparent.”

“My goal here is fairness,” he proclaimed. He then suggested that even if he didn’t agree with an argument “I will also give you that argument on its best footing. I’m not going to cherry-pick facts and find ways to make somebody else’s opinion seems weak so mine seems stronger. That’s not my game.”

But that was his entire game plan for years on CNN. Like when he claimed there’s a “through-line” from the Tulsa Race Massacre to today’s Republican Party.

After a rundown of his family history explaining why he would always defend his family and their connections were a boon, the rest of the nearly two-hour podcast covered the war in Ukraine. It featured conversations with his radical lefty actor/filmmaker friend Sean Penn and President Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, Andrii Yermak.

Now, Cuomo has put forward some lofty-sounding ideals. But his history doesn’t really support his capacity to reach them. We’ll see how he does.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

The Chris Cuomo Project
July 21, 2022
0:00:01

CHRIS CUOMO: Hello. I’m Chris Cuomo and welcome to my home.

First, thank you! Thank you for being here and thank you for all the good thoughts. Thank you for checking in on me and the family, and for telling me to get back here. I really appreciate all of it more than you can imagine.

I’m sorry it took this long. But, as you may know, this has been an interesting few months for me. Hardship, yes. But also a renewed sense of purpose.

Now, for me, the past is the past and there is no benefit to you if I re-litigate what was said and done involving my brother. And there are some outstanding legal fights that I have to respect.

But let me be clear, I really do regret how everything ended. But I will never regret helping my family. I promised my father I would always be there for my brother. And I always will be. Just like he has always been there for me. Just like my sisters have been there for me and have been there for him. That’s family.

Now, still, there is loss and there’s sadness. Being a reliable source of information and analysis for you, matters to me a great deal. And I’ve really missed being able to communicate and help; especially such wild times for all of us.

As for CNN, I’ll never be a hater. CNN has great people. CNN has a great purpose. And I wish them all the best and I miss so many of the people there. But, it’s time for me to move on. And I believe I can be more than I ever was before; especially with your help.

But before we get to now, I do have to recognize one group of people: my amazing team. The people who made my show number one at CNN from jump and kept it there, they never get the credit they deserve. It’s always about the hair and the teeth; the people on TV. I didn’t get to say goodbye. And I am sorry about that. I’m sorry that circumstances made it impossible to tell you face-to-face how much each and all of you mean to me. I just want to say thank you very much for everything you did for me and for the audience. So, I am back and I am here to help anyway that I can personally, professionally.

That is what the tumult of the past few months has reminded me, has taught me, has galvanized in me. I took the time to refocus to refocus to rethink what matters, how can I make a difference; in my life personally, for my family, for the people I care about, and for you. Especially in uncertain and dangerous times.

And they are. I don’t want to sound like some politician, ‘cause I’m not. But all of us can just look around and there are a lot of things that we have to know more about and talk about and understand and fix.

Now, to many of you I probably sound different than you remember. Or many, that you expected. And that’s because I am. Now more than ever before, I’m talking to you as me. I’ve always been real and tried to be authentic when it comes to how I speak to you on television. But be very clear, these words are my own. That have not been massaged to stay on message, no one is telling me to stay on a story even if I think it’s been run into the ground. Nobody is going to encourage the stoking of flames I believe should be smothered. I’m done with that game.

And it is a game. It’s measured minute-by-minute for what resonates, processed by groups of pros before being relayed to those who present to the audience. And I’ll tell you more about that, but be clear, again, I’m not pitching some kind of conspiracy BS. Okay? Our media is good and strong. I believe it’s the best I’ve ever seen this world.

Are there problems? Yes. Are they getting worse? Yes. I know what they are, I’ve struggled them myself, and I can show them to you in real-time in situations that matter. But my goal is not some gotcha contest. It’s not to say “don’t listen to them, listen to me!” Anyone who tells you that has an agenda of their own and they’re just trying to get paid, just trying to be relevant.

My goal is to help all of get to a better place. I know there are solutions. I know there are better ways that we can speak to each other; dialog, which means listening. There are changes we can make as a group and yes as individuals. That’s why I’m back. That’s why I’m reaching out. And that’s why I’m asking for more of you to recognize yourselves as free agents.

Okay. A Free agent to me is someone who’s not tied to any party, or team, or tribe. You’re not burdened by affiliation or agenda or dogma. You have an open mind, an open heart, and you’re willing to listen. To learn why others agree and disagree, that you are open to at least the possibility that someone who thinks differently than you may know something that you don’t.

So, welcome to The Chris Cuomo Project! Okay? I want you to be able to benefit from what I know about why the media covers things the way they do. But also about why politicians operate the way they do.

And I mean that. Operate, they’re operators. I’m not being cynical but we’ve got to be skeptical. We have to look at why things the way they do. I want to share experience that I’ve had and I want hear about experiences you’ve had. I believe we can help each other. I believe we can help others. And I know damn well it’s worth the effort. And I’ll make it every time out. That I guarantee.

Chris Cuomo Project. Why? I call it a project because a project is collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim. That’s the definition. And for me, that definition is you and me sharing information, share experience that lead to insight to help us reach better understanding of what’s coming at us from everywhere else.

I really see this as a chance to bring all I have seen and learned – bring it all to bear in a positive way.

(…)

13:40

Now, why here? This space is a little different. And digital is the future. That’s not because mainstream media is bad, in my opinion. It’s because that access to ability to create and communicate is expanding and it’s expanding reach and it’s expanding our ba – our ability to interact. And I know that people want alternatives. And I want to provide one.

Again, not because I think that your other choices stink. I’m not in that game. I just know that what I can offer is different. And I hope for you in some why, better. Okay?

Now, part of that is I have to change. I mean journalists don’t usually share personal opinion or positions. Right? It’s a nod to impartiality. It also keeps the out of trouble. But maybe the time has come to be more transparent. My goal here is fairness.

Now, I may not agree with an argument. And I’ll tell you that. But I will also give you that argument on its best footing. I’m not going to cherry-pick facts and find ways to make somebody else’s opinion seems weak so mine seems stronger. That’s not my game.

So, transparency, okay. So, here’s the deal. I’m a Cuomo and I’m proud of it.

(…)

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