For those of us in Media World, panic-stricken that we would turn into dust without Donald Trump, particularly since Joe Biden is boring us to death, not to worry. There is always someone in public life to entertain us with cheesy sex.
What’s the difference between the pervy lounge lizard whose idea of a seductive come-on line is: “Hi, baby. What’s your sign?” and the governor of the fourth most populous state? The answer is not much. Both make most women feel uncomfortable at being treated like a hooker.
It is downright smarmy when that governor, Andrew Cuomo, asks a 25-year-old subordinate if she’d ever been with an older man, meaning if she’d ever gone to bed with a guy 40 years her senior, like Cuomo is. Given the fact that he’s the boss, the explanation that he was just being “playful” doesn’t cut it, particularly when he has a long-established reputation for mistreating his staff.
How is it that when a female bigwig runs roughshod over her little-wigs, it’s a fatal blow to her ambitions? I’m thinking of Amy Klobuchar, whose presidential candidacy was blown out of the water when word seeped out that she was tough on those under her command, as opposed to Andrew Cuomo the bully.
Bully boy Cuomo is making himself scarce right now, except to appear and insist that he’s not going to resign. It ain’t going to happen, he says, and he’s given a reasonable chance of weathering his storms. There’s also that little thingy where his administration grossly undercounted the number of nursing home deaths at the exact time when Cuomo was burnishing his image as a decisive handler of the COVID-19 plague as it was ravaging his state, certainly compared to that other New Yorker, President Donald Trump, who was making a fool of himself. Now Cuomo’s image is decidedly tarnished.
How the mighty have fallen. Many in Cuomo’s party were promoting him as presidential material, but now many of those same Democrats are calling for his resignation: Bill de Blasio, for instance, the embattled mayor of New York City. (Why is it that in New York, everyone is embattled?) That’s hardly a surprise; de Blasio and Cuomo have
been waging a ferocious battle of the egos for years.
Other state party heavyweights take a more namby- pamby approach. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is among those agreeing that the accusations are “troubling,” or some such pablum. Or they recite the mantra that they need to see the results of the independent investigation run by State Attorney General Letitia James. Cuomo had tried to set up a more insipid probe, but there was such an outcry that he was forced to agree to a more independent, independent investigation.
Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo is basically out of sight, which is hard to pull off since the pandemic is very much still with us and he’ll need all the solid expertise he can muster. That includes many female experts, who don’t take kindly to objectification or a creepy chief executive who hits on women young enough to be his granddaughter.
Given the #MeToo movement and its well-known unforgiving response to what used to be considered good ol’ boy fun, you’d think that we men would have learned a thing or two, particularly someone as prominent as the governor of New York. However, there seems to exist a male hubris where they’re too macho to be bothered.
It is really no different than the casting couch that Hollywood producers used.
Whether Andy Cuomo survives as casting couch governor, he will certainly be cut down to size. Perhaps next time some well-known person will think twice before he imposes himself on a female colleague. Then we in fake news biz will have to turn to someone else to get the mindless, smutty stories that we thrive on.
Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN.