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The Gray Lady dithers

March 15, 2010

NT2 was not in the gaggle criticizing the New York Times during the run-up to its blockbuster story regarding Governor Paterson and his staff.  The newspaper wasn’t responsible for rumors that swirled at the time, and couldn’t respond before the big story was actually written and published.  They handled the situation properly.

Having said that, where is the Times with its coverage of Andrew Cuomo? They put their best reporters on the Paterson beat and made some extraordinary revelations. Aren’t they now honor bound to turn a similar level of scrutiny on Cuomo?

NT2 would argue that they should treat Paterson and Cuomo in exactly the same way. Just as they did with Paterson, they should pick a member of Cuomo’s inner circle to profile, and, just as they did with Paterson, they should do a separate examination of the organizational dynamic in the Cuomo’s office.

On the first point, Cuomo no doubt will do well when compared to Paterson. For every “DJ” in the Paterson shop, there’s a Steve Cohen, Ben Lawsky, Joe Percoco or Jennifer Cunningham in Cuomo-land. They are all experienced, competent professionals. Of these, however, the most interesting is Cunningham, now serving as de facto campaign manager. (See “Who’s Who in the Cuomo Campaign”) Without a doubt, Cunningham is a woman of substance and commitment. Still, she’s a union operative, which raises fair questions that Cuomo and his supporters need to address. What will Cuomo’s relationship with the unions be like? Does Cuomo really think that New York should be spending twice as much as other states on Medicaid? Does Cuomo think we have an excess of hospital beds or not enough? These are all fair questions that are overdue in the asking by reporters.

On the second matter, Cuomo may actually be uncomfortable with some honest reporting. That’s because his office and his political operation are not open or responsive. In fact, he and his staff are often prickly and secretive. And he gets away with it.

And here’s the real point: where is the Times on all of this? Where are the rest of the reporters?

The Cuomo camp says: “We’re not talking now.”  And the reporters, so far at least, have meekly accepted this response. He’s the presumptive Governor and the reporters who follow state government appear to be waiting for an ok to report. What’s wrong with this picture? And what’s wrong with the Times? How does the great paper bring such withering scrutiny to bear on Paterson, while virtually ignoring Cuomo?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 17, 2010 4:36 AM

    I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

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