How The Legacy Media Convinced Americans That Andrew Cuomo Was A Hero
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/09/29: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo holds daily media announcement and briefing at 633 3rd Avenue, Manhattan. Governor discussed Stabilization and Recovery Program for the state as well as uptick of positive infections in some areas of the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will meet with Orthodox Jewish leaders to address COVID-19 clusters in communities downstate. He emphasized importance of wearing masks, social distances and enforcement of compliance.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, admitted that his administration hid nursing home data, there has been an apparent realization among the Left that the governor may not be the hero he claimed to be.

Democrat state senators have called for his emergency powers to be stripped, and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has called for a “full accounting of what happened.” However, for those grounded in reality, this is far from a revelation, with Cuomo’s policy failures being a target of strong criticism since the pandemic first took hold of New York.

What makes Cuomo’s “sudden” fall from grace even more frustrating for conservatives is that the legacy media, again, played a central role. It was the media who furthered Cuomo’s status as hero of the pandemic, someone who spoke with truth and honesty, and acted as the leader we “needed.”

Here is a look back through the sycophantic and adoring media coverage Cuomo received until it was necessary to find a new scapegoat for Democratic policy failures.


Writing one day before Andrew Cuomo enforced his disastrous nursing home policy, CNN’s Chris Cillizza wrote a piece titled “Everyone needs to see Andrew Cuomo’s inspiring words on the fight against coronavirus,” saying that “Trump cares deeply about Trump. What he perceives as good for him is what he is inclined to do. Andrew Cuomo, in his words on Tuesday, is offering another path: To believe in all of us, knowing that by protecting the least among us we are showing ourselves and the world how America fights and wins these toughest of battles.”

In May, Cillizza penned another “analysis” piece titled “Andrew Cuomo may be the single most popular politician in America right now.”

“Cuomo’s daily press briefings on the state of the state’s fight against the virus have become must-see TV — as Cuomo ranges from stern father to loving counselor to frank friend and back. He has also benefited from radical transparency about what he knows and doesn’t know about the state’s fight against the coronavirus. And from his naturally micromanaging style,” Cillizza wrote.

New York Times

Again, one day before the enforcement of his nursing home policy which resulted in thousands of COVID-19 deaths, Cuomo was lauded by the New York Times. In a piece titled “How Cuomo, Once on Sidelines, Became the Politician of the Moment,” Cuomo’s briefings were described as “articulate, consistent and often tinged with empathy.” “The same blunt and sometimes paternalistic traits that have long rubbed his critics raw have morphed into a source of comfort,” the piece continued.

As the Cuomo brothers partnered to promote Gov. Cuomo as a successful leader, the New York Times obliged, with “Americans Don’t Trust the Media Anymore. So Why Do They Trust the Cuomos?” The piece described the interviews as “riveting,” while simultaneously celebrating that Gov. Cuomo “also bragged that he is their mother’s favorite and that Chris — Christopher, he calls him — was the family ‘meatball.’”

Washington Post

In March 2020, Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote an opinion piece titled “Cuomo could be the leader the Democratic Party and nation desperately need,” describing the governor as “clear, compassionate and inspiring.”

In July, Jennifer Rubin wrote an opinion column titled “No one does it like Andrew Cuomo,” which applauded the “Remarkable success in lowering the rates of infection, hospitalization and deaths in New York.” Rubin concluded by calling for a president who “talked and governed” like Andrew Cuomo.

“For nearly an hour, he went on like this — brutally honest and entirely pragmatic. Take responsibility. Don’t grandstand. Operate on facts. Change what you are doing to meet the real issues of the moment. The approach works for the pandemic. It works for police reform. Now imagine we had a president who talked and governed that way.”

New Yorker

In October, in a piece titled “Andrew Cuomo, The King Of New York,” Nick Paumgarten wrote, “Cuomo, by leaning on data, brandishing logic, speaking in paragraphs, and expressing something like human feeling, had stepped into the void left by the federal government’s cynical and capricious response. In the land of the incoherent, the silver-tongued man is king.”

Vanity Fair

In late April, Chris Smith published “‘I’m a Chief Executive Who Has to Get Stuff Done’: How Andrew Cuomo Became the Coronavirus Trump Antidote.” The subheading read “The New York governor’s impassioned coronavirus briefings, an essential counterpoint to the Trump circus, draw on a lifetime of political combat, reflecting lessons learned from Bill Clinton, the Kennedys, and most of all his late father, mentor, and model, Mario.”


In late March, Molly Jong-Fast wrote “Why We Are Crushing on Andrew Cuomo Right Now,” saying “what a difference a pandemic makes” when explaining why “all of a sudden, I love Governor Cuomo.” Jong-Fast celebrated “Andrew bantering with his brother Chris on CNN about which son wasn’t calling their mother enough right now or which one was held in higher standing back home.”

“There’s something nice about having someone in government whom you can actually trust. Yes, Andrew Cuomo may be imperfect, but he’s still the closest thing we have to an FDR for our time,” she wrote.


On April 7, Dan Gardner wrote a piece for CNBC titled “Hate him or love him — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo can teach us a lot about how to speak during a pandemic.” After referencing Winston Churchill’s leadership, Gardner then argued that Cuomo understood that he was not leading in “ordinary times.”

“As the third-term governor of a state now hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, and who was once widely perceived to be wearing out his welcome, Cuomo’s political star could easily be plunging,” stated Gardner. “But the opposite is happening, thanks to his textbook demonstration of how leaders should speak in a time of crisis.”


On March 19, Rebecca Fishbein wrote a piece titled “Help, I Think I’m In Love With Andrew Cuomo???”

“And yet, in this time of crisis, with little concrete information available, I need Cuomo’s measured bullying, his love of circumventing the federal government, his sparring with increasingly incompetent city leadership. Not only that, but the less contact I have with other humans, the more I start to think of Cuomo as my only friend,” Fishbein said. 

“I’ve started laughing at his little jokes. I catch myself touching my hair (not my face!) when he talks about an increase in testing capacity. I swooned when he told a reporter he had his own workout routine. I have watched a clip of him and brother Chris Cuomo bickering about their mother at least 20 times. I think I have a crush???”


On March 23, Bill Mahoney published “Andrew Cuomo, social media superstar,” which read: “There’s also a clear void for Cuomo to fill. President Donald Trump has failed to win over the Democrats who have long loathed him, and comments that he doesn’t take responsibility for his administration’s failures during the pandemic have given critics fodder to argue that he’s not a leader.”

“The other New York elected official who might become a national icon during a crisis centered in the state is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio,” Mahoney continued. “But de Blasio has bungled chances to emerge as a spiritual leader through actions such as his decision to go the gym as recently as last Monday.”

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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