Imagine How Governor Cuomo Would React if He Were Really the Victim of Liz Benjamin’s Snark


Via The Other McCain, BuzzFeed received a “dossier” created by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s communications director on the “snark” directed at the guv by YNN’s Albany reporter Liz Benjamin. It’s laughable, except that New York taxpayers were paying the staffer’s salary while he compiled his snark list.

A top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo assembled a 35-page dossier on the work of an Albany political reporter considered hostile to his administration, highlighting any shred of criticism in a document that reflects the intense sensitivity of a governor on the brink of taking the national stage.

The document was provided to BuzzFeed by a New York City political operative who said he believes it reveals Cuomo’s “scary dark side.” And the document does offer a glimpse into Cuomo’s obsessive and often difficult relationship with the media who cover him. Communications Director Richard Bamberger, who acknowledged preparing the document, called it “meaningless” and “garbage,” while warning that its leak set a “dangerous precedent.”

The file, composed of highlighted and annotated blog items by Elizabeth Benjamin, one of Albany’s dominant political reporters, paints a picture of an executive branch that’s particularly averse to hints that Cuomo could be, as is widely assumed, conidering running for president in 2016. The document focuses particularly on seven items it describes as “GENERALLY SNARKY,” including one in which this passage is highlighted:

“The governor has already been speculated to harbor White House aspirations himself — an effort that would enable him to surpass the record of his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, who contemplated, but never went for, a presidential run.”

Other sections of the document highlight any language that could possibly be interpreted as critical of Cuomo, much of it innocuous by most standards: The highlighted passages include Benjamin characterizing the Governor’s phrase “celebration on 9/11” as “an interesting choice of words” and her writing that he “declined to put even a ballpark figure on the coast of storm clean-up.” (Read More)

It’s a good thing Governor Dark Side wasn’t really subjected to Benjamin’s snark. Sheesh, who knows what he’d do. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle was recently on the receiving end. Now this was snark.

He [Former Rep. Dan Maffei] penned an attack letter that appeared in the local newspaper over the weekend that began with a lie. [Rep. Ann Marie] Buerkle was asked about the letter during an interview with YNN’s Liz Benjamin, and this is how she responded:

“I thought that his letter to the paper was irresponsible, because if you don’t like this plan, tell us: What is your plan? What is your alternative?”

“When you have the Medicare actuaries telling us that Medicare Part A is going to go bankrupt by 2024, we as legislators need to be responsible and have a discussion.

And he knows that this proposal does not effect those 55 years and above. They don’t have to worry about their Medicare program being changed or altered or cut.”

What he failed to say is that the health care law does cut Medicare, and that’s a discussion that anyone who voted for the Affordable Care Act is afraid to have, because that, in fact, does cut Medicare, and that is the law. And that is, in fact, what seniors are going to be feeling and seeing in 2014.”

Sounds reasonable to me. But how did Benjamin characterize Buerkle’s statement? Like this:

In response to my question on last night’s CapTon about how she plans to prevent this year’s rematch with … ex-Rep. Dan Maffei, from descending into a mud-slinging festival, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle…went on the attack.

Really? She defended herself against Maffei’s lies and it’s an attack? I thought reporters were trained to be more subtle.

Maybe we should call him Governor Thin Skin.

Oh, by the way, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle recently picked up the endorsement of the NY Independence Party. She also has posted great fundraising results, but so has her opponent, former Rep. Dan Maffei who voted in lock-step with Nancy Pelosi. A donation to her campaign wouldn’t be a waste of funds, however, because there’s now a Green Party candidate in the race, who will hopefully siphon off some Dem votes.