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Governor Dick

July 8, 2015

Warily, we’re warming to the new journalism. We read Alex Pareene on Gawker today (see below) and, at first, we were given pause not by his editorializing, but by the extraordinarily bold language he used in doing so.

Of Cuomo, Pareene said: He has “consistently and petulant undermined” DeBlasio.

He has engaged DeBlasio in way that is “as smarmy and purposely aggravating” as possible.

And, “he is doing this strictly to be a dick.”

We read this and thought that Pareene’s writing was the antithesis of the restrained and “objective” reporting we were taught to respect as the highest form of the calling.

We thought Pareene’s writing was the commentary of a pure partisan, a DeBlasio supporter who was stung and hitting back.

But then we began to analyze and discuss his piece in our group, and it occurred to us that Pareene wasn’t opining so much on the substance of the debate as he was commenting on the nature of the debate. He was saying that Cuomo was being disingenuous with his comments.

And it occurred to us that it’s old-school legit to do that. It serves the traditional journalistic function of helping readers sort out what’s happening. Pareene, despite the snarky verbiage, was doing his job.

Let us put this another way:

Perhaps we actually side with Cuomo on the substance of the argument with DeBlasio. Perhaps we think that DeBlasio’s politics are far-left bullshit.  Perhaps we totally distrust a person who changes his name and uses his kids as props in political campaigns. Perhaps we don’t hold DeBlasio in high regard. Perhaps to all of that.

At the same time, we’re not blind to what Cuomo’s doing. We know he’s not being honest and forthright in this dust up. We know he’s posturing. We know he’s playing DeBlasio, a friend and fellow Dem, and trying to make him look bad.

And how do we look at all of that and not say: “This is how you spend your time as Governor? This is how you use your gifts as a pol? This is how you use your authority?

How do we not invoke Mario Cuomo and say: “Aren’t you a better politician and a better man than this?”

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