Anyone know why the three cable networks are carrying live and complete New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily fireside chats?
They are part information, part homily, part sanctimony, part family history.
Yes, I know New York is the center of the media universe, but that is the City, not the stupid state. [Disclosure: I was born, reared and educated in New York City.]
If anything, CNN, MSNBC and Fox should be carrying New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio every time he farts. But they are not.
Nor are they carrying any other governor’s eruptions. They do carry President Donald J. Trump’s self-congratulatory news conferences, but he is the president — sorry, Alec Baldwin — even though there is grumbling on the Left that they shouldn’t carry the briefings because Trump lies, exaggerates, misleads, and so on.
That is CNN’s Don Lemon’s autocratic position, and he is wrong.
The proper role of the press is to present all sides of a story and subject all sides to scrutiny and criticism. The Trumpsters are right that most big daily newspapers and cable outlets are hostile to the president — except the biggest, Fox News.
I tell my Trumpster friends that elements of the press were hostile, at times, to President Barack Obama, who actually sicced the Department of Justice on reporters. There was minor outrage in the press, there should have been more, but too many journos had too much of a psychic investment in our first African American president. I admit I did and while I was occasionally critical, I wonder if I was critical enough.
Back to Cuomo and the networks.
Since CNN leans left, and MSNBC could be called MarxStalinNBC, it’s no surprise they’d be happy to cover the musings of Cuomo, the son of popular New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, and the elder brother of CNN host Chris Cuomo, whom some on the Right delight in calling Fredo, after the weakling brother in “The Godfather.” Chris made the horrible PR mistake of exploding after a heckler called him Fredo. That means Fredo got under his skin. Now he’s got COVID-19 under his skin. (Get well soon, Chris.)
OK — so CNN and MSNBC favor Team Cuomo. What the hell is Fox doing there?
It could be that Fox is just matching the competition, but I think it is more than that.
Fox’s game is sabotaging likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Conspiracy Theory Alert!
Give me a minute.
Uncle Joe is fending off attacks from several quarters. The Right is making an issue of son Hunter’s various, questionable business deals, most of which carry a thumbprint of Joe Biden’s influence, even if unspoken. To the Left it is a red herring, but if it peels off even 10% of voters, it is effective.
The second issue is Biden’s supposed dementia. It is really laughable that supporters of Trump could question someone else’s mental capacity.
Finally, there is the recent #MeToo sexual assault accusation made against Biden, who needs 1,991 delegates to win the nomination. The coronavirus pandemic delaying voting in some states, plus Biden’s issues, might mean he doesn’t reach the 1,991. That could make it a brokered convention, one in which Bernie Sanders should have a big say, but moderate Democrats don’t want that. They fear the socialist baggage Bernie brings with him.
Who might they turn to?
Andrew Cuomo, of course, who’s been getting great reviews in many quarters for his televised briefings.
His nomination might make CNN and MSNBC happy. It might make Fox even happier.
Because the selection of Cuomo, someone who did not even run — and a white male (hiss) to boot — might splinter the party and prepare a path for a Trump victory.
So when Fox gives Cuomo the gift of free air time, it actually is a poison pill for Democrats.