Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), came forward with allegations of sexual assault against the governor on Wednesday, repeating claims she had made last December. The fallout from Cuomo’s COVID-19 nursing home scandal and his alleged attempts to blackmail fellow Democrats into silence have perhaps given Boylan’s accusations more weight. While the legacy media has begrudgingly covered the Cuomo scandal, many outlets ignored the sexual assault claims on Wednesday, and only perfunctorily mentioned them on Thursday.
The three broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, and NBC — did not even mention Boylan’s accusations on Wednesday night, Newsbusters reported. The networks also refused to cover the news that New Yorkers who lost their family members to COVID-19 due to Cuomo’s nursing home order rallied on Wednesday, demanding an investigation into the scandal.
Similarly, the prime-time news shows on CNN and MSNBC did not even mention the sexual assault scandal, Newsbusters reported.
Of course, that eeevil network Fox News found the time to give these explosive allegations the coverage they deserve. But, you know, conservatives don’t take sexual assault seriously, or something.
MSNBC and CNN did mention the scandal on Thursday. To his credit, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd devoted a full seven minutes to the scandal Thursday afternoon. Over on CNN, the Cuomo sexual assault allegations received a grand total of 41 seconds on Inside Politics with John King.
Perhaps Americans should expect nothing more from the network that gave Andrew Cuomo at least 47 softball interviews since March 2020. CNN’s Chris Cuomo, the governor’s brother, gave his brother no fewer than eleven softball interviews. In fact, a CNN spokesperson told The Washington Post that CNN executives consciously chose to violate the network’s rule against having Chris Cuomo interview his brother on air.
“The early months of the pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time. We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest. As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today,” the network spokesperson said.
As for the allegations, Boylan accused Cuomo of having kissed her on the lips and of having asked her to “play strip poker” on a plane ride on his taxpayer-funded jet. “Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected. His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right,” Boylan wrote. “He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.”
Cuomo has denied the allegations, but Boylan’s intimidation claim echoed New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), who said Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him if he continued to criticize the governor’s nursing home scandal.
The scandal traces back to March 25, 2020, when Cuomo ordered nursing homes to admit COVID-19 positive patients, in contrast to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance that explicitly did “not direct any nursing home to accept a COVID-19 positive patient, if they are unable to do so safely.”
While conservative media outlets (like PJ Media) have long been reporting on this horrific scandal, the scandal went mainstream after Attorney General Letitia James (D-N.Y.) released a report showing that the state government had undercounted COVID-19 deaths connected to nursing homes. According to the report, New York sent 9,000 COVID-19 patients to nursing homes and some of the homes complained to the governor that half of their staff were sick or home with COVID-19.
Then a Democratic lawmaker let slip to The New York Post that the secretary to the governor confessed to having lied about COVID-19 nursing home death data because the data could be “used against us” in a federal probe.
All hell has broken loose for Cuomo. The FBI and the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York have reportedly opened an investigation into the nursing home scandal, and even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has called for an investigation.
Yet despite all this, it seems some outlets are still desperately finding ways to cover for the governor. Perhaps some on the Left find it difficult to accept that the narrative of the knightly Cuomo vanquishing the dragon of coronavirus was a complete hoax from the beginning. After Cuomo won an Emmy and wrote a book touting his own “success,” after Democrats briefly flirted with swapping him in for Joe Biden at the last minute in 2020, after the Left propped him up as the COVID-19 antidote to Trump, it stands to reason that some liberals might hesitate to accept that all of this grand edifice was a bald-faced lie.
Now the saintly Cuomo, who himself demanded that Brett Kavanaugh take a lie detector test during the 2018 #MeToo scandal, faces a #MeToo scandal of his own. Will the governor subject himself to the same test he demanded of Kavanaugh? Or is he hoping that his brother will bail him out? Even CNN’s bias can only go so far…
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.