CNN to air AOC special as embattled anchor Chris Cuomo goes on 'long-planned vacation'

The 'Cuomo Prime Time' host was also swept up in the NY AG's damning report on his brother

CNN announced on Friday that it will be airing a one-hour special Monday on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in the 9pm ET timeslot belonging to its embattled anchor Chris Cuomo, who reportedly will be going on a "long-planned vacation" amid the scandals plaguing him and his brother, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The special, titled "Being… AOC," marks the launch of a new "Being" series where anchor Dana Bash "spends time with individuals affecting American policy, politics, and culture to give viewers an understanding of the human being behind the public face."

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"In the first episode, 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," the CNN press release previewed. 

(AP/CNN)

Cuomo was swept up in the damning report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who outlined sexual harassment allegations against his brother by 11 women. Included in the report was the revelation that the CNN anchor was involved in the drafting of a statement in response to the governor's accusers earlier this year. 

The New York Times reported Wednesday that CNN executives suggested to the "Cuomo Prime Time" host that he take a "temporary leave" back in May after it was reported that he previously took part in strategy sessions with the governor's top aides to combat the accusers. The host apparently rejected the idea as he has yet to take extended time off the air. 

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The Times also reported that Cuomo was conveniently set to take a "long-planned vacation" starting next week. That vacation, however, appears to have started early as CNN weekend host Michael Smerconish filled in as guest host of "Cuomo Prime Time" on Friday night. 

CNN's un-aired AOC special was previously leaked to Project Veritas, which released highlights from Bash's interview with the Democratic "Squad" member. 

"You're now in your second term in the House, you have 12 million Twitter followers, nine million Instagram followers, and they all know you by three letters: AOC," Bash tells the congresswoman in a compilation video released last week. "So, what's it like to be AOC?"

"When I was your age, I always tried to fit into the world as it is, not trying to change it. Where do you get that confidence," Bash asks in another exchange. 

Bash is also heard praising the Democrat while narrating the TV special, saying, "Being Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez means being a celebrity and looking like one, red lips and all. She was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine in 2020."

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"You sometimes take heat for your celebrity status for being glamorous. One thing that you said that really struck me is ‘femininity has power.’ Bash tells Ocasio-Cortez, later adding, "You embrace the power."

"And power can have red lips," the CNN anchor grinned. 

Perhaps CNN is hoping to rely on the popular progressive to boost its dismal ratings as the liberal network has failed to reach 1 million viewers over the past week.