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CNN will turn to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as CNN host takes sudden vacation

CNN host Chris Cuomo was nowhere to be found Friday night at 9 p.m. EST, the time when he typically hosts his primetime politics show on the cable news network. And he will be missing in action for at least the next week.

In fact, CNN viewers will be met by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) next Monday during Cuomo’s primetime show.

What are the details?

Amid growing controversy over the role that Chris Cuomo played in the sexual harassment scandal of his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Cuomo departed his day job on Friday reportedly for a “pre-planned vacation.”

CNN’s Michael Smerconish substituted for Cuomo on Friday.

According to the New York Times, Chris Cuomo allegedly previewed the vacation on his CNN podcast, which he hosts with fellow CNN host Don Lemon.

“Every year I take my birthday week off … I’m looking forward to it,” Cuomo, who will be going to the Hamptons, reportedly said. “I’ll be fishing, I’ll be hanging out with you, and I’ll be making memories with the kids.”

The timing of the vacation just so happened to conveniently coincide with growing demands for Gov. Cuomo to resign or be impeached and Chris Cuomo to be fired from CNN.

After New York Attorney General Letitia James announced this week that Gov. Cuomo had violated state and federal laws by sexually harassing nearly a dozen women, a report detailing the evidence against Gov. Cuomo revealed the role that Chris Cuomo played in helping his brother navigate the scandal. In fact, as NBC News noted, a statement released by Gov. Cuomo in February addressing the allegations “mirrored, nearly word for word,” an email that Chris Cuomo had sent to Gov. Cuomo’s then-chief of staff just prior to the statement’s publication.

What about AOC?

CNN announced in a press release that the first episode of a documentary about Ocasio-Cortez, called “Being…AOC,” would begin airing next Monday during Cuomo’s show.

The press release stated:

In the first episode, [CNN host Dana] Bash speaks to Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who gives one of her most personal on-camera interviews to date, opening up about her unique perspective on power and femininity, what drives her, and how threats against her and her previous experience with sexual assault impacted her perspective on January 6th.

Will Chris Cuomo be fired?

CNN has not commented publicly on Chris Cuomo’s role in Gov. Cuomo’s scandal.

The network, however, previously addressed a Washington Post story that revealed in May that Chris Cuomo had been involved in strategy calls with his brother’s staff. CNN said “it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges,” and added that Chris Cuomo “will not participate in such conversations going forward.”

At the time, Chris Cuomo apologized to his CNN colleagues for participating in such meetings — but not to CNN viewers.

“When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers that did include some of his staff, I understand why that was a problem for CNN,” he said. “It will not happen again. It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here who I believe are the best in the business in a bad spot. I never intended for that. I would never intend for that, and I am sorry for that.”

Despite the breach of journalism ethics, CNN said Chris Cuomo would not be disciplined.

After Chris Cuomo’s extensive involvement in Gov. Cuomo’s scandal was further publicized in the New York attorney general’s report this week, CNN only pointed media to previous statements the network had issued, BuzzFeed News reported.

All indications, therefore, suggest that CNN is standing by Chris Cuomo.

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