ABC spent a lot of time and effort during Wednesday’s World News Tonight desperately peddling New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s so-called “apology,” after he was accused by three young women of sexual harassment including unwanted touching.
In contrast, the CBS Evening News gave more time to sharing the reaction of his accusers, even speaking with the lawyer representing the third accuser.
In all, ABC anchor David Muir and correspondent Stephanie Ramos spent almost three minutes (2:53) focused on propping up the embattled governor, summarizing what he was so “sorry” and “embarrassed” about. Meanwhile, Ramos buried the reaction of his accusers in the last 24 seconds of the segment:
MUIR: And tonight, you have reaction from two of the women?
RAMOS: Exactly, David. The Governor's former aide Lindsay Boylan tweeting, “how can New Yorkers trust you to lead our state if you don't know when you've been inappropriate with your own staff?” The lawyer for Charlotte Bennett releasing a statement, saying, “The Governor's remarks were full of falsehoods.”
Of course, Muir prefaced Ramos’s closer by telling viewers, “Governor Cuomo’s says he's learned, in his words, ‘a very important lesson.’”
That wasn’t the first time Muir sounded like Cuomo’s spokesperson either. As he went into the segment, he made sure to repeatedly talk about how bad Cuomo felt.
“The first time in front of the cameras in days. Apologizing today but saying he will not resign, after three women have accused him of misconduct, saying, ‘I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. I deeply apologize,’” Muir quoted. “Adding: ‘I feel embarrassed by it.’”
“And the reaction tonight from two of his accusers,” Muir quickly added in an apparent afterthought.
And as Ramos began the video portion of the segment, she noted Cuomo’s comments came during “one of his trademark COVID briefings.” “And when it was over, he addressed the sexual harassment allegations threatening to derail his career,” he strangely added.
In contrast, CBS spent 1 minute 43 seconds on the reaction from Cuomo’s accusers (1:26 for the apology and the claims). Correspondent Jericka Duncan even interviewed Deborah Katz, the lawyer for second-accuser Charlotte Bennett:
For the Governor to say, "I never touched anybody inappropriately," the world saw that picture. If today he took the microphone and said, “I've looked at that picture, and that was inappropriate, and I clearly touched her inappropriately, and I'm sorry," I'd have a lot more respect for his position.
Where Muir sounded like Cuomo’s PR guy by jumping right to the apology, anchor Norah O’Donnell went right to the reaction of his accusers. “Tonight, two former aides to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are rejecting his apology,” she said right at the top of the segment.
And while NBC Nightly News did give more time to Cuomo’s apology and the reason (1:28) than they did his accusers (24 seconds, with 23 seconds on the investigation), anchor Lester Holt seemed to scoff at Cuomo. “The Governor apologized, as he put it, for the way he acted,” he told viewers.
Yet, none of them mentioned Cuomo’s ridiculous declaration: “I have never done anything in my public career that I'm ashamed of." Sexual Harassment of his staffers should be one thing to be ashamed of, but also his disastrous order to put COIVD patients into nursing homes. But the evening newscasts didn’t care about that either, as evident by them ignoring that scandal for the second day in a row.
ABC’s aid to Governor Cuomo was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Consumer Cellular and Ancestry. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.