Objectively speaking, Andrew Cuomo should no longer be governor of New York (and CNN owes us a huge apology for its ethical journalistic lapse)

Being governor is a privilege not a right

The easiest political call in a long time: Andrew Cuomo should resign. He should no longer be governor of New York. If he decides to try and retain power anyway, Democrats in New York should force him out of office. Being governor of a state is a privilege, not a right. Cuomo has forfeited that privilege.

The attorney general in New York has found that Cuomo broke the law by sexually harassing multiple women. From the New York Times:

“Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of both federal and state laws,” Ms. James said. “The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.”

Ms. James said the report revealed “a deeply disturbing, yet clear picture” and “conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”

This is in addition to the horrific way Cuomo handled the elderly and covid deaths during the height of the pandemic. That alone was enough for me to want him gone. This just makes the case for impeaching and removing him that much clearer.

And from a strictly journalistic standpoint, this makes CNN look even worse. When New York was the epicenter of the pandemic, the news network allowed Cuomo’s brother Chris do a series of on-air buddy-buddy interviews with Gov. Cuomo. It was unprofessional and unethical and remains a blot on the network’s reputation. That’s something the network has not yet made a full public accounting for - but definitely should now. (Full disclosure: I have written several pieces for CNN.com over the past few years.)

And in case you’re wondering: Of course I believe men like Donald Trump should be held accountable for their actions, particularly sexual assault and harassment. Hell, I don’t think men like him should have ever been in office. Maybe this is easier for me to say because I’m neither a Democrat nor Republican. I used to vote for both until the GOP went bonkers and decided to side with open racists again. But doing what’s right isn’t about doing the easy thing. Democrats in New York should put the hammer down on Cuomo and get him out of office. This isn’t a particularly close call, especially because New York is heavily Democratic which means that even after Cuomo is ousted, the party will still be in control. There’s no reason to allow him to skate, ethically or politically.

To be fair, here is part of Cuomo’s defense, if you want to call it that:

Cuomo has done us a great service. He disproves the absurd logic that just because you do something to a lot of people means you did it for the same reason every single time. For example, Trump could be mean to black women because he's racist even if he is also sometimes mean to white dudes. Former KKK head David Duke may have occasionally called some white people he knew “lazy” but when he used that term for black people, he did it for racist reasons.