Cuomo's book is being canceled

The cancel culture movement may be slowly and reluctantly coming for one of their own, now that it’s become fashionable in Democratic circles to jump on the dogpile hounding New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Next up in the hit parade is Crown Publishing Group. That’s the publishing house that produced Cuomo’s formerly best-selling book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Cuomo reportedly received upwards of eight million dollars as an advance on the book and the early sales were brisk. But since the news of the coverup of nursing home deaths became public, sales have slowed to a trickle according to the publisher. As such, the decision has been made to not order any additional printings, nor will a paperback version be released. (NY Times)

The publisher of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s book on his leadership during the pandemic said it had stopped promoting the title because of an inquiry into the withholding of data on the deaths of nursing home residents.

Sales of the book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic,” had already slowed severely as the governor found himself embroiled in overlapping crises of his own making, including a drumbeat of accusations about his inappropriate behavior toward younger women and his aides’ manipulation of nursing home data.

Gillian Blake of Crown Publishing Group said in response to an email from The New York Times that there were “no plans” to reprint Mr. Cuomo’s book or to reissue it in paperback, citing “the ongoing investigation into N.Y.S. reporting of Covid-related fatalities in nursing homes.”

I suppose I’m just suspicious by nature, but I have to question the reasons that Crown Publishing is offering for this decision. In their response to the New York Times, they cite the ongoing investigation into the nursing home deaths as the reason to shelve the book. On the surface, that’s a pretty reasonable explanation. After all, it’s a book under their banner that supposedly extolls the Governor’s amazingly successful handling of the pandemic while in reality, he screwed it up entirely. That has to be something of an embarrassment.

But if the investigation was the real justification for canceling their promotion of the book and further reprints, why wait until now? The nursing home scandal has been in the news for many weeks. Alternately, you might say that they wanted to wait until everyone was certain that a coverup took place before making a hasty decision to shelve the book. But if that’s the case, the investigation isn’t over yet.

Perhaps the real reason is hiding in plain sight in the explanation Crown Publishing gave for making this move. They acknowledge that sales of the book had already “slowed severely” since the news of all these scandals came out. Why would a publisher order more copies of a book that was no longer selling? This may have simply been a case of realizing that they were going to have to suck up some losses on Cuomo’s book and they’re bailing out on it but using the excuse of the nursing home scandal to look like they’re making a principled, noble decision.

Just for the record, cancel culture isn’t any better when it’s going after a Democrat. If this was a business decision by Crown Publishing based on poor sales, that’s fine. But they signed a deal to publish the book and Cuomo still has the right to earn a living. If they canceled his book because they’re passing judgment on his performance or personality, that shouldn’t be celebrated.

Meanwhile, two attorneys have been named to investigate the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. One is a former federal prosecutor and the other is an employment discrimination attorney. Both have experience investigating politicians who find themselves facing potential charges. (CNN)

Joon Kim, the former acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and employment discrimination lawyer Anne L. Clark were selected by New York Attorney General Letitia James a week after Cuomo, who failed in his initial attempts to choose the investigators, said he would cooperate with an independent probe into his alleged behavior.

Kim and Clark will now join James as the public faces of an investigation that could determine Cuomo’s political fate, as the three-term Democrat faces mounting calls from state lawmakers to resign amid the mushrooming scandal. Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded with the public to reserve judgment until the probe, which could see him deposed, is concluded — a process that could take months.

This investigation could last well into the summer. Most of the allegations being made about Cuomo are from long enough ago that establishing solid evidence will be challenging at best. Unless the legislature pays more than lip service to the idea of impeachment, Andrew Cuomo may continue to keep his head down and hope to outlast these stories. But at this point, I seriously doubt he will consider running for another term. Then again, this is Andrew Cuomo we’re talking about. The man’s ego knows no boundaries. He might honestly believe that everyone still loves him and will come back around eventually.