Whatever you’re doing, you could be having a worse day.
You could be the guy who designed the SpaceX rocket that blew up after a test landing.
You could be MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff, who was nearly crushed by a falling light fixture during a live shot.
Or you could be busy backtracking and deleting old tweets.
That’s what some journalists are doing with their past praise of Andrew Cuomo.
Twitter is forever, as Neera Tanden learned to her detriment. And as the New York Post reports, some previous Cuomo fans are trying to erase the past or declare it inoperative. .
All journalists (including me) make judgments that later don’t look so hot. Stuff happens. That’s especially true in the quick-trigger environment of social media.
So when the New York governor was riding high for his early pandemic briefings, he was swimming in media praise. Then came the nursing home scandal and the admission that nearly twice as many residents had died from Covid than state officials had acknowledged.
BIDEN VS. TEXAS: WHAT THE PUBLIC CARES ABOUT ARE VACCINES AND RESULTS
And now it’s the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, prompting a belated apology from the governor that seems to have satisfied no one. And liberals who were on the Cuomo bandwagon last year are having to scramble to safety, now that the mainstream media consensus is drastically changing.
I give a tip of the hat to Molly Jong-Fast, who wrote a Vogue piece one year ago titled “Why We Are Crushing on Andrew Cuomo Right Now.”
And it was gushing: “All of a sudden, I love Governor Cuomo, his soothing Queens accent, his stories about his dad Mario.”
To her credit, she is owning it. Jong-Fast has a new piece in the Daily Beast with the headline: “My Cuomo ‘Crush’ Turned Out to be Stockholm Syndrome.”
Her previous Cuomo love letter “may have been my worst take,” Jong-Fast writes. “The piece was extremely bad and not at all good.” While she had called Cuomo “joyless,” she also noted “what a difference a pandemic makes” in hailing her “competent governor/imaginary boyfriend.”
I guess they’ve broken up.
CNN commentator Chris Cillizza was high on Cuomo last year, when there was chatter that he should jump into the White House race. Cillizza was all for it: “Andrew Cuomo said he’ll never run for president. That’s a mistake.”
By this week, Cillizza’s ardor had cooled. He wrote that “Andrew Cuomo is trying to stall on sexual harassment allegations. It won’t work.”
SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF OF THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIES
Obviously, no pundit can peer into the future. That’s why I thought it was a mistake when many of my colleagues declared Joe Biden politically dead after his blowout losses in Iowa and New Hampshire—not to mention those who dismissed Donald Trump’s 2016 candidacy as a joke.
But politicians are rarely as great as they seem when things are going well or as awful as they seem when they’re in the midst of a dumpster fire. In journalism, a little caution goes a long way. Remember, there’s Twitter. And this insidious thing called videotape.