Chris Cuomo threatened to "ruin" a heckler and throw him down the stairs during a heated exchange after the man insulted the CNN anchor. A profanity-filled video captures Cuomo arguing with the individual before both men were separated. In the footage, the "Cuomo Prime Time" host, who is of Italian heritage, confronts the unidentified person after the man called him "Fredo."
The term comes from "The Godfather," where it's the nickname of Frederico Corleone, the least successful sibling in the mafia family. Cuomo, whose brother is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, equated the reference to the N-word for black people.
"Only punk **s bitches from the right call me Fredo," Cuomo said. "Fredo is from 'The Godfather.' He was a weak brother. And they use it as an Italian aspersion. Any of you Italian? It's a f***ing insult to the people. ... It's like the N-word for us."
The man claimed he didn't know who Cuomo was and thought Fredo was his name, but the newsman called him out for not owning up to it. "Don't f***ing insult me like that!" Cuomo said. "You know my name's not f***ing Fredo."
The argument escalates as the man retorts, "What are you going to do about it?" and tries to bait Cuomo to hit him.
"I'll f***ing ruin your sh*t," Cuomo said. "I'll f***ing throw you down these stairs like a f***ing punk. ... Take a swing, c'mon boy." As the man argues back and others crowd around them, Cuomo continues, "You want to call me sh*t, call me sh*t then. I'm f***ing right here. I'll f***ing wreck your sh*t. You didn't know what you were doing when you called me Fredo?"
At the conclusion of the video, as another man tells them to break it up, the heckler said, "Look at all these cameras. You're in for it. You're for it."
"In for what?" Cuomo replied. "You called me 'Fredo.'"
The video originally appeared on the YouTube channel "That's The Point with Brandon," which described it as "footage sent in by a fan" and called the man a photo-seeker and listener of Rush Limbaugh.
Warning: The video below contains profanity and language not suitable for all readers.
CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic issued a statement in support of Cuomo. "Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him."
Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity, whose "Hannity" show airs at the same time as Cuomo, backed his CNN rival.
"I say good for @ChrisCuomo," Hannity tweeted. "He's out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jackass in front of his family. Imho Chris Cuomo has zero to apologize for. He deserves the apology."
"Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?" he added. "Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn't be allowed to have any weapon. He's nuts!"