Everyone loves a good bit of gossip, and none more so than those of us who work in the industry. Welcome to Unreliable Sources, where you'll find the juiciest scandals, most shocking stories, and buzzy bits of info currently circulating in the halls of power throughout American culture. If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me ...
CNN … Cable News Network or Comedy News Network? The Chris Cuomo debacle has left the network and many of its people with egg all over their face.
In this edition of Unreliable Sources, we’re going to break down the laughable drama and unleash the laughable gossip swirling around the supposed worldwide leader in news as it became what every news organization fears … becoming news itself.
As everyone knows, the brother of former New York Love Gov. Andrew Cuomo was fired late Saturday for misleading the Comedy News Network about the extent of the role he played trying to mitigate the sexual harassment accusations that took down the Democrat lawmaker.
The decision reinforces that CNN is the only major cable news channel without a woman in its primetime lineup.
Enter Katie Couric.
Whispers in the corridors of power at the Comedy News Network suggest Couric has already laid a full-court press on Jeff Zucker, the man who ultimately made the decision to fire Conflicted Cuomo.
She wants the job, Unreliable Sources has been told. Couric hungers “nothing more than return to a high-profile anchor seat” and she and Zucker have worked together dating back to her time at the TODAY show.
But therein lies the problem for Couric.
At age 64, and with the chance of ever getting a plum gig gone after a vaunted career, Couric delivered a parting shot to the industry with a snarky industry tell-all published in October.
In it, she torched Martha Stewart, Bryant Gumbel, Deborah Norville, Diane Sawyer, and Ashleigh Banfield, among others.
Perhaps she regrets Going There, which was the title of the tome.
It’s therefore laughable to think Couric will be chosen to replace Conflicted Cuomo at the Comedy News Network.
As this website previously reported, Comedy News Network media correspondent Brian Stelter — whom FOX News’ Sean Hannity affectionally refers to as Humpty Dumpty — is angling for the gig.
Let’s stop right here. The idea Humpty Dumpty is primetime material is so laughable this columnist just fell off the wall.
OK, I’m back forthright after that great fall.
Firstly, Stelter would have to rally all the king's horses and king's men if he wants to replace Conflicted Cuomo.
Secondly, Stelter’s reporting on the very scandal at the center of this column raises serious questions about the credibility of the Reliable Sources host and the reliability of his snitches.
It was only last Friday that Stelter told CNN's New Day host John Berman that it was “possible” Conflicted Cuomo could be back on the job shortly after the holidays.
“We're heading into a holiday season. I think it's possible he will be on the bench for several weeks. It's possible he'll be back in January,” Stelter said.
Consider this. Stelter could look to his left and right at CNN’s Hudson Yards HQ for an avalanche of sources on the topic of Conflicted Cuomo … yet he still cocked it up.
The notion that the Comedy News Network fired Conflicted Cuomo because of an anonymous sexual misconduct claim tabled in the days after the scandal broke is laughable.
That’s called retrospective convivence.
One could only imagine the ‘Pressure’ that was on the Comedy News Network’s two most senior executives who had to make the call to jettison Conflicted Cuomo.
Fortuitously, Zucker and his right-hand woman, Allison Gollust, the network’s Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer, took in a recent Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden as the photo below proves.
You have to feel for Zucker and Gollust: they didn’t start the fire … but the drama at the Comedy News Network is bound to burn on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on.
(PS: The man behind them to the right, Don Lemon, isn’t going to get his old pal’s primetime slot. We’re reliably told the frontrunner is Jake Tapper.)