New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is much in the news of late, and none if it’s good.
After a top staffer admitted in a call with Democratic state legislators that the administration withheld key numbers on nursing home deaths from COVID-19 from being publicly released, Cuomo is getting pilloried, as you might expect.
It’s good to know, then, that Twitter is willing to protect him in ways the social media giant wouldn’t afford to a sitting president of the United States.
Let’s take you back to 2018, back in the antediluvian days of restaurant-going and maskless shopping. That summer, after a spate of confrontations between leftist activists and Trump administration officials, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters decided to make an even bad situation a lot worse.
She openly urged her supporters to confront Trump administration officials anywhere they could be found in public.
“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said.
In an appearance later on MSNBC, she didn’t just back down from those remarks, she doubled down.
“The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re going to absolutely harass them,” Waters said.
Twitter has thankfully decided these words violate the company’s policy on abuse and harassment. Only they didn’t decide those words were abusive when used against then-President Donald Trump in 2018, nor harassment if they were used by Maxine Waters.
Instead, this was what constituted a suspension-worthy use of those words, as reported by Donald Trump Jr.:
Twitter suspended this guy for quoting @RepMaxineWaters and substituting “Cuomo” with “Trump.” Waters was never sanctioned for her words of “incitement” but he was for quoting her verbatim. pic.twitter.com/7JjmYmxdFx
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 12, 2021
The tweet Trump Jr. was passing along originally came from Cuomo Watch, a Twitter account dedicated to — you guessed it — watching the current governor of New York state and his multifarious problems, particularly on the COVID-19 front.
So, yesterday Twitter temporarily suspended me for quoting @RepMaxineWaters and substituting “Cuomo” for “Trump”. Maxine was never sanctioned for her words of “incitement” but I was for quoting her.@Twitter forced me to delete my magnificent tweet, then wait 12 hrs-I’m BACK now https://t.co/Hlul166Uwy
— Cuomo Watch (@CuomoWatch) February 13, 2021
It turns out, if you substitute Andrew Cuomo’s name for Donald Trump’s, you can get yourself banned. (In all fairness, the quote was attributed to Maxine CuomoWatch, not Maxine Waters, though — so does it really count?)
While the account dates back to June of 2013, three years after Cuomo was elected to New York’s highest office, one imagines the past year has been particularly eventful.
But consider what happened shortly after the original tweet appeared on Jan. 28. Apparently, these Democrats didn’t know the provenance of the original quote:
This is appalling and dangerous. Encouraging violence must never be tolerated. Shame on whoever is behind this kind of garbage. https://t.co/piPMVEOUWl
— Carl E. Heastie (@CarlHeastie) January 29, 2021
That’s Carl E. Heastie, speaker for the New York State Assembly, who said that “[e]ncouraging violence must never be tolerated. Shame on whoever is behind this kind of garbage.” We’re in agreement, but perhaps not how you think we are.
He wasn’t the only New York lawmaker outraged.
New York state Sen. Jamaal T. Bailey wrote that the CuomoWatch tweet was “more than tonedeaf, especially considering what’s happened in recent days. This is unacceptable and ridiculous. Read the room.”
This is more than tonedeaf, especially considering what’s happened in recent days. This is unacceptable and ridiculous. Read the room. https://t.co/tOZrhFDxnW
— Jamaal T. Bailey (@jamaaltbailey) January 29, 2021
Christine Quinn, former speaker of the New York City Council and once the front-runner to become mayor of New York City before she was upset by Bill de Blasio in the 2013 Democratic primary, also voiced her anger, calling the tweet “dangerous and outrageous!”
This is dangerous and outrageous! https://t.co/ZnBLqYZLzt
— Christine Quinn (@chriscquinn) January 29, 2021
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone wrote that “Democrats and Republicans must denounce this threat of violence against our fellow New Yorkers.
Democrats and Republicans must denounce this threat of violence against our fellow New Yorkers.
— Steve Bellone (@SteveBellone) January 29, 2021
Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, meanwhile, wrote that it was “dangerous and unacceptable, especially after what happened in DC. Encouraging this kind of violence is unacceptable.”
This is dangerous and unacceptable, especially after what happened in DC. Encouraging this kind of violence is unacceptable. https://t.co/y1zvhJbKeR
— Daniel Rosenthal (@DanRosenthalNYC) January 29, 2021
Agreed on all counts — although, curiously, we never heard this kind of anger from the left when this exact language came from one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington.
Apparently, all of these people believe that a Twitter account with 14,000 followers presented more danger to Andrew Cuomo using Maxine Waters’ words than Maxine Waters did, using those selfsame words against the then-sitting president in a clip that was played ad nauseam and watched by untold millions.
And you know what? Twitter sided with them.
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