Chris Cuomo Goes Full Howard Beale: “I Don’t Think [Anchoring Is] Worth My Time”

Chris_Cuomo_at_2016_Democratic_National_ConventionIn the movie “Network,” character Howard Beale famously declared on national television that “I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo, 49, reportedly went full Howard Beale on Monday on his SiriusXM show in denouncing his work at CNN, denouncing both Democrats and Republicans, and declaring that President Donald Trump is “full of sh*t.”  The CNN host is recovering from COVID-19 and appears to have emerged with something of an epiphany.  There was a refreshing, if brutal, honesty to Cuomo’s revealing remarks.

Cuomo is quoted as saying “I don’t want to spend my time doing things that I don’t think are valuable enough to me personally,. I don’t value indulging irrationality, hyper-partisanship.”

He was clear that his future plans do not seem to include his CNN gig: “I don’t like what I do professionally I don’t think it’s worth my time.” He said that he was through “talking to Democrats about things that I don’t really believe they mean” and “talking to Republicans about them parroting things they feel they have to say.”  He also said he had enough with Trump “who we all know is full of s–t by design.”

The part that many of us might relate to was Cuomo’s frustration with the life of a celebrity in not being able to tell off rude people, though he never seems to have been particularly chaste in such encounters.

He recounted how he was confronted for going outside with his family on Easter Sunday: “I don’t want some jackass, loser, fat tire biker being able to pull over and get in my space and talk bulls–t to me, I don’t want to hear it.”  He wants to be able to tell such people to “go to hell” again and “That matters to me more than making millions of dollars a year … because I’ve saved my money and I don’t need it anymore.”

Returning to his profession as an anchor, Cuomo declared “I have to tolerate people’s opinion about me because I’m a public figure. I don’t want to do that, I don’t think it’s worth it to me.”

I do not think that he was longing to be intolerant as much as unrestrained  I can respect that. I have seen past confrontations with Cuomo and it continues to amaze me that people feel that they have license to be absolutely rude to people who they see on television.

The question is how all of this goes down with CNN if Cuomo seeks to return, which certainly did not seem in the cards. There is also a question of his contract and what penalties and continued restrictions would be incurred from an early and unilateral cessation.  Cuomo hosts one of the flagship primetime shows.  A mutual withdrawal can certainly be arranged if both parties are willing. Otherwise Cuomo would be under continuing exclusive limits on his appearances under the standard talent contracts.

However, radio just does not cut it for such moments.  Any break really should be done alive and dripping in a raincoat for the full Beale effect:


99 thoughts on “Chris Cuomo Goes Full Howard Beale: “I Don’t Think [Anchoring Is] Worth My Time””

  1. I wonder if he cyclist who was approached by Cuomo’s wife will have a cause of action against the family if he contracts the disease?

    Cuono knew, or should have known as any reasonable man would know, that he was putting others at risk of harm by breaking quarantine.

    Even if the cyclist does not contract the disease hr likely will have to change his own living arrangements for the next couple weeks to protect his family.

    It seems there is a potential for liability.

  2. Chris Cuomo now says his wife is infected.

    I am sorry for her.

    But this is hardly unexpected if the reports of his reckless behavior while contagious are true.

    Taking a breather from quarantine while still active with disease for God’s sake!

    Selfish, teckless, unpleasant man.

  3. I’m wondering if he didn’t have a subclinical/undiagnosed bout of encephalitis (with his COVID). I thought the same thing was possibly causing Rudy Gobert’s bizarre behavior (which was uncharacteristic for him). it has been documented that COVID agent can cause CNS derangement.

  4. The analogy with Paddy Chayefsky’s Network is surprisingly apt. Quoting the Wikipedia article on the film:

    “Christensen convinces her boss, Frank Hackett, to slot the evening news show under the entertainment programming division so she can develop it. Hackett agrees, bullying the UBS executives to consent and fire Schumacher. In one impassioned diatribe, Beale galvanizes the nation, persuading his viewers to shout out of their windows “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

    It’s not just Chris Cuomo commercializing outrage – Matt Taibbi’s book Hate, Inc describes how CNN and other news networks fan and peddle outrage. CNN’s chyrons aren’t devoted to late-breaking news, but are designed to fan real and imagined angst in the network’s viewership.

  5. And, it was just reported today that Chris Cuomo’s fever has returned, so he wasn’t over COVID-19–it was just taking a breather before it surged again, a phenomenon that has been reported with other victims.

    So, Turley, don’t you feel a little stupid at this point for mocking a sick man who was musing about life’s priorities?

    1. She hates Turley insults him nearly every day, and yet, returns every day talking to him as if he’s waiting for her to comment so he can take his cues from her. Half the time calls him “Jon” like they are buddies.

      And she calls Trump a narcissist!

      1. I don’t hate Turley at all–I am sometimes appalled that he lends his credentials to support pro-Trumpian slop while ignoring Trump’s incompetence and lying and seeking every possible opportunity to criticize a Democrat or media figure other than those on Trump News Network (a/k/a “Fox News”). Pointing out these things does not make ME a narcissist. In this particular case, Chris Cuomo, as it turns out, is still very sick. He’s had a very rough patch, with days of high fever, rigors so intense that he chipped a tooth, night terrors, with hallucinations due to high fever (seeing his dead father) and severe myalgia (muscle pain) and arthralgia (joint pain). He was musing about his life’s priorities and those things that enrich his soul, and Turley saw this as an opportunity to make fun of him. This is beneath a law professor, IMHO.

        1. Professor Turley didn’t make fun of Chris Cuomo. Turley kept his remarks temperate and sympathetic. He largely confined himself to describing possible penalties which might accrue should CNN and Cuomo fail to agree on the manner in which he separates himself from their employ. Not a single note of schadenfreude in the entire column.

          Given that SARS_CoV2 infection has a recognized neurological component – the virus can enter the nervous system in various ways, inflicting damage, Cuomo’s attending physicians may decide he’s legitimately disabled from pursuing his previous employment. That’s up to him and his doctors.

          1. Turley said: “However, radio just does not cut it for such moments. Any break really should be done alive and dripping in a raincoat for the full Beale effect:” This was accompanied by a clip from “Network”, showing the Beale character having a nervous breakdown. Neither scenario–Cuomo’s COVID-19, or Beale having a nervous breakdown is a cause for amusement.

            You don’t think this is mocking Cuomo?

            1. No. Chris Cuomo, whether by design or accident, is recapitulating the journey of character Howard Beale in Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay for the film Network.

              CNN isn’t a news network any longer. It’s what Rolling Stone contributor and media critic Matt Taibbi calls “Infotainment”. Chris Cuomo is a leading cast member in CNN’s only-tangentially-related-to-news content.

              It’s entirely appropriate for Prof. Turley to comment on the parallels between the character Howard Beale and what Chris Cuomo does in the public eye. Both Beale and Cuomo are “Mad as Hell” and won’t take it anymore.

              Turley didn’t do more than comment on the similarity between film and real life. If those parallels seem hackneyed and overly dramatic, that’s not Turley’s fault.

      2. I didn’t know Cuomo was “taking a breather” while his infection returned.

        The breath in his “breather” is infectious and dangerous to anyone near him.

        If he hasn’t the decency to isolate himself the police should do it for him.

        Disgusting, reckless behavior.

        1. Young, that is why I don’t believe he will have an opportunity to use his name in any well known large legal firm or any firm that values its reputation.

  6. A few months ago, this story was foreshadowed when Mr. Cuomo lost his composure over someone calling him “Fredo”. Cuomo didn’t just object to being called by the name of a character from the Godfather novels and films, he screamed obscenities at the person who triggered his insecurity about his achievements compared to those of others in his family, and threatened to physically assault the other man.

    Most of us must, by law, control ourselves better than that. Celebrities such as Chris Cuomo are too often indulged in their sense of entitlement not to have their way – in Cuomo’s case, to not have his self-esteem damaged by others in such a trivial way as being called “Fredo”.

    Now, Chris Cuomo has confronted his mortality and resents the restraints on his self-actualization flowing from his very successful career. Professor Turley explained the legal pitfalls Cuomo faces if he walks away from fame, fortune, and acclaim. Maybe Cuomo chose the wrong profession, and perhaps having to hand some of the money he made back to CNN is a cheap price to get out of the public’s unblinking gaze.

    1. Boot Chris out, and ill push roll my chair on into his time slot, SNL-style.

      My show will be called Real Fake News. And I want lots of unscreened callers calling in.

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