"Good Morning America" co-host Chris Cuomo joked on Monday's show that Britain's Prince Harry "has been over in Afghanistan fighting because he's expendable." Fellow host Robin Roberts appeared somewhat shocked by the comment and sputtered, "What did you say?" Cuomo, who was previewing an ABC special on the royals, didn't back off his assertion and reiterated, "It's true. The reason that Harry is allowed to be in Afghanistan is because he's not the heir to the throne. William's not allowed to be there."
While Harry may not be next in line to be king, it's in very poor taste for a professional journalist to make such a snide remark. After all, Prince Harry went to Afghanistan to bravely serve his country, not because he's "expendable." And perhaps it should be pointed out that it was Chris Cuomo's brother, Andrew, who entered politics and carried on the legacy of father and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. Is Chris Cuomo's career in journalism, by extension, a reflection of the fact that he's "expendable?"
A transcript of the exchange, which aired at 8:02am on March 3, follows:
CHRIS CUOMO: You know what we have this morning? Special treat. We all know about Prince William.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Sure.
CUOMO: He's the man. He's the heir. Harry has been over in Afghanistan fighting because he's expendable. So, Harry-- So, Harry's in Afghanistan.
ROBERTS: What did you say?
CUOMO: It's true. The reason that Harry is allowed to be in Afghanistan is because he's not the heir to the throne. William's not allowed to be there.
ROBIN ROBERTS: But he's not expendable!
CUOMO: Well, but that's why he's there. They all love Harry very much. And so do we.
ROBERTS: Good. Good. Right. Right.
CUOMO: He's got great hair. William has been here living his life and he's been followed by a film crew. They shot him inside the palace. Inside his apartment. Never showed it before.
ROBERTS: That's right. Barbara Walters will be here for part two of her preview of the show you can see tonight, complete access to the royals.
Update 19:57 | Matthew Sheffield. Cuomo's remarks are not only degrading to Prince Harry and service members everywhere, they're also incorrect. Harry's brother William is on target to go to the frontlines as well:
Prince William is poised to follow his brother Harry and be deployed on the frontline, says the Ministry of Defence.
Officials have said that the second-in-line to the throne could be sent overseas later this year with the Royal Navy.
He is likely to be deployed on a tour to the Persian Gulf or Indian Ocean in support of British forces fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The Pacific Ocean, the West Indies or the South Atlantic are also potential options.
A Navy spokesman said: "It's our intention to give Prince William as full a taste of life in the Royal Navy as possible.
The prince is an officer in the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals, but defence chiefs and the royal family want him to spend time in the other services, such as the Navy, to prepare him for his future role as head of the armed forces.
The 25-year-old has already gained experience with the RAF and is qualified to fly light aircraft. He is scheduled to go to the Royal Navy in May.