Is “Fredo” an ethnic slur? Was CNN’s defense of anchor Chris Cuomo sexist? Did Donald Trump Jr. just confess to being the Trump family’s Fredo?
Everyone from the Trump boys to KISS’ Gene Simmons, Meghan McCain, Anthony Scaramucci, Tom Arnold and Alec Baldwin are weighing in on the viral video of Cuomo engaged in a loud, obscenity-filled argument with a bar patron. Tha man approached Cuomo and his family and called the CNN star “Fredo,” an apparent reference to The Godfather saga’s doomed, weakling brother (played to perfection by the late John Cazale, whose birthday was yesterday).
After both Sean Hannity and Donald Trump tweeted about the incident – taking opposite sides, for once – other responses started flooding social media, including some unexpected Cuomo support from conservatives like Hannity, Corey Lewandowski and the Mooch.
And Trump was none too pleased with anyone defending the CNN anchor, even conservatives who complained when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was publicly harassed.
“It always happens!,” Trump tweeted in a day-long obsession with the incident. “When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News. But when a Liberal Democrat like Chris Cuomo does it, Republicans immediately come to his defense. We never learn!”
CNN haters, unsurprisingly, took the opportunity to assail Cuomo for everything from his language to his own prior references to the Godfather character, while supporters said the off-duty anchor has every right to defend himself against barroom fools and social media provokers.
The View‘s Meghan McCain pondered how different a network’s reaction might be if a female anchor had used Cuomo’s language. “However you feel about Chris Cuomo’s behavior today,” she tweeted, “there’s not one woman in ALL of media who could be filmed in public on an obscenity filled tirade and be supported by their network and public the way he is right now. Men get to be tough and swear, women are ‘unhinged’…”
Donald Trump Jr. had two of the day’s odder reactions, in one retweeting an absurd suggestion that Cuomo’s use of the word “punk” during the argument was a homophobic slur, and in an earlier tweet seeming to express solidarity with the Fredos of the world.
“Hey @ChrisCuomo,” Trump Jr. tweeted, “take it from me, ‘Fredo’ isn’t the N word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother.” He followed the comment with a winking emoji. The president’s son has been compared to the hapless Corleone in many memes, some of them resurrected in the wake of the Cuomo incident.
Here’s a sampling of social media reactions to Fredogate. We’ll start with Cuomo, Trump (not including his many retweets on the subject) and Hannity to set things up.
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