Scott Tibbs

Chris Cuomo, "Fredo" and basic human decency

By Scott Tibbs, August 20, 2019

The "scandal" that hit social media last week after CNN anchor Chris Cuomo reacted aggressively to a man who accosted him in public demonstrates so many things that are wrong with our politics. But before I start, we should get this out of the way: "Fredo" is not an ethnic slur. Cuomo was silly to play the victim card. It undermines his argument and diminishes sympathy for him as he makes this about inter-sectional identity politics instead of basic human decency.

And basic human decency is the real issue here. If you walk up to someone who is out with his family and start insulting him in front of his wife and child, and he reacts badly, you do not get to play the victim. This is why conservatives leaped to the defense of Tucker Carlson when someone insulted his daughter, and this is why conservatives defended Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kat Timpf and Tomi Lahren when they were accosted by mobs while minding their own business in a public place.

The solution to this is simple: Leave people alone in their private lives. If we cannot have common spaces where we can go to eat, shop or socialize without being harassed by idiots looking for Internet fame or who simply dislike your political views, then the future unity of this Republic is in serious danger. What we all need to recognize is that the real villain of this story is the slimy attention whore who accosted and insulted a CNN anchor who was minding his own business and out with his family.

Of course, because he cannot stand to not be the center of attention, Donald Trump had to weigh in and draw attention to himself. This is not something the President of these United States should be doing. It diminishes the office, and it also makes him look small and petty. Even worse, the President clearly sees the "Fredo" incident as part of a broader culture war, rather than a jerk confronting someone in public simply to troll him and get social media hits. This is not how the President should behave, as he is supposed to be the President of all Americans. This is too divisive.

Obviously, Trump is right about the double standard if a conservative reacts like Chris Cuomo did. But making this a partisan battle is beneath the office of the President. Furthermore, let's also not pretend there is not a double standard on the Right. Had someone accosted and insulted Sean Hannity, Ben Shapiro or Rush Limbaugh without provocation, we would attack the troll and defend the reaction of "our guy." In fact, we already have, in the case of Tucker Carlson. Every single conservative knows this is true, so those applying a double standard to Cuomo need to stop being hypocrites.

Folks, this is ridiculous. Stop acting like this and stop excusing those who do. Be adults.

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