Media top headlines August 11
In media news today, the media leads a charge to smear a Rockies fan they falsely accused of using a racial slur, CNN’s Chris Cuomo reportedly urged his brother Andrew to resign, and Stephen Colbert grills Brian Stelter on CNN’s Cuomo scandal
Former close allies and employees of Gov. Andrew Cuomo have abandoned the New York Democrat as he prepares to leave office.
Cuomo announced his resignation as governor on Tuesday following a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James which found he sexually harassed 11 women between 2013 and 2020.
Prior to the report, Cuomo received lavish praise from both media pundits and fellow Democrats for his management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Referred to as the “Love Gov,” Cuomo was routinely hailed as a “real leader” despite reports of his administration undercounting COVID-19 deaths after signing an executive order that sent seniors who tested positive for COVID-19 to nursing homes.
When accusations of sexual harassment surfaced, allies of the governor began to distance themselves but it reached a boiling point after the state’s attorney general report. The same media outlets and officials who were praising the Democratic governor, quickly turned against him. Some of Cuomo’s most notable allies and former employees have now come out, revealing how the governor abused his power.
Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, recently told Ronan Farrow of “The New Yorker” of her experience with Cuomo. Farrow wrote about an account in 2014 where an advisor claimed that Cuomo was “ranting and raving” in a call to the White House. Jarrett stated that she was informed “this guy’s out of control.”
This contrasted years of support Jarrett gave to Cuomo after 2014. Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross recorded several past tweets remarking “Here she is praising Cuomo in the years after she now says he pressured her and the Obama White House to kill a federal corruption investigation into his handling of the Moreland Commission.”
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, also spoke out against Cuomo despite the attorney general report revealing he aided the governor’s team in attempting to discredit Lindsey Boylan, the first woman to come forward against Cuomo.
“After reading the AG’s devastating report that concluded Gov. Cuomo engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment, in violation of both federal and state law, he should resign,” David tweeted.
The Human Rights campaign announced an internal investigation into David’s role in the Cuomo scandal and called the revelation in the report “very concerning.”
“Over the past several days, HRC’s employees, supporters, board members and partners have raised questions about the appropriateness of Alphonso David’s actions and whether they align with HRC’s decades’ long mission of fighting for equality and justice for all,” the HRC said in a statement.
The pattern continued with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. On August 3, Heastie announced the Assembly Democrats’ decision to call on Cuomo to resign.
“After our conference this afternoon to discuss the Attorney General’s report concerning sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo, it is abundantly clear to me that the Governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office,” Heastie said.
Heastie’s call for the governor’s resignation was a quick reversal from May when he played a role in aiding Cuomo in his nursing home scandal. A New York Post article reported that Heastie’s aide confronted Assemblyman Ron Kim, D., over his comments criticizing the governor. When Kim refused to retract his comments, Cuomo called to personally threaten him, Kim claimed.
Nonpartisan watch group Common Cause New York quickly condemned Heastie’s actions saying “There’s no excuse for the Speaker’s office colluding with the [governor’s office] to clean up its mess.”
New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs also joined the wave of Democrats calling for Cuomo’s resignation. In a statement, he explained “I believe the allegations. I cannot speak to the Governor’s motivations. What I can say is that the Governor has lost his ability to govern, both practically and morally. The Party and this State will not be well served by a long, protracted removal process designed only to delay what is now, clearly, inevitable.”
Jacobs did not call for Cuomo’s resignation when the allegations were made earlier this year. In March, the chairman defended Cuomo remarking “it is both premature and unfair for anyone to opine on the outcome until [the] investigation is completed and the results reported.”
Further, Jacobs lambasted Republican critics, claiming they have “no standing whatsoever to share their opinion” on the New York governor.
“I contrast that with the calls from our Republican colleagues who, in the face of more than two dozen accusations from women against the head of their party, Donald Trump, sat in silence for more than five years – with not even a peep to be heard from any of them,” Jacobs said. “While they may have just now discovered their compass, Republican leaders have absolutely no standing whatsoever to share their opinion on the current matter.”
Meanwhile, longtime ally and former New York senator Hillary Clinton has been silent on the recent developments involving Cuomo. Her last comment came is from March which followed the growing allegations against Cuomo which she said raised “serious questions.”
“These stories are difficult to read, and the allegations brought forth raise serious questions that the women who have come forward and all New Yorkers deserve answers to,” she said. “I’m glad to see that there will be a full, independent, and thorough investigation.”
Boylan then came out against Clinton responding “There’s no way you don’t know who this man is if you’ve worked with, or around, him for decades.”
Cuomo previously served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Hillary’s husband, President Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2001. He was also one of the first major party figures to endorse Hillary when she ran for president in 2016.
President Joe Biden faced backlash for his vocal support for the disgraced governor. On Tuesday, Biden remarked that he “respected” Cuomo’s decision to resign, but also praised the governor’s record.
“He’s done a hell of a job,” Biden said. “…That’s why it’s so sad.”
In the past, Biden praised Cuomo for his actions during the pandemic, ignoring the allegations of wrongdoing in the nursing home scandal.
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