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‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

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Embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who is already under fire from both sides of the aisle over sexual harassment allegations and the nursing home scandal, is now being accused of pressuring a female journalist in a video to “eat the whole sausage” at the 2016 New York State Fair.

“I want to see you eat the whole sausage,” Cuomo can be heard telling then-NewsChannel 9 reporter Beth Cefalu, all while his youngest daughter Michaela sits silently next to him, according to the video shared by journalist Matt Binder. A now-former aide to Cuomo could be seen handing Cefalu a sandwich.

“I don’t know if I should eat the whole sausage in front of you, but I’m definitely going to eat it,” Cefalu replied.

The Empire State governor then gestures to Cefalu, who is now a reporter and anchor at News 12 Westchester, to sit beside him.

MORE ON CUOMO: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

After she takes a selfie with Cuomo while hoisting up her plate, Cuomo remarked in an exchange, “There’s too much sausage in that picture,” which garnered some laughs from other table guests.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

However, Cefalu hit back at those trying to turn the viral video into a scandal.

On Sunday, she told Fox News on Sunday that her interaction with the governor has “nothing to do” with the harassment claims the governor has been facing and that she never felt “pressured” to eat the sandwich.

“The governor was trying to be nice and got me some food,” Cefalu explained. “It’s probably the one day of year or story of the year he and I can be a little informal and that’s what this was nothing more. He did not pressure me – he was not hitting on me nor did I feel harassed in anyway.”

Moreover, Cefalu tweeted Monday: “I was not pressured/harassed this is two people enjoying the one event – the NYS fair – that gives them a little more freedom to be informal. [It’s] really sad it’s being turned into anything more.”

The journalist went on to go after the media in her Twitter thread, saying, “This is why people hate ‘the media’ misleading headlines and one-sided articles twisting reality. It’s really sad that any media will turn fun at the fair into some sleazy scandal that it wasn’t.”

Last week, Cuomo was accused by a former top aide, Lindsey Boylan, of sexually harassing her while she served in his administration, after she accused him in December of making inappropriate comments about her appearance. Cuomo’s office has denied the accusations she made in an essay on Wednesday.

MORE ON CUOMO: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

After Boylan stepped forward, a low-level aide in the Cuomo’s administration until November named Charlotte Bennett told The New York Times in a Saturday report that the governor asked inappropriate questions regarding her sex life, such as if she had ever had sex with older men, as well as other remarks she interpreted as calculating her interest in a tryst.

Currently, pressure is mounting for an investigation into the sexual harassment claims made against Cuomo.

MORE ON CUOMO: De Blasio calls for investigation into Cuomo sexual harassment claims

In a Sunday statement, the governor said he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that,” Fox News reported.

MORE ON CUOMO: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good-natured way,” Cuomo also said. “I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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