By John Kass
The Lovely Sicilian who married me lo these many years ago, thinks I’m absolutely, 100 percent wrong about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
She wants him gone.
But I want him to stick around until he gets really ripe, like those salmon fillets you forgot about in your trunk on a hot August day.
Cuomo was, of course, a media establishment darling and Democratic Party poster boy when establishment Democrats feared that despite their best efforts to manipulate the media, they might not be able to push old Joe Biden across the finish line.
And so, Cuomo was their anti-Trump, the Emmy-winning author of a memoir in which, full of hubris, he cast himself as the Covid hero. But he’s also the governor who sent the Covid-infected back into New York nursing homes, where thousands died. And his staff covered it up.
And now, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James recent report, Cuomo is an alleged serial sexual harasser, using his political power against young women, and a dangerous, narcissistic blowhard. Cuomo has denied everything.
Like most reasonable people, my wife wants the creepy Cuomo removed immediately from public life. As does President Joe Biden who’s calls for Cuomo’s resignation feeds the media frenzy, though (oddly? predictably?) the National Democratic Media Complex has never been all that eager to press Biden about his former staffer Tara Read and her allegations against him.
“Cuomo is a weasel. He’s a creep. He’s got to go,” Betty said at breakfast. “Think of all the women who are his victims, as old as his daughter. He makes me sick. Get his (behind) out of there.”
But I hope that he fights, drawing upon reserves of Machiavellian cunning and all those political IOUs out there after decades of Cuomo generational political power, and stalls this one out just a wee bit longer.
He can’t stall forever. The hard progressive Democratic left sees weakness and opportunity. And the liberal corporate media that once served as fawning Cuomo groupies now chase him like a pack of excited hounds, like the righteous companions of Dr. Van Helsing who’ve just trapped Nosferatu on consecrated ground with the sun about to rise.
Impeachment proceedings will begin, or civil and criminal cases. And sooner or later Cuomo will be dragged out whimpering, face contorting, blubbering, loafers scraping the floor as his brother, the CNN anchor known world-wide as Fredo, weeps bitter tears.
But not yet. Not yet.
His enablers—Democrats and the media—want him yanked off the public stage yesterday. That’s best for them. But is a quick Cuomo exit best for the American people?
Because the saga of Andrew Cuomo isn’t really a political story.
It’s a media story.
New York writer David Marcus agrees. Marcus covers politics for the real paper of New York–The New York Post—and is the author of the book “Charade: The Covid Lies That Crushed a Nation.”
As a guest on The Chicago Way podcast, Marcus @blueboxdave, explained. He said there is now talk that there is a way Cuomo could survive this—unless there are criminal charges. The New York Democratic boss could stall, work out a “censure” with the state legislature, take his public spanking while arguing that the rise of the “Delta Variant” means New York shouldn’t change leadership.
Yes, it’s a weasel move. But we know there are at least two creatures that suck eggs, weasels and politicians.
Marcus said all of it is a story about the media.
“I was just finishing my book (Charade) last year when the first serious allegations of the Cuomo sex scandal were popping up,” he said, “but I already had a chapter in there about the myth of Andrew Cuomo’s ‘great’ leadership. His actual policies were terrible. NYC has bad overall numbers, medically, in terms of deaths, but the media really liked his tone. And as you say he was presented as the anti-Trump, and he was never doing a great job.
“I keep stressing the point. This isn’t a fall from grace, as if he was doing a great job and this terrible thing happened,” Marcus said. “As you say, media wanted to believe he was doing a great job and so they just made it so.”
Remember that the media gushed over Cuomo. He was their pandemic Democratic demigod, their anti-Trump, and even when it was learned he sent thousands of Covid infected New Yorkers into nursing homes to spread death and his staff tried to cover it up, he had his media defenders.
But media is squirming now, about to soil their garments, wanting a quick lop of the political headman’s axe. As I wrote in March of 2021 in predicting all this, I asked a question: Cui bono? Who benefits?
I want his head to ripen first. Then take it, if it pleases you.
And as you wait for the political head to fall into the political basket of another politician who used his clout to push for sex, you might remember how the media treated then Vice President Mike Pence.
They peeled his skin with ridicule and shamed Pence. Why?
Pence said he wouldn’t dine alone, privately, with women who weren’t his wife. And that he would not drink alcohol at social occasions if his wife wasn’t around.
I was reminded Pence by my friend Kristen McQueary–my former editor and the former editor of the Tribune’s editorial board–as she filled in the other day Dan Proft on his AM 560 morning radio program “The Morning Answer.” (I’ll be sitting in with him on Friday).
Pence was mercilessly ridiculed and mocked, by Democrats and much of the media, as a fool.
Women get what Pence was doing. Betty gets it. Most wives get it. Temptation is not some abstract political construct. And those who keep their marriages together understand. And most husbands get it too– if they’re grown-ups and not foolish little boys.
The small betrayals always lead to big betrayals, and every betrayal can ruin a marriage as easily as it ruins a political career.
You know who else gets it? Conservative Mollie Hemingway of “The Federalist.”
Back in 2017, when Pence was ridiculed by media about not dining alone with women not his wife, Hemingway wrote a piece called “Don’t Mock Mike Pence for Protecting his Marriage, Commend him.”
Hemingway quoted many who engaged in ridicule. This was fascinating in light of how Cuomo was treated, before his sex scandals.
Actor Joshua Malina, who played a White House press spinner on the liberal fantasy show “The West Wing,” was quoted in a Tweet as saying: “Mike Pence never eats solid food that his wife hasn’t chewed first.”
Jason O. Gilbert, a writer for the liberal “Daily Show,” was quoted as tweeting:
“To respect his wife, Mike Pence refuses to use a toilet after a lady has used it. He also does not eat at restaurants with lady mascots.”
And this from New York Democratic media operative and journalism instructor Elizabeth Spiers @espiers:
“Who knew Mike Pence had uncontrollable sexual compulsions so serious he can’t be alone w[ith] a woman who’s not his wife?”
The other day, Spiers wrote a piece about Cuomo for The New York Times, with the title: “How Cuomo Got Away With It for So Long.”
It mentions his brash, tough guy personae that some New Yorkers like, “because they conflate toughness with resiliency and sometimes fail to notice that what appears to be toughness may just be a lack of empathy.”
But there was nothing in it about how the media helped Cuomo by pumping him up as a hero. And nothing about Pence.
In Cuomo’s heroic period, CNN and many other left-leaning media shops outlets swooned over Cuomo and his book, “American Crisis: Leadership from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
“Dealing with hardships actually makes you stronger,” said CNN media critic Brian Stelter. “That’s what Gov. Cuomo said today, and that’s what I’m going to teach my kids right now at home.”
“You spoke to National Guard troops today in a stirring speech,” NBC anchor Lester Holt said to Cuomo. “If I wasn’t listening carefully, I’d have thought that you were sending soldiers off to war.”
To war? Is the governor of New York some pitiless Achilles? So overcome with emotion was Holt, that he seemed ready to cry, like U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the Combine Republican of Illinois.
How did Cuomo get away with it for so long?
He had lots of help, from Democrats and their media handmaidens.
And now they want an end, to pretend they were never in the tank together; just like they weren’t in the tank together with the Russia-Gate fantasy; just like they weren’t in the tank with the Bidens and Big Tech, suppressing the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop and all overseas business deals leveraged by “The Big Guy’s” clout.
Now, clearly, both Democrats and media want a quick end to Cuomo. To carry his head, quickly from the public stage so they won’t smell.
But not yet.
Let Cuomo and the deeds of his media angels ripen, and ripen well, so the nation can get a good whiff of the full aroma.
(Copyright 2021 John Kass)