Column: Andrew Cuomo, Crumbling Media Darling

February 17th, 2021 6:15 AM

The media's deep arrogance about the Democrats' superior standing as the Party of Science and Competent Government on the coronavirus is personified in Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He has been hailed for many months as a wonderful role model, an inspiring anti-Trump.

Somehow, each and every tragic coronavirus death was laid at President Trump’s doorstep, ignoring that New York is second in deaths (behind California) – and second in deaths per million residents (behind New Jersey).

Back in May, NBC’s Cynthia McFadden stood out for focusing on Cuomo’s problem,  stating “Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont thinks forcing nursing homes to take COVID positive patients, as most states are doing, is a path to disaster.” Obviously, it was. But the praise kept flowing.

In October, Cuomo came out with a book titled American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. He was hailed in a series of book interviews, and the media added dust-cover blurbs.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell wrote: “It is a book unlike anything ever written by a governor before because no one has lived through and managed the crisis that he has.”

Entertainment Weekly overflowed: “The hero that America never realized it needed until he was on our television screens every night . . . has taken his talents to the page.” (They added “One can only assume a sequel is expected once the pandemic is actually over.”

In November the Emmy awards people decided to give him a special prize for his “masterful use of television” during the pandemic. Celebrities were brought in to pay gushing tribute.

But in January, the Democrat Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, issued a report that the state's nursing-home death toll from COVID-19 might be more than 50 percent higher than Team Cuomo claimed, because they didn’t reveal how many nursing-home residents died in hospitals. NBC covered it, ABC and CBS passed.  

Then on February 12, the New York Post reported top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa admitted to lawmakers on a private call that they'd underreported the number of patients placed in nursing homes by 40 percent. “We froze,” she said, “concerned the information was going to be used against us.”

Again, network coverage on that Friday night was less than intense: 26 seconds on ABC, 31 seconds on CBS, 17 seconds on NBC. NBC’s Saturday Today at least offered a full report totaling three minutes and seven seconds the next morning. As impeachment faded and  the outrage grew in New York, the TV coverage began to grow, at least in some places. At this writing, ABC is still bored out of its mind.

All this hiding the truth by Team Cuomo should be deeply embarrassing to the shameless pro-Cuomo press. The Media Research Center organized the clips comparing Cuomo to Trump in 2020:

David Remnick of The New Yorker to Brian Stelter on CNN: “Truth versus mendacity.”

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace: Cuomo’s “everything Trump isn’t -- honest, direct, brave.”

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: Cuomo is “living in a totally different reality – the actual one?! – than the president of the United States.”

NBC anchorman Lester Holt interviewed Cuomo like he was the Churchill of coronavirus: “You spoke to National Guard troops today in a stirring speech that if I wasn't listening carefully, I thought you were sending soldiers off to war.”

Stelter announced on his Reliable Sources program: “This has been a remarkable show of leadership by Governor Cuomo in recent days – he’s providing hope, but not false hope.”    

Now that Cuomo’s mendacity has been exposed, Stelter spent exactly zero seconds discussing it on his latest Sunday show. Now who deserves the motto “Facts First”?