- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 18, 2021

The drama and intense media coverage has intensified. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to be the focus of headlines, op-eds and tell-alls as accusations of sexual harassment and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic accumulate around him. A few stray headlines from recent days:

“Governor Cuomo needs to stop talking about his feelings” (The Nation); “Reporter details ‘uncomfortable’ encounters with Gov. Cuomo” (New York Post); “For Biden, questions about Cuomo grow harder to ignore” (The Associated Press); “‘Go to your friends’: Black leaders rally around Cuomo” (Politico); “The rise and fall of Andrew Cuomo” (The New York Times); and “Andrew Cuomo’s rise and fall (and rise and fall)” (Albany Times-Union).

Some news organizations suggest that the governor is not facing the issue.

“Cuomo ducks media again as sexual harassment scandal rages, talks Covid and baseball instead,” said CNBC.

Yet a leading crisis management expert has some surprising advice for Mr. Cuomo as the stakes grow higher and the potential negative outcomes close in.



“The best of his bad options is to play for time. Demand due process and work behind the scenes to try to grab whatever support he can and hope the political winds change. There is no reason to resign immediately,” Eric Dezenhall — CEO of Dezenhall Resources, a nationally recognized high-stakes communications firm — tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Dezenhall, incidentally, is the author of a new thriller novel titled “False Light,” which ironically chronicles the tumultuous events surrounding sexual assault accusations against a public figure and a path to justice for “the little man,” he says.

THE ENDLESS COMMUTE

The long drive to work is getting longer, which may be bad news for the millions of Americans who have become accustomed — and even happy — to work at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Census Bureau revealed Thursday that the average one-way commute in the United States has increased to an all-time high of 27.6 minutes. The federal agency based the figure on travel time data among U.S. workers as tallied in the American Community Surveys between 2006 and 2019.

“The majority of workers, approximately 57%, left for work between 6:00 a.m. and 8:29 a.m. Among this group, those leaving between 6:00 a.m. and 6:29 a.m. reported the longest average travel time to work at 32.8 minutes,” the federal agency reported.

“The longest average travel times were associated with various forms of public transportation. For example, workers who traveled to work by bus had an average commute of 46.6 minutes,” the Census advised.

The findings also revealed the commuting extremes. The Census said that 8.5% of commuters spent up to an hour getting work, while 6.7% devoted up to 89 minutes a day for the process. Last, but certainly not least, 3.1% had a commute that lasted 90 or more minutes.

“Workers who traveled by typically longer-distance public transportation modes, such as long-distance train, commuter rail, or ferryboat, had the longest one-way average travel time at 71.2 minutes, more than double the national average,” the report said.

FORGET THE CARBON TAX

A coalition of 63 conservative and free-market organizations have voiced their opposition to the idea of a carbon tax — essentially a fee imposed on those who use carbon-based fuels.

The environmentally minded consider a carbon tax as a way to reduce and ultimately end the use of fossil fuel. The organizations believe otherwise. The effort was spearheaded by American for Tax Reform, a nonprofit taxpayer advocacy group. Here’s what the coalition have to say:

“Dear Members of Congress: We oppose any carbon tax. A carbon tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer. It raises the cost of filling your car. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost and intrusiveness of the government in our lives.”

Among the many signers: Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Jessica Anderson, executive director of the Heritage Action for America; David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth; and Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks.

FOXIFIED

Fox News remains the top cable news source. It’s also ruling the competition online. Fox News Digital closed out the month of February with 1.6 billion multiplatform views, according to Comscore, an industry source.

That number surpasses the online audiences of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today in every category, as well as CBSNews.com and ABCNews.com.

The findings mark the network’s best February on record, up 24% since this time last year according to Socialbakers, an industry source that tracks online trends. For the 78th straight month, Fox News also remained the most engaged news brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with over 73 million total interactions.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Stonehaven, a “country retreat” built in 1710 on three acres overlooking the Musconetcong River in Lebanon Township, New Jersey. Three bedrooms, two baths, formal library and oversized gathering rooms, exposed interior stone walls, original built-ins, three fireplaces, two staircases, gourmet kitchen, a “wall of windows” with spectacular views. Stone exterior, patio, wooded lot, manicured grounds. Priced at $579,000 through ColdwellBanker.com.

POLL DU JOUR

62% of U.S. adults are dissatisfied with the “U.S. position in the world”; 78% of Republicans, 59% of independents and 53% of Democrats agree.

37% overall are satisfied with the U.S. position in the world; 22% of Republicans, 40% of independents and 45% of Democrats agree.

58% overall think “world leaders” respect President Biden; 19% of Republicans, 59% of independents and 90% of Democrats agree.

39% overall say the leaders don’t have respect for Mr. Biden; 79% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,021 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 3-18 and released MONDAY.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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