CNN’s lead anchor Chris Cuomo found himself in deep trouble on Wednesday after he was accused of mocking a rape survivor — as well as all women who want to use firearms to protect themselves.
It all started when the National Rifle Association posted a video by rape victim and nationally acclaimed rape survivor advocate Kimberly Corban speaking about how she’ll never be unarmed again. She gave her own story about being assaulted by a stranger before revealing that she carries a gun now and is thankful to the NRA for fighting for her right to protect herself.
“Now I’m a mother of two,” Corban said in the video. “And if that predator, or anyone else, tries to harm me or my family, they have to come through my firearm first. I will never be unarmed and utterly vulnerable ever again.”
“Only in America,” Cuomo replied without further explanation.
Based on Cuomo’s previous arguments for increased gun control, according to The Hill, many people took what he said as bitingly sarcastic and accused him of mocking a woman who had survived rape.
After a huge backlash — including a request from Corban herself to chat with him about his disquieting remark — Cuomo finally responded when Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean called him out on Twitter, writing, “You might want explain this tweet a little better to those of us who’ve actually had to face predators in our own homes and defend ourselves without a big strong man like yourself?”
“You are right,” Cuomo wrote. “No offense intended. Too short on twitter. ‘Only in America’ are we still debating the legitimate right to protect oneself like you and many others vs sensible way to keep guns from wrong people.”
Twitter allows tweets to be 280 characters long. Cuomo only used 15 to say “Only in America” and still had 265 characters left to clarify what he meant rather than being ambiguous about a woman’s right to defend herself by whatever means necessary from an overpowering attacker.
“Only here can we not address the issues around school shootings in a way that respects the ill and also people who get guns legally (as I did) and use responsibly (as I),” he added. “We are stuck with good people having to beg to keep a right and not getting done what is right for federal reasonable restrictions and mental health reform.”
He also attacked people who understandably took his original tweet as sarcastic, writing, “You know I didn’t mean that. I am a gun owner. Thus I see a legit right to bear and that is clear in law. Why pretend I am some heartless hater? I expanded what I said and there is no reason to twist it here. I know that’s what Twitter is but it solves nothing”
But Dean questioned why Cuomo wasn’t apologizing to Corban personally or even responding to her request for a chat.
The CNN anchor shot back: “Of course I apologized for this negative attention that was not intended. You asked a question and I answered. That’s what should happen. This place and sadly this issue brings out the worst in too many. No need. Not helpful.”
“We’re done,” Dean replied. “I’ll apologize to @Kimberly_Corban for you.”