Andrew Cuomo has suffered many indignities lately. He had to resign. He had to crash at his sister’s place. He couldn’t even get rid of the dog he so clearly hated. But now has come the greatest slap in the face of all: he lost his Emmy.
Cuomo, you will recall, was literally given an Emmy last year, when the International Emmy Awards honored him for his famous televised COVID briefings. But the Emmys have now pulled a Weinstein/Cosby on Cuomo and rescinded the award:
This is objectively hilarious, and it’s no less than what Andrew Cuomo deserves. But it provides us with a chance to revisit an extremely cursed artifact: the video package the Emmys put together when handing Cuomo the award. Just watch this thing:
I mean…where to even begin? Everything about the video is embarrassing, from the stats (“111 CONSECUTIVE PRESS CONFERENCES, 59 MILLION VIEWERS”) to the compilation of some of Cuomo’s more “hilarious” gags about meatballs and his daughters, to the highlight reel of celebrities like Spike Lee and Robert De Niro, all of whom thank Cuomo for his incredible service. (De Niro’s testimonial is so obviously phoned-in that it almost becomes satirical.) It’s cringe on top of cringe, something everyone who produced it is surely trying to forget.
But here’s the thing: the video was terrible then too! It’s worth revisiting because it is important to remember how close Cuomo came to getting away with it all. His COVID briefings were a triumph of style over substance, something that won him global plaudits even as his actual policies were consigning tens of thousands of people to their deaths. None of this was a secret, but the kinds of people who hand out Emmys didn’t care. They were happy to collude with Cuomo in the fantasy he was creating—happy to indulge in the most pernicious kind of myth-making.
Cuomo is gone from public life (for now), but in a sense, this Emmy video is the ultimate reflection of his legacy: a petty, destructive tyrant whose successes were quite literally made for television.