Chris Cuomo's Name Isn't 'Fredo' So Watch What You Say
Some random jerk approached CNN's Chris Cuomo last weekend and called him "Fredo," which is not his name. Cuomo was not amused.
CUOMO: Punk ass bitches from the right call me Fredo. My name is Chris Cuomo. I'm an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from "The Godfather." He was a weak brother.
Wow, this guy pissed Cuomo off so much he started free-styling like Eminem in 8 Mile. The weaksauce explanation is that the "fan" didn't know Cuomo's real name and genuinely thought he was "Fredo" because that's what Rush Limbaugh calls him. Limbaugh hosts a (terrible) radio show. It's unlikely that the "fan" could recognize Cuomo in public without having seen him on TV. We don't buy that the guy thought Cuomo was Limbaugh's Baba Booey. He also had someone with him spontaneously recording the encounter.
Cuomo asked if the guys were Italian and explained that he considered "Fredo" an ethnic slur.
CUOMO: It's an insult to your people. It's like the n-word for us.
The guy soon dropped character and "jokingly" claimed the furious Cuomo was "more reasonable" in person than on television. Maybe he thought he could act like a common Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and not get his ass beat, but Cuomo wasn't having it.
CUOMO: You're going to have a problem.
LOSER: What are you going to do about it?
CUOMO: I'll fuckin ruin your shit. I'll fucking throw you down these stairs.
We sort of want to hang out with Chris Cuomo forever.
The video was sent to the right-wing social media account THAT'S THE POINT with Brandon. This implies the "point" was to provoke Cuomo for the LULZ. He's stated publicly that "Fredo" is a trigger word for him.
Only a complete asshole wouldn't respect this. So, cut to Donald Trump Jr., idiot son of the president. He lamented the obvious liberal media bias of CNN supporting Cuomo from orchestrated hit jobs. He later tried to get the hashtag #FakeNewsFredo to fetch. Trump Jr. -- who is not Italian -- insisted it wasn't culturally offensive to call Cuomo "Fredo," because he knows from experience that term just means "the dumb brother." Seriously. He even shared a clip of Ana Navarro referring to him as "Fredo" and an "entitled little brat." We also want to hang out with Navarro.
Junior almost has a point. We've frequently called him "Fredo" because it makes sense in context with the movie The Godfather. Fredo was Michael Corleone's older brother but was such a useless screwup, Vito Corleone kept him on a short leash and ultimately put Michael in charge of everything. It lines up to compare Junior to Fredo and Ivanka to Michael (although Ivanka is also a moron just the more favored one). That said, as far as gangsters go, Fredo was a nice guy. Junior is an asshole with a Groucho Marx mustache for a hairstyle.
It's a little different to call Cuomo "Fredo" because the only thing they have in common is their Italian heritage. The governor of New York is Cuomo's older brother, so the comparison doesn't work. It's not just that Fredo isn't very good at gangstering. Look, just watch this scene where Fredo movingly explains his lifelong frustration and appreciate John Cazale's master class performance.
Mario Cuomo didn't set Chris up in journalism because he was too dumb to work in the family business. Chris Cuomo has won a Polk and a Peabody. He has a much better shot of successfully entering politics, if he chose, than Donald Trump Jr.
We're not Italian, but we can appreciate that Italian-Americans might have a complicated relationship with the The Godfather. We think it's a perfect movie, a brilliant Shakespearean-style tragedy, but the Corleone family is a bunch of murderers. It's more than a little annoying for people to only understand your culture through the lens of a gangster movie. The Corleones also dropped the "n-word" a lot and agreed to push drugs into our communities. They weren't fans of black people, so we're not entirely on board with suggesting "Fredo" is equivalent to the racial epithet.
But we suddenly have conservatives defending the "n-word's" honor from Cuomo.
Former Trump stooge Katrina Pierson went so far as to claim Cuomo is the real racist.
But the mic drop of shamelessness came from, of course, Donald Trump himself.
This is how seriously Trump takes the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. No, you fool-flavored idiot, Cuomo would not receive a "red flag" for yelling at a jerk in a public place. That's an NRA nightmare scenario where citizens lose their guns and are banished to the cornfield for having bad thoughts. Red-flag laws are serious legislation that can save lives. It's not just a punchline for petty digs against Trump's "enemies" in the media.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He recently fled Seattle, where he did theatre work for Book-It Rep and Cafe Nordo.