In this world, there are two kinds of performance. There is capability/effectiveness performance and presentation performance.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who horrifically mishadled the COVID-19 pandemic but received ongoing adoration from a fawning media for his daily press briefings, has shown us how much of a disconnect there can be between the two.
And now David Marcus, writing for thefederalist.com, provides a commentary on his revulsion over Cuomo receiving an Emmy for the press briefings.
A few salient excerpts:
Andrew Cuomo is not a competent governor of New York, but he does play one on TV. This week the denizens of make-believe world in Hollywood decided to honor Emperor Cuomo, as some of his lowly subjects here in the Empire state now call him. Specifically, the award was to show appreciation for his daytime press conferences at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
What was not mentioned, either in the wording of the award or in the video montage of old New York celebrities congratulating him, was that his response in New York was not only disjointed and shambolic, that the state not only has the highest number of COVID deaths in the country, that he has not only put needless and dangerous doubt on new vaccines, and that he also personally decided to put COVID patients in nursing homes, killing many in the process.
The reason Cuomo so dearly deserved his winged Emmy statue is precisely because despite his failings of leadership, he was fantastic on television. He did what leaders are supposed to do on television. He soothed while scolding. He made us feel proud to sacrifice, though, in fairness he didn’t do much actual sacrificing, but also made us feel shame for doubting him. He was like a big brother. In fact, on CNN he often was literally a big brother, and as long we simply listened to him without question everything would be fine. It was a lie, but damn it was good TV.
I wish I could give Mr. Marcus an argument on some of this. But I can’t, because he is dead-on correct.
Andrew Cuomo is an example – and far from the only example – proving that if you own a partisan, compromised media, you can get away with anything. And that goes 100% as much for the entertainment industry.
Enjoy the Emmy, Andrew.