I know it may not seem like it, but I’ve been inclined to cut Chris Cuomo a bit of slack this year.
It’s been a rough 2021 for the CNN host. In January, the New York state attorney general announced his brother’s administration had undercounted COVID-19 deaths in New York state by up to 50 percent and began an investigation. Evidence emerged of a cover-up and, on top of that, the elder Cuomo brother faced a host of sexual misconduct allegations.
This didn’t directly affect Chris Cuomo, but the journalistic ethics and optics of Andrew Cuomo’s frequent visits on his brother’s CNN show suddenly soured. It was enough to make you not want to call the poor sap “Fredo” for a while.
And then he went on air Monday and told all of us pro-lifers we were all motivated by “white fright” and it was just like taking voting rights away. So, Fredo it is — if, in fact, he still even deserves that.
The rant in question came in the midst of Cuomo’s “BOLO” segment; the acronym stands for “Be on the Lookout.” This would actually be “BOTL,” but that doesn’t scan too well. Anyhow, as most Americans who watch CNN or pay attention to any major news source are likely aware of, they need to BOLO/BOTL for Dobbs v. Jackson Mississippi Women’s Health Organization, the first major abortion case to come before the Supreme Court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed in October.
The case involves a Mississippi law that bans the termination of pregnancy after 15 weeks. The decision could reshape Roe v. Wade and/or Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 case that imposed a judicial test stating any law that placed an “undue burden” on a woman obtaining an abortion was unconstitutional. Both invented rights whole-cloth out of the 14th Amendment, and both could be on the proverbial chopping block now that there’s a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. (That reduces to 5-4 when you consider how often Chief Justice John Roberts finds some jesuitical reason to side with the court’s liberal members, but that’s still a 5-4 majority nonetheless.)
The left is freaking out over this one — and perhaps no prime-time pundit has gone so far as Cuomo, who dragged race and voting rights into this during a Monday jeremiad.
“Legally, the issue is fetal viability. When does what is inside a woman become a person with rights under the law? You would think we would’ve empaneled experts on a special commission by now to see what the science says, right? But we don’t seem to have the intellectual curiosity about this issue,” Cuomo said during his Monday screed.
And why is that? “Because it’s not really about science. It has become a culture war. It’s a political lever to use as a distraction from policy and solving problems, to allow people to get up in their religion and righteousness over any sense of what science suggests.
Is Roe v. Wade constitutional?
Yes: 0% (0 Votes)
No: 0% (0 Votes)
“Though, medical capabilities may be moving the point of viability well short of where it was assumed to be in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. So, you’d think some of the proponents of harsher measures would want the science involved,” he continued. “Most Americans want the court to uphold Roe v. Wade, which found women had liberty over their own body as a right to privacy – a privacy right under the 14th Amendment. Sixty-two [percent] uphold, 24 overturn.
“But again, it’s not about science or consensus. It’s about dividing lines, legislating to the far-right white-fright vote. Flooding the zone with 536 bills that abridge a woman’s right to control her own body in 46 states. It’s just like voting rights in one way. You see? It seems like the far-right only cares about protecting humans before they are born.”
Well, I’ve changed my mind — although not about Dobbs v. Jackson Mississippi Women’s Health Organization. Instead, I’ve decided it’s high time to stop cutting Chris Cuomo any slack, and that includes calling him Fredo. He doesn’t deserve it.
John Cazale was the actor who played Fredo Corleone — the jealous, intellectually enfeebled brother of Michael Corleone in “The Godfather.” Sure, the character he played fits Chris Cuomo, but with the possible exceptions of Chadwick Boseman and James Dean, no other thespian left a bigger void from an early passing than Cazale did. By the time he died at 42 of lung cancer, his diverse oeuvre included brilliant supporting character work in “The Conversation,” “The Deer Hunter” and “Dog Day Afternoon.” All five feature films he starred in were nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and that was back when that meant something.
In short, there’s no need to sully Cazale’s memory by associating him with this febrile hack, as much of an aptronym as “Fredo” might be. (Also, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s status as a Michael Corleone-type figure isn’t quite what it was, but that’s beside the point.)
Cuomo starts his BOLO rant by insinuating Dobbs v. Jackson should be decided by a panel of experts “on a special commission … to see what the science says.” Aside from the fact that’s not how the Constitution works, the reason there’s any question in the first place is that there’s a whole range of opinions regarding “what the science says.” But then, he doesn’t go on to cite any science.
He cites a poll that says Americans want to keep Roe v. Wade, which allows abortion nationwide with certain strictures. Mississippi’s law is simply testing these strictures by banning abortion after 15 weeks. If this seems harsh, draconian, misogynist and racist, consider we’re one of only seven countries worldwide that allow abortion after 20 weeks, as The Washington Post notes. That puts us in the fine company of China and North Korea. Apparently, though, taking away the right to abort your child whenever you want puts us into “Handmaid’s Tale” territory.
But then, concern about when a child is aborted isn’t “about science or consensus,” but instead about “legislating to the far-right white-fright vote. Flooding the zone with 536 bills that abridge a woman’s right to control her own body in 46 states. It’s just like voting rights in one way. You see?”
No, I don’t. And this is nothing but fact-free fear-mongering which plays to the far-left white-fright vote. After all, there’s a reason why, as the Media Research Center pointed out, Planned Parenthood “had its roots in racism and bigotry, with founder Margaret Sanger targeting black communities with her eugenics organization.”
“And to this day, Planned Parenthood deliberately targeted minority communities,” MRC noted.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the worst part of this rant. Hiding behind science while putting forth no science to defend it? Calling any pro-life conservative a “far-right white-fright” type, apparently because we want to stop Planned Parenthood from targeting minority babies for death? A strange parallel with election integrity legislation — which, like banning abortion after 15 weeks, is apparently just a feint by conservatives to take minorities’ constitutional rights away?
Actually, the worst part is watching Chris Cuomo try to act like he believes all of this blather. John Cazale would have done a better job.
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