The Media’s 180 Degree Turn On Cuomo

Originally published March 10, 2021 

https://www.queensjewishlink.com/index.php/opinion/4182-the-media-s-180-degree-turn-on-cuomo

On May 20, 2020, the Queens Jewish Link published my column, “The Worst Governor In America.”  In it, I laid out the argument that Andrew Cuomo was leading the state of New York to ruin during the height of the pandemic’s first wave, while the media allowed him to falsely blame all his failures on President Trump.  Now that their preferred candidate, Joe Biden, is in office, Cuomo has outlived the Democrats’ need for him.  So now, nearly 300 days after the Queens Jewish Link said it, the mainstream media is finally ready to admit that Andrew Cuomo is the worst governor in America.

If they had a shred of honesty or decency, the media would be directing their ire to the reported 9,250 nursing home COVID deaths that Cuomo’s aides removed from a report before it went public.  According to the New York Times, “The number [of nursing home deaths] — more than 9,000 by that point in June — was not public, and the governor’s most senior aides wanted to keep it that way. They rewrote the report to take it out…”  From June 2020 to March 2021, this information was largely ignored by any mainstream outline, although conservative media was sounding the alarm on these issues. 

During this time period, the coverage of Cuomo was laudatory.  Headlines like, “Everyone needs to see Andrew Cuomo’s inspiring words on the fight against coronavirus,” “Thank G-d for Andrew Cuomo,” and, “Andrew Cuomo said he’ll never run for president. That’s a mistake” all graced CNN over the course of one week in March 2020 - the very same week that Cuomo issued his fateful nursing home directive that killed thousands.  It didn’t stop there; the coverage went on for months and months.

Cut to March 2021, and New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is calling for Cuomo’s resignation.  Impeachment charges are being filed.  Every prominent Democrat and pundit is clamoring for Andrew Cuomo’s head.  Is this because he covered up the deaths of thousands of the elderly so he can avoid a Trump DOJ investigation? No, it’s because five women (so far) have come forward to claim Cuomo is a serial harasser.  

For anyone who believes that the media and Democrat would have had such a reaction at any point that these accusers came forward, there are two pieces of conflicting data.  First, the media completely ignored Tara Reade, Joe Biden’s accuser.  For a month after Reade made her accusations, the media refused to report it.  An eventual “60 Minutes” interview with Reade only aired in Australia.  Second, the first Cuomo accuser, Lindsey Boylan, went public in December, but it took over two months for the story to gain any traction.  

What happened between December and February? Trump went away, and so did Cuomo’s apparent usefulness to the media and Democrats.  While Trump was in office and making decisions, everything he did had to be bad, and the media needed a hero to contrast him with.  Cuomo became that hero.  While Trump’s daily press conferences were egotistical, Cuomo’s daily press conferences were refreshing.  While Trump’s New York attitude was rude and harmful, Cuomo’s New York attitude was direct and energizing.  But Trump is gone now, and Joe Biden is in.  Biden is a Democrat, and this makes him good.  He cannot be contrasted with Cuomo, so Cuomo is of no use.

New York Democrats are happy to jump on the bandwagon because they are looking for a promotion.  Attorney General Letitia James offers to head up the investigation into Cuomo’s alleged misconduct, hoping to get another name recognition to make a run for the Governor’s office.  Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (NY-4) starts calling for Cuomo’s resignation on Twitter, perhaps hoping that her resume as Nassau County District Attorney can get her into the Attorney General spot.  New York City councilmembers are tripping over themselves to tell their stories about Cuomo’s bully tactics, all hoping for some more name recognition to help them move one rung higher on the political ladder.  

So Andrew Cuomo is finally getting his comeuppance.  He has presided over the decimation of the state with no consequences for over a decade, but he’s getting taken down because his usefulness is at an end. Even if Cuomo doesn’t resign, he will likely lose reelection. So what’s next for New York?

Cuomo’s third term ends in 2022.  Multiple Republicans with decent name recognition, like Lee Zeldin and Elise Stefanik, are considering runs for the governorship.  If the story remains that Cuomo was a great governor who was inappropriate with women, New Yorkers will likely vote in another Democrat with even worse policies than Cuomo.  New Yorkers should remember that in addition to Cuomo’s behavior, there were even worse policies - policies that were cheered on or covered up by a complicit media while their implementation led to death, ruin, and the destruction of the Empire State. Rejecting Cuomo as a man is not enough.  The Cuomo philosophy should be toppled along with his tenure.  


Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Chovevei Zion. You can find Moshe on his blog at www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, or twitter.com/TheMoHill.

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