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Media created Cuomo myth and other commentary

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Media created Cuomo myth and other commentary

Media watch: Media Created Cuomo Myth

Gov. Cuomo ordered COVID-positive patients into elderly-care facilities and relented only after news of deaths trickled out, fumes The Federalist’s Christopher Bedford. He never took blame for that but instead offered “lie after lie,” plus his usual bullying. And “what did the corporate media do? They got creepy, worshipping him like something ­between a savior and a manipulative boyfriend.” The Post and others “demanded answers,” but “leftist outlets thanked him for his leadership.” Hollywood gave him an Emmy, and daytime shows invited him to pitch his farcical book on pandemic “leadership.” Indeed, the “myth” of Cuomo, “Master of Pandemics,” was the creation of the American ­media — “the very people whose job is to hold politicians accountable,” regardless of party or ideology.ᐧEmmys are for acting. But for “CNN, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, AP and PolitiFact, there is no excuse.”

Conservative: Limbaugh’s Lasting Legacy

At Spectator USA, Daniel McCarthy mourns Rush Limabugh, who will “be loved by the right and hated by the left for years to come.” A “media powerhouse,” he proved “there could be a mass audience for [conservatives’] message” large enough “to support a television network.” He showed how to be “successful in using weapons that the left forged,” including bringing “a rock irreverence to conservative commentary.” “Millions of Americans don’t accept the orthodoxy that the old media and now the new social networks promote,” and if deprived of a platform, “they’ll look for another, no matter how irreverent it might be.” If lefties fear a new Rush will be “even more shocking to their sensibilities,” they need to “encourage more speech, not less.”

White House beat: First Felines

Only “about a dozen cats have padded through the White House, compared with more than 100 dogs,” but the Bidens will “add a rare first ­feline” to the family, reports The Washington Post’s Bonnie Berkowitz. Some cats “had the run of the White House.” Theodore Roosevelt’s cat Tom Quartz “liked to stalk Jack, a family terrier, and jump onto his back” — and did “something similar to Joseph Cannon, the speaker of the House.” The Fords’ Shan was more chill: She liked to “grab an afternoon nap with first lady Betty Ford.” Not so Misty Malarky: As Jimmy Carter appeared at the top of the Grand Staircase for his first state dinner, “the Marine Band began to play, the press waited expectantly” — and Misty strode first down the stairs.

From the left: The Cancel-Celebrities Culture

“Stop treating celebrities like politicians,” demands New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait. Social media are producing “panicky firings,” ­because no “film or show wants to be linked, however tangentially, to ‘racism’ or ‘anti-Semitism,’ either real or imagined.” Gina Carano was axed from Disney’s “The Mandalorian” “over a supposedly anti-Semitic social-media post.” Yet the post wasn’t bigoted, and anyway, we shouldn’t expect an ­actress “to analyze her social-media posts for their historical undertones with the same level of intellectual sophistication” as members of Congress. “A person can have a job vamping on a reality show or dressing up in a silly costume and pretending to chase around Baby Yoda in a spaceship without possessing a fine-tuned antenna for decoding political symbolism.”

Education desk: Illinois’ Useless Standards

At FoxNews.com, Eli Steele recalls a young, illiterate man seeking a job whom he met while gathering footage for a documentary on Illinois’ “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards.” Steele marveled at “how far this man’s world was from the new standards” leaders thought would uplift blacks. The disconnect between their “progressive values” and “the realities on the ground could not be starker.” Illinois teachers “failed to uphold the most basic” of education standards for that man, and he isn’t alone: In 2019, only 37 percent of Illinois third-graders showed proficiency in English. When Steele asked the man “how he felt about the education system wanting to encourage students to become activists, he laughed: “Anyone can march, but not everyone can get a job.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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Opinion

NYC needs a fighter for mayor, not a technocrat

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NYC needs a fighter for mayor, not a technocrat

Former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia touts her career in city government and technocratic skills as reasons she should be your pick for mayor. Problem is, what New York needs right now is not just impressive-sounding plans, but the ability to fight for what the city needs.

Frankly, being a good-government star of the de Blasio city administration is a pretty minor achievement: The competition wasn’t exactly fierce. Nor did Garcia’s much-touted talent for logistics always prove true.

Back in November 2018, a mere six inches of snow paralyzed the city and left thousands of schoolkids trapped on school buses for hours. The response was so poor that Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for hearings into Garcia’s handling of the storm. She also ran into trouble as interim city Housing Authority chief, letting the insiders lead her to deliver false testimony about lead-paint remediation.

During the lockdowns, the mayor put her in charge of delivering emergency food to needy seniors. But her system demanded seniors use unfamiliar technology to sign up, and as The Post reported, the “beneficiaries” also had issues with food quality and delivery.

But the bigger issue isn’t dealing with the bureaucracy, but with the politicians. It’s not enough to reject “Defund the Police” nonsense: The city’s next mayor will need to muscle the City Council and Legislature into amending the anti-anti-crime laws they’ve passed in recent years, from the city’s “chokehold” mistake to the disastrous “no bail” legislation.

Brooklyn’s Eric Adams has the contacts from his time in the state Senate to move Albany, and the cred from a lifetime of fighting for police reform to argue persuasively against bad police reforms.

Garcia just hasn’t been in the political trenches. Indeed, two veteran Democratic operatives told The Post’s Julia Marsh that her lack of such seasoning would harm her ability to handle pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the council and the feds.

Coming out of the pandemic, New York City faces multiple crises: public safety, fiscal, economic. The next mayor can hire wonks, planners and managers; the talent he or she must have is a proven ability to make the right calls, as Adams did in centering his campaign on public safety from the start, and to beat the other politicians into going along. That’s why Eric Adams remains our choice.

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The old Cold War models can’t help us meet today’s Russian threat

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The old Cold War models can’t help us meet today’s Russian threat

President Joe Biden and Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet Wednesday for the first time since Biden was elected president.

For many in the foreign-policy establishment, this is an exciting opportunity to conjure some Cold War drama. Historically, such summits were major happenings. They were premised on the idea that tensions between the two nuclear powers were so great and grave, merely talking was an accomplishment in its own right.

Conservatives contend that the summit is a mistake primarily because it gives Putin the prestige he craves while giving Biden nothing in return. I tend to agree. But this argument also draws on the same Cold War nostalgia.

Conservatives often opposed US-Soviet summits, because they were seen as part of a process of “normalization” and détente that not only lent the Soviets undeserved legitimacy but often ended with concessions that strengthened our enemy.

Worse, such summits were often used to buy cover or time for Soviet expansionism. Forty-two years ago this week, Jimmy Carter met with Leonid Brezhnev in Vienna to sign the SALT II treaty. Brezhnev personally promised his peaceful intentions to Carter, and six months later, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

You can see how those arguments could be applied today, but I think we’d all be better served to ditch the Cold War stuff, because circumstances have changed.

First, Russia is a basket case. Rife with corruption, entirely dependent on oil and gas revenues and starving for foreign investment, Russia’s entire GDP ($1.7 trillion) is smaller than Biden’s first COVID relief package.

Second, as morally bankrupt as Soviet Communism was, it nonetheless appealed to the hearts and minds of millions around the globe. No one, save would-be despots, looks at the Russian “model” as something they want to emulate. We’re not competing with Russia for moral leadership.

That’s because Putin is better understood as a cross between a conventional mob boss, a James Bond villain and a Latin-American strongman. Estimates of his personal wealth range from $40 billion to $200 billion. Whatever the right number, he didn’t get that rich from wisely investing his $300,000 salary.

Putin holds onto power in part through crushing domestic opposition, intimidating or killing dissidents, blackmail, censorship and other tactics of ruthless tyrants. But he also maintains control by keeping Russian society in a constant state of crisis by relentlessly fueling paranoia that the West is at war with Russia and he’s the only leader strong enough to hold her enemies at bay. A true Cold War nostalgic, he believes that relations with the West are zero-sum: Whatever is bad for the West is good for Russia.

That’s why Russia is constantly meddling in Western elections, including our own in 2016. It’s also why Russia’s propaganda machine loves to amplify America’s domestic shortcomings.

The idea that Biden (or anyone) can talk Putin out of his perceived self-interest is ludicrous. Someone who has clung to power through murder and oppression can’t be made to see the light with finger-wagging bromides.

Biden would be well-served to tell Putin simply and bluntly that there will be concrete consequences to his actions — assuming Biden is willing to follow through. Beyond that, Biden should take a page from Putin himself. The Russian dictator sees these summits as a propaganda opportunity, domestically and internationally. Biden should, too.

Propaganda has taken on a negative connotation, suggesting pernicious state misinformation. But propaganda was originally about propagating the faith, specifically Catholicism. To his credit, Biden seems to be sincerely interested in propagating the faith of democracy, the rule of law and Western resolve. He won’t be able to persuade Putin of any of that. But that’s not the audience that matters. There are people throughout Russia who need to hear it — and in America, too.

Twitter: @JonahDispatch

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Step up for the cops, says ex-NYPD brass Joanne Jaffe

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Step up for the cops, says ex-NYPD brass Joanne Jaffe

Three-star chief commander, highest-ranking female ever in the NYPD, Joanne Jaffe was let go. Despite her pending lawsuit relative to discriminating employment practices, she has workable ideas about handling our crime problem.

“My first day as a cop, 1979, a 4 to 12 tour along totally decimated, blown out Pitkin Avenue’s boarded up buildings, my first thought? ‘How to go to the bathroom?’

“As for now, this city’s thousands of religious leaders with influence over communities they serve must step up to preserve the sanctity of life. Our priority is their priority. They should be out in the streets saying, ‘Stop the violence.’ Also our grandmothers. They’re influential over grandchildren. Let them be involved in what their kids and great-grandchildren are doing.

“Plus, a block watch program that really works. There’s 77 precincts. Plus, 12 transit districts. But we need the community. Disagree with the police, OK, but be part of discussions. Understand the anger.

“There’s a supervision of homeless shelters, so why are police the repository of all society’s social ills? More things get shoved onto the police when other agencies haven’t training or ability to cope.

“There’s city agencies. Pick the top hundred families that can help with medical, economic, education problems. You only hear about keeping kids out of jail. How about before they go to jail? Instead of watching TV all day, we’ve got to build school relationships in a different way.

“Politicians knowing nothing sit at tables making decisions. They don’t invite police officials. Don’t know what it’s like struggling in the middle of a crowd, things thrown at you, fighting you. Not clean. Nothing’s pretty. These pols have rallies. They march. They don’t even know what they’re talking about.

“Our cops know who it is. They know their people. Others tell them. They know who, what. They know how to calm things down. We need people to come out, like when a child gets shot. When these tragedies happen they shout out for two days and then slink back. We need them to stay out. Our elected officials are busy with rallies. We need them, our religious leaders, our grandparents, our top families to come out!

“Cops aren’t engaging now because they feel unsupported. Disillusioned. Morale is low. They’re no longer willing to risk. It’s not defund the police or support the police. It’s come to the middle.”

Unlucky with Leo?

DiCaprioJulianne Hough’s niece, being a yenta, has claimed her aunt told her Leo is not “King of the World” between the sheets. Then on Howard Stern’s show recently a caller said he stood next to Leo at the urinal in Sunset Beach on Shelter Island and assessed DiCaprio’s various parts. Not king-sized burbled this one. Stern, skeptical, admitted, “I know that bathroom and never use it. Rather pee in my pants if I have to.”


THE good news. Finally, we’re dragging out last year’s stylish clothes. The bad news? Thanks to our pandemic’s stay-home/eat-home year — nothing fits.

Not only in New York, kids, not only in New York.

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