I like Chris Cuomo. I think he’s a good man and a good journalist.
And I feel awkward agreeing with anything uttered by that swollen orange cyst in the Oval Office. (It’s due to a Russian infection … an STD from when they f***ed with our electoral process.)
But Cuomo shouldn’t have physically threatened a man who called him a name. (You can find video of his near-altercation today with a heckler right here.) I have actually never heard the term “Fredo” employed as a slur against Italian Americans, and I’m from New York. But that’s really beside the point anyway — the severity of the insult isn’t the issue here.
To me, this is a straightforward free speech issue. The nature of the Trump supporter’s act of speech was nonviolent. Whether or not is was obnoxious doesn’t matter.
The threat Cuomo made against his detractor was explicit and credible. He threatened to “throw [him] down these stairs,” which were presumably nearby.
Suppose that I call Donald Trump “Benedict Donald” (the obvious play on “Benedict Arnold” that has been making the rounds on the Internet for a long time now). Or consider me calling him a “swollen orange cyst” above. Should Trump or one of his supporters have the right to threaten to “throw me down the stairs?”
I know it sucks, but those of us who oppose or criticize Trump need to hold ourselves to the same standards to which we subject the other side — that is, if we wish to consider ourselves free speech advocates. I’m just trying to be intellectually honest here. If we support free speech across the board, then we have to support all of it.
On a related note, I see that Sean Hannity defended Cuomo on Twitter, and said “he has zero to apologize for.” This strikes me as particularly gracious gesture on Hannity’s part — crossing the cultural divide to support another journalist. And here I am being a stick in the mud.
All of my admitted emotional biases are confused here.