Ethics Observations On The Cuomo Resignation [Updated And Expanded]

cuomo resigns

Just as the news media and others had convinced themselves that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was determined to draw out the impeachment process, insist on his innocence and remain defiant, he resigned, saying today that he would officially step down in 14 days.

I cannot find a full text of Cuomo’s resignation speech, not is there a video that WordPress lets me embed. You can watch it here.

Ethics Observations:

1. Good. Everything else aside, resigning was the right thing to do, and the best outcome for the state. It doesn’t matter if the resignation itself was graceful or appropriately contrite— it wasn’t—or whether Cuomo would have stayed on and roiled the government indefinitely if he thought he could survive. It’s the most ethical decision even if his reasons for it and his method of doing so were unethical.

2. Hanging around for two weeks after resigning is unusual for an elected official resigning during a scandal. Cuomo will be a kind of super-lame duck. In theory, saying two weeks to help with an orderly transition is responsible. In practice, I expect it to be chaotic. He may not last the full 14 days.

3. Cuomo began his announcement by attacking the accusations against him and the process that brought hum down. So much for accepting accountability and admitting wrongdoing. He blamed the political environment (“there are many motivations at play, if anyone thought otherwise they would be naive”), his political enemies, social media, and rapid cultural changes that were just too darn sudden. He never admitted that he did something wrong. Incredibly, Cuomo presented himself up as a victim.

4. And, incredibly enough, a selfless hero. “I work for you and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you because as we say, it’s not about me, it’s about we,” Cuomo said, agreeing that fighting the wave of opposition in the wake of the sexual harassment accusations would throw New York into months of turmoil. “I cannot be the cause of that,” he said. “The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government. And therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you” What a guy! This is, as we know by now, standard face-saving strategy. It’s still nauseating when it is not accompanied by a genuine apology and an acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

Continue reading

A Show Of Hands, Please! Who Is Surprised To Learn That “Time’s Up,” Like #MeToo, Is Partisan, Hypocritical, And Tainted By Double Standards?

I assume only those so gullible that they are constantly falling for Ponzi schemes and hanging on Chris Cuomo’s every word have their hands up.

The #MeToo brigade that screamed that Justice Bret Kavanaugh was a “rapist” based on the weirdly vague “discovered memories” of an alleged victim who knew the SCOTUS nominee before he could vote went on to overwhelmingly vote for a Presidential candidate whose serial sexual harassment habit was a matter of photographic record. Now we learn that the leadership of Time’s Up, an organization formed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations (well, revelations in the sense that all of the Democrats and Hollywood stars who had willfully ignored them finally had to give in) that has the started mission of fighting sexual harassment and sexual assault—at least when Democrats aren’t involved, were involved in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to stifle the women accusing him of — sexual harassment and sexual assault!

The report issued last week by the New York Attorney General’s office found overwhelming evidence that Cuomo of sexually harassed eleven women. The report, also revealed that Roberta Kaplan, the chairwoman of the anti-harassment group as well as a co-founder, reviewed a draft of an op-ed letter that was designed to discredit Lindsay Boylan, the first woman to accuse Cuomo. The group’s CEO, Tina Tchen, also advised Cuomo and his staff, according to the report. Nice.

Today a group of victims of harassment t and sexual assault published a letter on Medium accusing that Time’s Up of betraying “the very people it was supposed to champion. The board continues to fail to heed the outcry from survivors. TIME’S UP is failing all survivors.”

Now Kaplan has resigned as chair, writing that as a lawyer, she could not answer questions about her involvement with Cuomo. “I therefore have reluctantly come to the conclusion that an active law practice is no longer compatible with serving on the Board at Time’s Up at this time and I hereby resign,” she wrote. So far, Tchen is still with the group.

Continue reading

Say Howdy To The Latest Addition To The Rationalizations List: #1D, Higgins’ Misconception”

Higgins

The title of Rationalization 1D comes from literature, specifically George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 drama, “Pygmalian,” better known today for its musical adaptation,”My Fair Lady.” The moment when Shaw’s obnoxious and misanthropic antihero Henry Higgins defines his rationalization occurs in Act 5; Alan J. Lerner lifted it almost verbatim for his book of the musical. Arrogant speech expert Higgins, having been rebuked by Eliza, the flower girl whom he taught to speak like an upper-class British woman to win a bet, for his cruel and uncivil conduct toward her says in his defense,

HIGGINS. … If you come back I shall treat you just as I have always treated you. I can’t change my nature; and I don’t intend to change my manners. My manners are exactly the same as Colonel Pickering’s.

LIZA. That’s not true. He treats a flower girl as if she was a duchess.

HIGGINS. And I treat a duchess as if she was a flower girl.

LIZA. I see.

HIGGINS. Just so….The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.

I immediately thought of this exchange when Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, in his rambling denial of multiple sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations, proclaimed his innocence (His victims don’t understand him!) by arguing that as a red-blooded Italian he’s just wired to be physically demonstrative, and treats everyone the same way.

Continue reading

Breaking! Joe Biden Wins The Gold Medal For Sexual Harassment Cluelessness With His Comments On Gov. Cuomo!

Biden creepy

Unbelievable.

Jeez, somebody tell him…please? Not only are the President’s comments on the findings released yesterday by New York state Attorney General Letitia James regarding NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s serial sexual harassment, including his call for Cuomo to resign, are embarrassing and inappropriate, they are also…hmmm, let’s see if I can cover them all…

  • …the babbling of an Ethics Dunce and legal ignoramus who still doesn’t know what sexual harassment is, despite having engaged in it for decades as well as having been photographed while engaging in while Vice-President….
  • …a blinding example of hypocrisy and ethics estoppel, since while it is true that Cuomo should resign, Biden, of all people, as a sexual harasser himself, is among the last people on Earth (along with Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein and a few others)  who has any business saying so…
  • …an Olympics-level achievement in ethics ignorance, as it not only pulls down gold medals in Ethics Duncery but also Unethical Quote of the Month, Incompetent Elected Official, Ethics Corrupter, and Jack Marshall Head Exploder (not to mention the blasts, perhaps fatal, also triggered in the craniums of Tara Reade, Lucy Flores, Amy Lappos, D.J. Hill, Caitlyn Caruso, Ally Call, Sofie Karasek, Vail Kohnert-Yount and others who experienced sexual harassment from Biden…

….in addition to the fact that it is an abuse of power and position for the President of the United States to inject himself into the matters of New York State, the justice system, and the fate of a duly elected official put in place by the citizens of New York. Continue reading

Addendum To “Stop Making Me Defend Chris Cuomo!”…

Cuomos

Apparently I wasn’t clear enough in the previous post, so allow me to address that.

Just as it is hypocritical in the extreme for any journalist, and certainly CNN, to tut-tut at Chris Cuomo for behaving exactly as biased, partisan, unethical and dead ethics-alarmed journalists do, it is absurd and self-defeating for alleged critics of our ethics-free journalism to stomp on Cuomo as if he did anything anyone paying attention should have known he would do without a second thought. (I assumed that the clip from “Casablanca” would make that sufficiently obvious. Guess not.)

The point is not to claim that Cuomo advising his high elected official brother in an official, if private, meeting of his aides is what an ethical journalist can or should do. Of course an ethical journalist shouldn’t do it. The point is that there are no ethical journalists; the journalism “profession”—the quotes are because professionals must be trustworthy, and anyone who trusts today’s fake journalists is a sucker—no longer has any ethical standards. Therefore a member of the “profession” who violates what are already dead letters cannot be said to have breached any “norm;” and we should not allow phony criticism of Cuomo to delude us into thinking otherwise.

Continue reading

Stop Making Me Defend Chris Cuomo!

CNN’s most unethical, incompetent and dumbest journalist—yes, yes, I keep telling you, even worse than Don Lemon!— is once again in trouble, and once again it’s because of his conflict of interest in matters involving his brother, besieged New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Chris advised Andrew and senior members of his brother’s staff on how to respond to the sexual harassment allegations made earlier this year by various women, in a series of conference calls including the Democratic governor, his top aide, his communications team, lawyers and a number of outside advisers. It doesn’t matter what Chris’s advice was; you can read the Washington Post story if you’re interested, but that’s irrelevant to the ethics issue. First, anyone who would take the advice of a boob like Chris Cuomo on anything needs to have his mittens connected up through his sleeves, and second, the problem is that Chris was involved in the discussions at all, even if all he did was blow spit bubbles.

Journalists are ethically obligated to be objective reporters of the news, not participants in it, assuming journalists today even know or care what their professional ethics rules are. Chris Cuomo clearly doesn’t: he made that clear by repeatedly interviewing his brother on CNN, tossing him softball questions, and basically serving as his brother’s PR flack. The network let him do it, because it meant good ratings and “fun” TV.

Yet the Washington Post offers this knee-slapper:

Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/20/21: Happy Birthday, John Stuart Mill!

Mill

John Stuart Mill (1806–73), was born on May 20, not merely the most important figure in ethics to have a connection to this day, but also the most important human being born on this day in the history of civilization—yes, even more than Cher, who turns 75 today. Mill’s refined the concept of liberty that required the freedom of the individual in opposition to state control. He was the most influential proponent of utilitarianism, the crucial ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham. He helped reform scientific inquiry and research, recognizing the pervasive risks of confirmation bias, by clearly explaining the premises of falsifiability as the key component in the scientific method.

Mill was also a Member of Parliament and a towering figure in liberal political philosophy. You have certainly heard or read his most famous quote: “A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.”

A thorough biography and analysis of his work is here.

1. Justice Breyer doesn’t care about making sure the Supreme Court doesn’t get more conservative. Good. That’s not his job. Democrats realize that their control of the Senate is hanging by a thread, “thread” defined as a few superannuated Senators who could drop dead any second, giving the GOP a majority. Thus they are increasingly pushing Justice Stephen G. Breyer, 82, to retire now so Joe Biden can name an appropriately liberal replacement (who will also have to be female and black, vastly limiting the pool of possible choices without concern for actual legal competence.) “Breyer’s best chance at protecting his legacy and impact on the law is to resign now, clearing the way for a younger justice who shares his judicial outlook,” wrote Erwin Chemerinsky, the hyper-partisan dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley in The Washington Post this month. Got that? The 80+year-old Democratic Senators have to hold on to their jobs like grim death, but Breyer is being lobbied to retire. Hypocrisy, they name is Democrat! But it isn’t Breyer:

The Justice has been particularly vocal about the importance of not allowing politics to influence judges’ work, including their decisions about when to retire. “My experience of more than 30 years as a judge has shown me that, once men and women take the judicial oath, they take the oath to heart,” he said last month in a lecture at Harvard Law School. “They are loyal to the rule of law, not to the political party that helped to secure their appointment….If the public sees judges as politicians in robes, its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power.”

I wonder if he’s read (or seen) “The Pelican Brief”…Meanwhile, research suggest that retirement tends to kill Supreme Court Justices. A paper in The Journal of Demography studied the effects of retirement by Supreme Court justices on their future longevity, and found that the effect of retirement was about the same as smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. The Democrats don’t care if Breyer dies sooner than later, though, as long as he does it when they can pick his successor, or after he’s quit.

Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN

“We generally do not get involved in the medical decisions of our employees. However, it is not surprising that in the earliest days of a once-in-a-century global pandemic, when Chris was showing symptoms and was concerned about possible spread, he turned to anyone he could for advice and assistance, as any human being would.”

—-CNN spokesman Matt Dornic, in a jaw-dropping defense of anchor Chris Cuomo after it was revealed that he used  his brother’s influence to “cut in line” to get Wuhan virus testing when it was unavailable to the general public.

Earlier this week, the The Albany-Times Union and The Washington Post reported yet another scandal involving New York’s Francis Ford Coppola-redolant governor, Andrew Cuomo. As if the deadly NY nursing home cover-up and the expanding sexual harassment allegations were not more than enough, we learned that…

“High-level members of the state Department of Health were directed last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to conduct prioritized coronavirus testing on the governor’s relatives as well as influential people with ties to the administration. Members of Cuomo’s family including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters were also tested by top health department officials — some several times.”

The governor, in short, manipulated state resources to ensure that his brother, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, received Wuhan virus testing when tests were scarce and generally unavailable. “The CNN anchor was swabbed by a top New York Department of Health doctor, who visited his Hamptons home to collect samples from him and his family,” WaPo reported. The test specimens from Andrew and other Cuomo family members were then rushed, in some cases driven by state police troopers to a state public health lab in Albany, where they were processed immediately. Some employees in the state health laboratory worked overtime late into the night to process the results for Cuomo family members whose roles in society, while hardly essential to New York or the public, were favored by the Governor of New York.

In particular, the CNN anchor got specialized medical attention while “media reports were full of accounts from New Yorkers desperate to get tested — including some with symptoms and recent travel history who were turned away because of scarcity.”

Glenn Greenwald neatly sums up the import of this beyond the obvious fact that this is another example of elected officials using their power and influence for personal gain:

For more than a year now, CNN’s promotion of “interviews” conducted by Chris Cuomo of his own brother — in which the CNN host repeatedly heaped lavish praise on Gov. Cuomo and even hyped him as a presidential contender while the Governor was corruptly and possibly criminally covering up COVID deaths — was one of the most glaring breaches of journalistic ethics imaginable…it aggressively deceived CNN’s audience. That they knew it was corrupt was evidenced by the CNN host’s recent announcement that he would not cover his brother’s recent scandals: what conceivable framework makes it journalistically permissible for a news host to shower his own brother with praise, but then not cover his scandals?

But now Chris Cuomo is directly involved in a serious abuse of power scandal by his brother: in fact, he’s the prime beneficiary of that scandal. He sought special medical favors from his brother, depriving other sick people more in need of it than he, by exploiting the fact that his brother is Governor and thus rules the state. That’s a scandal by any measure — one involving not only the Governor but also the CNN host.

What’s even more remarkable is that on May 6 — just weeks after Gov. Cuomo provided special COVID testing and treatment for him — Chris Cuomo “interviewed” his brother and began the interviewing by noting that New York State lacks the resources to provide COVID testing to the public at large. So not only did they conceal that they had both just used state resources to get Chris that scarce testing, but they both acknowledged that there was a resource shortage to serve the general public, even as Gov. Cuomo was lavishing those resources on his own family.

Now read CNN’s response again. Continue reading

Mid-Day Ethics Alarms, 3/22/2021: A Wonderful Father And A Judge Sees The Light, Though Others Not So Much…

Alarms2

1. Spitballing ethics? When everyone is throwing out ideas—you know, “Just say whatever crazy thing pops into your head, don’t worry whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea, just let ’em rip!” is it fair later to hold someone to account because a discarded idea was offensive or politically incorrect? I tend to think not.

Hiroshi Sasaki, the creative director for Tokyo Olympics, was participating in a brainstorming session about the opening ceremony with members of a committee a year ago, and at one point suggested that a popular overweight female Japanese comedian and plus-size fashion designer, Naomi Watanabe, be costumed in pig ears, perhaps a snout and curly tail, and parachute out of the heavens as an Olympic messenger: “Olympig.”

No? OK, bad idea. Let’s move on. The inspiration received immediate negative reviews in the private meeting, but when the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, 83, resigned this year after saying that women talk too much in meetings, the year-old conversation about “Olympig” was recalled in an article on the website of “Shukan Bunshun,” a weekly magazine. Yes, one of Sasaki’s trusted colleagues had talked. (That’s an easy call: Unethical.)

So you know what comes next, right? Groveling. “Now many people know what I wrote. I cannot apologize enough to Ms. Watanabe,” he said, adding that he was a big fan of hers. “I have been trying not to hurt others by making fun of diversity, gender and physical appearances. But it was a great misunderstanding. I realized my low consciousness and insensitivity.” He resigned.

Now you know that at least for now, when someone says to just suggest whatever pops into your head, no filters, no fear, don’t.

On the positive side, it’s comforting to know that The Great Stupid isn’t just an American phenomenon.

Continue reading

Sorry, I Can’t Let This Pass: The Number Of Women Accusing Gov. Cuomo Of Harassment Or Worse Just Jumped from 7 To 37

Cuomo billboard

Yesterday evening, noting the the “Love Guv’s” accusers had risen to seven, I wrote, I thought in jest, “Oooh…Bill Cosby must be getting worried!” Now the Cos, who has over 50 women who say he drugged and molested them, really might wonder if Cuomo is a threat to his record. For The Independent reports,

A New York Magazine report outlines 30 new women accusing Andrew Cuomo with a litany of various allegations. As a result, several say they had to go to therapy, take anti-depressants, and call a suicide hotline….One of Cuomo’s speechwriters accused him of “racialized abuse” and said that she was only hired to “fill a quota”. Accuser Ana Liss, 35, told New York Magazine “started pursuing mental-health services when I was there because I thought I was going crazy. My parents thought I was going nuts”. “I was angry and crying all the time, and I went on Lexapro,’ she added. ‘I did call in to a suicide hotline because I felt like such a friggin’ nobody.”

The sudden jump in accusers is a surprise, but not the mounting total. After accuser #2 came forward, I wrote, “[T] he acid test for sexual harassment (and worse) is whether there are additional victims who come forward after the first one breaks the silence. Cuomo is now up to two. It’s a safe bet there are more.” Mark that as one more fact that the mainstream news media withheld that readers here were alerted to.

Continue reading