Type keyword(s) to search

The View in Review

Guest Host Jane Coaston Presses Joy Behar on Chris Cuomo: 'This is a Massive Ethical Breach'

"I'm not going to be judge and jury," said Behar. "All I'm saying is that I understand the inclination to help your brother."
  • Guest co-host Jane Coaston made her mark Tuesday morning during a discussion about Chris Cuomo. (Photos: ABC)
    Guest co-host Jane Coaston made her mark Tuesday morning during a discussion about Chris Cuomo. (Photos: ABC)

    After a quiet start, The View guest co-host Jane Coaston made her mark Tuesday morning when she pressed Joy Behar about her support for Chris Cuomo, whose private texts reveal he attempted to run interference for his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid his sexual misconduct scandal. When Behar insisted that she's "not going to be judge and jury" in the case of Chris Cuomo, Coaston reminded her that the CNN personality would be calling accountability if this were happening to anyone else. "He's in a lot of trouble," said the guest co-host. "If he were reporting on this about someone else, he'd be saying that that person should be fired."

    The View has discussed the controversy surrounding the Cuomo brothers at length over the past few months, so it was no surprise that the topic received top billing this morning. Whoopi Goldberg introduced the discussion by playing a clip of Cuomo insisting that he did not serve as an "adviser" to her brother, a claim that runs counter to the transcripts of his text messages released Monday afternoon. "Does this change the situation for Chris and CNN, or for his brother?" asked Whoopi. "What does this actually all mean?"

    "I think he's in a little bit of trouble," said Behar, who was first to chime in. "I like Chris. I know the family. I know Matilda — her husband, Mario, was a great governor, and a good family. I think he's in a little trouble here."

    "I think he's in a lot of trouble," replied Coaston, as Behar insisted she's "not done yet" with her point. Behar asked her to "hold on a second," but Coaston got in the final word as she accused Cuomo of holding himself to a different standard than other powerful people he's reported on in the past.

    "I'm not going to be judge and jury of the guy. All I'm saying is that I understand the inclination to help your brother," said Behar. However, she then changed her tune slightly, saying "You don't use your position in the media to help him. He said, 'I have a lead on the wedding girl.' That's what he called Andrew's aid. That is like, let's find out some dirt on your accuser — that's right out of some kind of defense attorney who's trying to defend somebody who committed a crime against the accuser. So, I don't think that's kosher."

    Still, Behar wasn't willing to say whether Cuomo should be fired for CNN for his breach of journalistic ethics. "Whether he should be fired for it — that's for Jeff Zucker to figure out, not me," said the longtime co-host. "But, you know, there's a lot in this story that doesn't feel right even though I do appreciate the Cuomo family very much."

    After Sunny Hostin argued that Cuomo's behavior was "unseemly" but "not illegal," Coaston reminded the panel of the stakes here. "This is a massive ethical breach," she said. "If you found out that an intern did this, they'd be gone a second after these text messages came in."

    "I think that this is an abuse of power. The only reason that Chris Cuomo was able to do any of this — he was able to get sources on some of the accusers," continued Coaston. "You see in some of these text messages how it's not just Chris Cuomo, to be clear ... you're seeing people talking about these accusers like they're just nuisances. One person says, 'Can we just fire all the women from the Governor's Mansion?' And just the ways in which power just took precedence over doing what's right—"

    When Behar insisted that Coaston shouldn't "confuse the Governor's Mansion with Chris Cuomo," Coaston fired back that the CNN anchor was "helping" in a way that cannot be ignored. "I know that they're brothers, but at a certain point, you're a person with a responsibility to your viewers — viewers who may not understand, as we've discussed, the difference between opinion journalism and straight news."

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Jane Coaston, ABC, The View, Chris Cuomo, Joy Behar