The Media’s Shameful Cowl-Up of Andrew Cuomo’s Nursing House Scandal

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The scandal surrounding New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mishandling of nursing residence sufferers through the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic was by no means a secret. But of their zeal final 12 months to advertise Cuomo as a counter to President Trump, broadcast information, cable information, daytime speak exhibits and late evening comics all most popular to tout Cuomo as a pandemic hero, as an alternative of telling the reality about his actions. Watch:

 

 

Though New Yorkers discovered concerning the scandal in April 2020, the Cuomo-boosters within the nationwide media refused to the touch it. The published night newscasts made the Governor a star of their pandemic protection, but devoted a scant 51 seconds to it in all of 2020. This 12 months, because the depths of Cuomo’s duplicity have grow to be obvious, those self same newscasts have delivered a scant 10 minutes, 56 seconds through the previous 4 weeks (January 28 to February 25) — practically as a lot airtime as they devoted over simply 4 days (February 18-21) to Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s ill-advised journey to Cancun (eight minutes, 51 seconds).

Particulars:

■ Burying the Unhealthy Information in 2020: It was March 25, 2020, when New York ordered nursing houses to re-admit COVID sufferers even when they had been nonetheless infectious. Because the loss of life toll amongst nursing residence sufferers rose sharply, the New York Submit grew to become the primary of the large New York Metropolis dailies to write down concerning the directive on April 21, after it got here up on the Governor’s day by day briefing the day before today. (Cuomo, saying “I don’t know,” punted the query to his Well being Commissioner, Howard Zucker.)

The New York Occasions adopted swimsuit three days later, on April 24, quoting Mina Ebrahem, a bodily therapist who had labored at a number of New York Metropolis nursing houses: “Whoever made this choice, whoever did this, I contemplate this a sentence of loss of life for all of the older sufferers, whoever is in a nursing residence.”

However whereas the nationwide liberal media labored additional time to make Cuomo the face of supposedly competent coronavirus management, they ignored the horrible penalties of his order.

A Nexis search discovered ABC’s World Information Tonight, the CBS Night Information and NBC Nightly Information mentioned Cuomo in not less than 401 night information tales between March 1 and December 31, 2020, together with weekends. But solely two of these tales, each on Nightly Information, made any reference to Cuomo’s nursing residence order. Complete airtime: a mere 51 seconds.

ABC’s World Information Tonight and the CBS Night Information had been utterly silent on the matter all through 2020. Certainly, weeks after the story broke, on the Might 5 Night Information, CBS’s Mola Lenghi ran a soundbite from Cuomo speaking concerning the risks of nursing houses — “All it takes is one particular person to convey that virus in there. And also you do the whole lot you’ll be able to, however on the identical time, you’ll be able to’t do the whole lot” — with out giving the slightest trace of the Governor’s true file on the topic.

The very first reference on a night newscast got here on the Might 11 Nightly Information, when correspondent Cynthia McFadden spent 13 seconds assuring viewers that “over the weekend, New York’s Governor Cuomo reversed his controversial coverage forcing nursing houses to take again COVID sufferers.” As “controversial” because it was, Nightly Information hadn’t bothered to inform viewers something about it till it was over.

The one different reference final 12 months got here on July 20, as NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez accompanied Cuomo on a political stunt mission to Georgia, to criticize how southern Republican governors had managed the disaster.

Gutierrez squeezed in a 38-second trade with Cuomo on the finish of his report: “For those who needed to do it over once more, would you’ve got issued that very same directive or was it a mistake?”

Cuomo rejected any accountability: “We checked out this factually. For those who have a look at when the nursing residence deaths occurred, it has no correlation to that order.”

■ 2021: Blockbuster Revelations, Minimal Protection: In the course of the previous month, investigative digging by the Related Press and New York Submit, in addition to a scathing report from a fellow Democrat, New York’s Lawyer Normal Letitia James, revealed the reality: Cuomo’s administration hid the true variety of infected patients sent to nursing homes, and significantly under-reported the variety of deaths amongst nursing residence residents.

A prime aide to Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, advised state Democrats that the true numbers were withheld from state legislators — out of concern, she claimed, of what the Trump administration would possibly do with the reality. Federal prosecutors at the moment are investigating whether or not the misconduct was felony.

But whereas these blockbuster reviews lastly broke the media’s silence, it hasn’t precisely been an avalanche of protection. Previously 4 weeks (January 28 to February 25), ABC’s World Information Tonight has devoted precisely two minutes, 54 seconds to the story. The CBS Night Information produced solely barely extra (three minutes, 11 seconds), whereas the NBC Nightly Information logged 4 minutes 51 seconds of protection.

Mixed, that’s a meager 10 minutes, 56 seconds of airtime in 4 weeks — practically as a lot airtime as those self same broadcasts devoted over simply 4 days (February 18-21) to Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s ill-advised journey to Cancun amid his state’s energy disaster (eight minutes, 51 seconds).

Given the enormity of the implications of Cuomo’s foolhardy and duplicitous method, the puny quantity of stories protection is a scandal in and of itself.