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Heckled as 'Fredo,' Chris Cuomo Blows His Top

CNN anchor was seen in viral video getting into confrontation with heckler on Long Island
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2019 8:07 AM CDT
In this Nov. 10, 2015, file photo, Chris Cuomo arrives at the Stand Up for Heroes event in New York.   (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Chris Cuomo was involved in an expletive-filled confrontation on Long Island over the weekend after a man referred to the CNN anchor as a much-mocked character from The Godfather. Mediaite reports Cuomo was at a Shelter Island bar Sunday when an unidentified man reportedly called the 49-year-old newscaster "Fredo," an apparent reference to the weak Corleone son. Someone recorded the encounter, and on Monday night that video was circulated by what the Washington Post calls a "right-wing YouTube channel." "Punk-ass bitches from the right call me Fredo," an agitated Cuomo can be heard telling the man. "They use it as an Italian aspersion. Any of you Italian? It's an insult to your f---ing people. It's like the n-word for us." When the man asks, "What are you gonna do about it?," Cuomo responds, "I'll f---ing ruin your s---. I'll f---ing throw you down these stairs like a f---ing punk."

Many cringed at Cuomo's comparison of "Fredo" to the racial slur. "Nothing is comparable to the n-word," journalist Yashar Ali tweeted. Donald Trump Jr., meanwhile, who's been called Fredo himself by pundits, jumped into the fray, tweeting, "Hey @ChrisCuomo , take it from me, 'Fredo' isn't the N word for Italians, it just means you're the dumb brother." Coming to bat for Cuomo, perhaps surprisingly: Sean Hannity. "I say good for @ChrisCuomo," the Fox News personality tweeted. "He's out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jackass in front of his family. ... [Cuomo] deserves the apology." Cuomo's workplace is similarly backing him. "Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup," a CNN spokesman says. "We completely support him." (Read more Chris Cuomo stories.)

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