Wednesday, August 11, 2021

What Exactly Is Andrew Cuomo Guilty Of?

 Among the “less overtly sexual” behavior cited in the report as being unlawfully “gender-based” was Cuomo’s apparent habit of “allowing senior staff members to sit on his lap at official functions” and “lying down with his head on the lap of staff members who are women.” This, the report alleges on page 148, was a key component of the overall “hostile work environment.”

 But parsed out elsewhere in the report—evidently causing it to be missed by frenetic pundits—is the revelation that “none” of the staff involved in the lap-sitting activity “reported feeling uncomfortable with this behavior.”

In fact, the report’s authors concede, “a number of witnesses we spoke to informed us that all of this behavior led to a sense among staff members in the Executive Chamber that personal attention from the Governor, even if flirtatious … was not only normal, but to be valued.” This would seem to be exculpatory information of a kind—but a search across Google and Twitter suggests it’s been omitted almost entirely from the ensuing press coverage. Instead, these exculpatory testaments were somehow reconfigured by the report’s authors as evidence of Cuomo’s guilt. In the rush to axe Cuomo, media accounts appear to have wholly glossed over this discrepancy.

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