Is the key to news coverage in Democratic scandals getting a big enough blanket to make sure it stays covered? According to NewsBusters, none of the networks and only one cable news outlet — Fox News — bothered to report at all yesterday on a new public allegation of sexual harassment against New York governor Andrew Cuomo. The others also failed to report on a rally organized by family members of the elderly who died in New York nursing homes in Cuomo’s other scandal:
On Wednesday, the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were again running defense for corrupt New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D); but instead of helping to cover-up his nursing home deaths, they were ignoring claims of sexual harassment from a former aide. They also didn’t care to report on a rally of family members whose loved ones were killed by Cuomo’s order to put COVID-positive patients in nursing homes.
It was the second time the broadcast networks ignored the accusations of former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan, who on Wednesday published an essay detailing Cuomo’s alleged creepy comments to her (which Cuomo denied ever happened).
Actually, Boylan accused Cuomo of more than just “creepy comments.” Boylan wrote that Cuomo planted an uninvited kiss on her lips, even though she was and still is a married woman as well as an employee in Cuomo’s administration. That’s arguably an assault legally, and less arguably morally. Cuomo denies this, a fact that should be reported when people report on Boylan’s accusation, of course, but that requires reporting on the allegation in the first place. If an (R) followed Cuomo’s name rather than a (D), does anyone doubt that this public allegation would have made the network news?
Fox News, which did cover the allegation against Cuomo, follows up on its competition. Their report highlights a few more of Boylan’s specifics as well:
According to Grabien transcripts, ABC’s “World News Tonight,” CBS’ “Evening News,” and NBC’s “Nightly News” made no mention of the embattled Cuomo, who is facing calls for his impeachment and resignation after he was accused of covering up the number of deaths from COVID-19 in state nursing homes following his controversial order that assisted living facilities accept COVID-positive patients.
On Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, Cuomo’s former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser, alleged in an essay published on the website Medium that the governor went “out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs,” forcibly kissed her on the lips during a one-on-one briefing and suggested that they “play strip poker” during a plane ride. …
CNN, the home network of the governor’s brother Chris Cuomo, made zero mention of the allegations on its air or on CNN.com hours after Boylan came forward with her claims, according to Grabien transcripts and search results on the network’s website.
MSNBC also skipped coverage of the sexual harassment allegations facing the already-embattled Democrat. However, the liberal network did offer brief coverage of Cuomo’s ongoing nursing home scandal, reporting on a new Marist poll that showed 61% of New York voters believe Cuomo did something wrong with his handling of the state’s nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
That seems like a very curious pattern, especially in the #MeToo era. We certainly have heard plenty about allegations against other figures, and not just Donald Trump and other politicians. Business executives, entertainers, and anyone of note usually get lots of media coverage when people accuse them of sexual misconduct. So why the lacuna of coverage about Boylan’s accusations against Cuomo?
Perhaps it might only be temporary. CBS This Morning did a pretty good dive into the Boylan story this morning with this detailed three-minute segment on her allegations. It includes denials from Cuomo aides, but also plenty of indirectly corroborating testimony from others that makes Boylan sound pretty credible:
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is denying accusations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 25, 2021
Solid work, but why couldn’t CBS News and other media outlets report it on their national news shows last night? The media’s foolish investment in Cuomo as the anti-Trump appears difficult to dismiss. That might be especially true on CNN, where the network celebrated a grotesque co-option of their airtime by a high-ranking politician and his brother for months of propaganda, and has yet to adequately address that conflict of interest. Cuomo’s fall embarrasses them all, and the easiest way to avoid confronting their failures is to avoid confronting Cuomo.
At least CBS stepped up this morning — a day late, perhaps, but better late than never.