CNN talker Chris Cuomo acted every bit the goombah from Mulberry Street on Sunday when he threatened a man who called him “Fredo,” the name of Michael Corleone’s older, worthless brother in the Godfather novels and films.
In a profanity-laced tirade, Cuomo told the man that calling an Italian “Fredo” was like calling a black person the “n-word,” and threatened physical violence.
Cuomo, a ham-fisted leftist who spends a lot of time at the gym, didn’t exactly say he’d whack the offender or give him a Moe Greene Special, but he did threaten to work him over if he didn’t shut up.
CNN, Cuomo’s employer, thought the Gotti-like explosion was just fine because Cuomo, it averred, was hit with an “ethnic slur.”
That isn’t true, and Cuomo was more likely upset at the real implication of being called “Fredo.”
After the fellow called Cuomo “Fredo,” the television host lost his cool. He was, as Michael Corleone might say, “hysterical.”
“I thought that’s who you were,” the man said, as Cuomo explained who Fredo is. “Punk-a** b***ches from the right call me ‘Fredo.’ My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN.”
Fredo, Cuomo said, is “like the n-word for us. Is that a cool f****ing thing?”
“You’re a much more reasonable guy in person than you seem to be on television,” the man said.
The exchange escalated as Cuomo became more irate. “You’re gonna have a problem” the CNN host said.
“What are you gonna do about it?” the man asked.
“I’ll f***ing ruin your s**t,” Cuomo told him. “I’ll f***ing throw you down these stairs like a f***ing punk.”
Cuomo also challenged the man to swing at him and call him Fredo again.
Not a Slur
Not surprisingly, leftist CNN backed its host because he “defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.”
After that, video of CNN’s leftist Ana Navarro-Cárdenas calling Donald Trump Jr. that same thing surfaced, undoubtedly to the chagrin of Cuomo and CNN because she uttered them on Cuomo’s own program, Prime Time.
The Washington Post helpfully provided the perpetually angry Navarro-Cárdenas’ full remark.
[Trump Jr.’s] only call to fame was being his daddy’s son.... He didn’t even make the cut that his brother-in-law and sister did to be part of the Oval Office and the White House staff. Daddy kept Fredo back home.
As the Post noted, “Cuomo did not push back.”
Unsurprisingly, Trump fils tweeted this question: “Does CNN’s head of PR still think ‘Fredo’ is an ethnic slur after watching this? Because if it’s the N word for Italians like @ChrisCuomo says, I don’t understand why Chris seems so at ease with someone saying it here.”
Trump Jr. also explained what Fredo really means when used as an insult: “Hey @ChrisCuomo, take it from me, ‘Fredo’ isn’t the N word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother.”
As someone born in Rome, whose given name at his baptism in St. Peter’s was Marcantonio, who had a relative in the mob, & who loves Roman history as much as The Godfather and Goodfellas, I would like to submit my credentials as an Italian-American.
“Fredo” ≠ N-word. Not at all.
Others agreed, the Post reported.
All of which points to Cuomo’s real problem: what being called Fredo signifies.
Michael, Fredo’s brother in the film, called Fredo “weak and stupid,” and Don Vito Corleone passed Fredo over in favor of Michael as the successor to run the family’s crime empire. Fredo was also a traitor who cooperated with a rival Mafia family to bring down Michael.
In other words, Cuomo wasn’t upset about any “ethnic” insult, but instead about the implication that he was, like Fredo, the stupid, weaker brother of Andrew, the governor of New York.
“The truth hurts,” as President Trump tweeted.
“Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo”
As slurs go, the Cuomos have experience.
Some political observers believe that Andrew was the culprit behind his father’s now-famous campaign slogan in the Democrat mayoral primary against Ed Koch in 1977. Koch won, but not before Andrew, it was said, unleashed his “Vote for Cuomo, Not The Homo” poster campaign.
The Cuomos denied they did it and claimed it was the work of someone who wanted to Cuomo to lose.
Image: screenshot from YouTube video