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Cuomo and Trump are political twins — but only one gets media heat

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Cuomo and Trump are political twins — but only one gets media heat

So it turns out Gov. Cuomo is more like former President Donald Trump than even . . . Trump.

Remember how media routinely portrayed the then-prez as a bully? Last September, “Frontline” actually ran a piece titled “Trump the Bully.” Now, Cuomo’s fellow Democrat, Assemblyman Ron Kim, says the governor threatened to ruin him if he didn’t help make Cuomo’s nursing-home scandal go away.

“You have not seen my wrath,” Kim says Cuomo fumed. “You will be destroyed.”

Right on cue, Cuomo on Wednesday fired torpedoes at Kim, charging him (sans evidence) with “unethical, if not illegal” behavior. The gov just happened to make the allegations right after Kim — whose uncle died in a nursing home in April after suffering COVID symptoms — slammed Cuomo for his handling of nursing homes and refused to recant.

It’s not just the bullying. Think about it: Both Trump and Cuomo hail from Queens, followed in their father’s business and eventually reached high office. They share enormous egos and thin skins, insult critics childishly — and exaggerate and outright lie to embellish their record and to hide damaging facts.

Indeed, the pair behave so similarly, you might wonder what’s in the water in Queens.

Yet Cuomo’s darker qualities, the kind so often attributed to Trump, may have escaped ordinary New Yorkers’ notice, because the press so often closes its eyes to them.

Start with their fibs: Many are so transparent, and bizarre, as to be near humorous. Trump claimed audiences far larger than what video actually showed. Cuomo once feigned shock over toll hikes he himself had surely OK’d.

Trump’s biggest whopper: insisting he won the 2020 election. That, critics charge, “incited insurrectionists” to invade the Capitol. Trump lied; people died.

Cuomo’s biggest: understating COVID nursing-home deaths after he forced homes to take in COVID-positive patients. People died; Cuomo lied.

While the press blamed Trump instantly for the Capitol riot, only The Post and a few other outlets fully covered the nursing-home scandal from the start.

This week, the governor again insisted nursing-home deaths “were always fully public and accurately reported.” Huh? His top aide admitted his staff withheld info, supposedly out of fear it might be used against them in a federal probe.

That revelation has critics calling for Cuomo’s impeachment. Trump, meanwhile, has already been impeached — twice.

Then there are their egos: Trump claims he accomplished more than any other president. Cuomo wrote a book offering himself as a model of “leadership” amid his disastrous COVID decision-making.

They share a short temper, intolerance and a sharp but juvenile tongue: Just this week, Trump called Mitch McConnell “unsmiling.” Cuomo once insisted “conservatives” — he called them “extreme conservatives” — “have no place” in New York. His attacks on folks in private are far more vicious.

Mayor Ed Koch long blamed Andrew Cuomo for campaign posters that read “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo” during the 1982 Democratic gubernatorial primary against his dad, Mario.

Then there’s how they deal with negative news stories. Trump dismisses them as “fake news” (many really are untrue). Cuomo likewise denies unflattering reports, calling them “political.” This week, he accused The Post of getting it wrong on his nursing-home debacle. (We didn’t.)

The men have their differences: They’re on opposite sides, politically. One is an experienced pol, the other a real-estate mogul, TV celeb and political outsider.

Yet the biggest contrast is how the media treat them, routinely depicting Trump as a cartoon villain while helping Cuomo become a heartthrob for “Cuomosexuals” who went on to win an Emmy.

Which raises an important question: All else equal, who’s more dangerous — a leader like Trump, whose flaws and lies are blatant, obvious and called out unfailingly? Or one who’s more skilled at deception, more polished politically and less subject to scrutiny?

True, Cuomo is no former President Barack Obama, who could say almost anything and have many people buy it. Yet even as the governor’s nursing-home coverup was being exposed, Cuomo still managed to win a favorable approval rating from 56 percent of New Yorkers, a Siena poll this week found. Fawning media coverage no doubt contributes to that.

Trump and Cuomo are two sides of the same coin. But unless you scratch the surface of both sides equally, you can easily miss that fact. New Yorkers are only now beginning to find out just how costly an oversight that is.

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Opinion

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu showed the opposite of grace as he exited from power on Sunday.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

The Issue: The discussion of law and order at last week’s Democratic debate for mayor.

If any one of these five candidates becomes mayor, it will be the continuation of the de Blasio era (“Crime focus of Dem debate,” June 11).

Many of them are in favor of defunding the Police Department, which is why there is so much crime, and shootings are rising every day.

The people of this city had better wake up when they go to vote. Haven’t we had enough of this? When will it stop? These candidates will not put an end to all this.

Rob Johann

Queens

Thinking that a Republican candidate could not win the mayoral race in New York, I switched my party to Democrat so I could vote.

After listening to all the Democratic candidates during the debate last week, I want to immediately switch my party back to Republican and vote for Curtis Sliwa.

He is our only hope to live in a city that values law and order. He won’t cave to these left-wing zealots who will further destroy our city and our quality of life.

We need a mayor who can bring back the tourists, help our economy and ensure a better life for all of us.

We cannot let the city go into further decline with any of these Democratic candidates. Please, wake up and vote for someone who will lift all of us up.

Susan Green

Manhattan

The fact that Andrew Yang is slipping in the polls is the only good news in the mayoral race.

Eric Adams is talking about crime, while Yang thinks the biggest issues for the city are AI and climate change.

If Yang wins, people will be dreaming of “the good old days” under Mayor de Blasio, formerly thought to be the bottom of the barrel.

Andrew Delaney

Miami, Fla.

I am not impressed by any of the Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City.

What each of them is proposing will cause further crime, divisiveness and decay, raise taxes, make life more miserable for residents and visitors and drive more families out of the city.

What does it take to get through to the New York voter? How bad does it have to get before they abandon a party that is becoming more idiotic with every election cycle?

Take a look at cities and states that have been doing well under Republican leadership and consider voting Republican.

D.M. Diana

Greeley, Pa.

Even Adams is falling for it. He said the “solution” to city violent crime is to reach out to youth and improve mental-health services.

These chic answers are a guarantee that innocent New Yorkers will continue to be murdered, raped, thrown onto subway tracks and maimed.

Get the violent off the streets first. Whether they are criminal or mentally ill, sort that out afterward. Get them away from the rest of us first.

Paul O’Keefe

Union City, NJ

I generally agree with The Post’s endorsements, but I am baffled by its support of Adams for mayor.

His stance on the NYPD changes at his convenience. One day he’s anti-cop and a fierce critic of the NYPD (even though he was employed by the NYPD), and then he switches and comes across as pro-police.

Can New Yorkers elect a mayor who lacks common sense and leadership skills? His suggestion last summer to New Yorkers to settle disputes about illegal fireworks on their own and not call the police was deadly. Shatavia Walls, 33, died as a result.

Adams lacks the moral compass and common sense required to be a winning mayor. The people of New York deserve better.

Susan Berger

Brooklyn

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

Maya Wiley can’t contain her contempt for cops

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Maya Wiley can’t contain her contempt for cops

Maya Wiley again proved what a disaster she’d be as mayor last week, by refusing to commit to not disarming cops.

At the debate, WCBS’s Marcia Kramer pushed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former legal adviser on what she thought of state Attorney General Letitia James’ suggestion to mandate that law-enforcers use force only as a last resort. Wiley dodged: “Safety is job one, and I’m going to keep New Yorkers safe when I’m mayor.”

So Kramer asked if she’d take guns away from the NYPD, and Wiley dropped her bomb: “I am not prepared to make that decision in a debate.”

Huh? What decision is there to make? It’d be absurd to disarm the city’s cops at any time, let alone one when the bad guys are firing their weapons at an ever-higher rate. Yet Wiley’s refusal to commit is an announcement that she finds the idea attractive.

Not that it’s a real surprise: Wiley is a police-hater who demonized NYPD officers in a campaign ad in which she claimed cops don’t think she and other black New Yorkers “deserve to breathe.”

In reality, the NYPD’s work has saved tens of thousands of black lives in recent decades, by bringing the murder rate to historic lows — though it’s now starting to inch back up because Wiley and her fans imagine that police violence is now the greater threat. Literally: She’s vowed to slash the NYPD’s budget because “trauma” from dealing with cops is a bigger problem than crime.

In reality, most minority New Yorkers want more cops in their neighborhoods, though of course they want the police to do their jobs as politely as possible. Then too, the force itself is now majority-minority.

All of which is why Eric Adams wisely made fighting crime the signature issue of his campaign and why he leads in the polls. But a large and fractured field plus the advent of ranked-choice voting could let a loon like Wiley sneak into the Democratic nomination and likely victory in the fall — unless all sane New Yorkers make sure to leave her entirely off their ballots and choose only pro-public-safety candidates.

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