We’ve all been there as young children, after realizing we did something that would surely earn us a scolding from our parents. We close our eyes tight, cover our ears, and hope our efforts to shut out the world will somehow vanquish the trouble we created.
Of course, we learn right away that we can’t run away from our problems. That no matter how much we pretend they don’t exist, they do. And at some point, there’s going to be a reckoning.
But there’s one man out there who still believes if he runs fast enough, trouble won’t catch up. That if he closes his eyes and covers his ears, he can wipe those concerns out of existence.
Sorry, governor, that’s not how it works.
For nearly a year, Andrew Cuomo couldn’t get enough of the public and the press, talking to all of us about the coronavirus pandemic, feuding with leaders like Mayor Bill de Blasio out in the open, and not afraid to field any question offered him, even if many times he never actually answered that question in the first place.
Cuomo would be the first to tell you that he’s in control, even in the presence of the Fourth Estate. There was nothing a reporter could say or do that would penetrate his “super leader” armor, and it wasn’t even worth trying.
But those days are like a distant memory now. Cuomo spends almost no time with the press these days. Suddenly, he fears the coronavirus spread so much, it’s too dangerous to have reporters around.
Of course, never mind that he’s drowning in scandal, whether it be for nursing home deaths or the growing list of former employees accusing him of sexual harassment if not outright sexual assault.
After yet another week of events with virtually no reporters in tow, the Journalists Association of New York has said this media-phobia must stop. It’s an affront to the public the governor serves — a public represented by reporters.
Should we have expected any less? In the shadow of Donald Trump, Andrew Cuomo appeared to very much be the leader many of us sought, especially through the most difficult of times.
But then Trump is removed from the equation, and what’s left? A realization that Cuomo was not so much an antidote to Trump, but more that he was simply Trump Lite.
Political leaders have a way of attacking the press the moment reporters assert their independence and refuse to view the world with the same rose-colored glasses they do. And when they find themselves in trouble, they simply wait it out, hoping the press — and the public they represent — will get bored and move on to something else.
Don’t worry, governor. When you open your eyes and uncover your ears, we can assure you that all of us will be right here waiting for you.