CNN's Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon laughed Monday night about the headline-grabbing altercation caught on video last week in which Cuomo threatened to throw a man down a flight of stairs for calling him "Fredo" — a reference to the weak brother in "The Godfather" movies that an incensed Cuomo claimed amid a flurry of F-bombs is "like the N-word" for Italians.
Image source: Twitter video screenshot
During the transition between their programs, Lemon noted how much time he spent with Cuomo last week before Cuomo noted, "I had a very eventful week. I think that the only time I wasn't with you I really should have been with you." Which got the pair laughing.
Image source: MRC-TV video screenshot
"I would have been in a lot better position right now," Cuomo added.
"Actually, I was there," Lemon reminded him. "I did not see it, remember?"
"Good time not to see," Cuomo noted.
"I should have been there," Lemon added.
At the end of his program, Cuomo made reference to the "Fredo" altercation by telling viewers, "All right, no secret how I spent one particular afternoon on vacation, and there is nothing to add. Except to say thank you. Thank you to all who reached out in person, who sent messages. I appreciate it. That includes Mr. [Sean] Hannity and Ms. [Rachel] Maddow. They acted as colleagues, not competitors, and I won't forget it. In fact, I'm not gonna forget, and I will use all of the feedback. Because the key is for us all to be better, and that starts with me."
What's the background?
During last week's altercation, Cuomo actually sounded more like Fredo Corleone's hot-tempered brother Sonny, eschewing his TV anchor tone for a vocal inflection that sounded right off the rough streets of New York City: "Punk a** b***hes from the right call me Fredo ... It's a f***in' insult."
Cuomo also told the heckler, "I'll f***in' ruin your s**t" and "I'll f***in' throw you down these stairs like a f***in' punk."
Here's the clip. (Content warning: Language):
CNN immediately backed Cuomo's actions, saying he "defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him."
The day after video of the altercation hit social media, Cuomo hopped on Twitter and admitted his behavior wasn't the best.
"Appreciate all the support but — truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me," Cuomo wrote. "This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose."
Oh, and about Cuomo's assertion that "Fredo" is an Italian slur? He once jokingly asked during a radio interview if he's "Fredo."
The New York Post said Cuomo was interviewed by Curtis Sliwa in January 2010 regarding if his brother Andrew might seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
"There is a group of people — politicos — who always hint that they might run but don't necessarily plunge all the way, and they are members of la Cuomo Nostra," Sliwa quipped.
"So who am I then, Fredo?" Cuomo answered.
"Yes, exactly," Sliwa replied. "So you better be careful that your brother Andrew doesn't kiss you on both cheeks and then all of a sudden they take you out into the middle of the lake and then, 'Where's Chris?'"
CNN's Chris Cuomo refers to himself as "Fredo" in 2010 interview with Curtis Sliwa youtu.be