4/18: Controversy or Political Reality?

By Dr. Lee M. Miringoff

A little perspective seems in order over the recent dustup in Albany involving Governor Cuomo’s staff keeping tabs on reporters’ comments about him.  No, this is not a throwback to Richard Nixon’s Enemy’s List.  It barely resembles the legendary Mario Cuomo’s late-night tussle with reporters over nuanced points of theology.  Hopefully, aside from this tongue-in-cheek comment, we never hear this referred to as “Press-Gate.”  (My pet peeve is that “Gate” is typically used way too often and thereby loses its muscle… See Seamus-Gate).

caricature of Lee MiringoffInstead, I think we have just gotten an up close look at how politics has long been played.  Closely monitoring references made about a politician both big and small is made necessary given the quick-speed technology of today’s political world.  What were once cast aside as seemingly insignificant gaffes now go viral…Etch a Sketch, working women etc… in recent days.  And, nowadays, things hang around for eternity.  So, anything you said or said about you at any prior point can resurface in the future… like 2016, for example… and have a major impact in the court of public opinion.

If you believe that politicians and the press have largely an adversarial relationship, than chalk this one up to your side of the argument.  In the meantime, here’s to the press for not getting intimidated when a pol is watching your every blog, and here’s to the right of our political leaders to watch out for their own good.