It’s time for New York journalists to step up and tell their own Cuomo stories
It was 4:30 in the morning, so I locked the bathroom door in my one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment to answer the phone without waking my then 5-year-old. In this line Melissa Derasa, the then Communications Director of the Government, Gue. Cuomo, now his second in command. She Was threatening to destroy me.
So far, Queens Assembly member Ron Kim thanked the public for whistling at the threats received in a call from Cuomo, giving the public a glimpse of the bullying committed by the governor and his top officials.
Many Americans have been shocked, bought in a compassionate personality revealed by Cuomo in his epidemic briefing. But no one was surprised by the revelations of Kim, who has dealt with the governor. As one Albany insider wrote to me last week, “Everyone has an Andrew Cuomo story.”
Although in April 2014 I did not receive calls directly from Deoras to the Governor, I knew that this was the full weight of his power. City and State, New York’s politics magazine, which I edited at the time, was about to publish a story highlighting the mechanization of Cuomo to distort the final report released by the Morolem Commission on Public Corruption.
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The document we manipulated kept a lie to the Governor’s public proclamation that it would be a completely independent body with the authority to investigate corruption in Albany wherever it was found. In actuality, as soon as the commission touched his office of governor, he hastily shut it down.
As soon as we requested the request, I started getting pushback from the Governor’s office. In a barrage of calls, his media handlers pushed me to pursue the article, alternately coming to me with a carrot (a hot exclusive to name later) and stick. By 4:30 pm – our piece was about to be published at 5 – I was only getting sticks.
Seven years later, I do not remember exactly what Derasa has waged on me, although I am positive that he has vowed to “destroy” my career and avenge my publication. I remember how I felt: scared.
I had no reason to think that these were useless threats. I was fully aware of the Governor’s volcanic nature and track record of vandalism. If he wanted to crush me, he could do more chances.
This was a serious gut test for me. I worry about losing my livelihood, harming my future, disappointing my wife and daughter. But luckily, I had bosses and colleagues who were involved with the quality of our work. So we published the piece, like it should scare the press.
I am not a hero. Members of the Albany Press Corps regularly tolerate abusive calls such as the one I received. And sometimes those calls come from the governor himself.
Cleverly, the governor told reporters that he praised them when they liked. This personal touch brings him a win of goodwill. Receiving such a call is a rite of passage for Albany journalists. Unfortunately, he is also receiving a call from the governor when he is breathing fire.
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Cuomo does not dispute that the tough thing is what he does. He Thinks it is a quality. But the abuse he privately commits to a systematic campaign to silence the negative coverage of his administration. And it works.
The editors killed legitimate stories because of her threats; Run away from promising suggestions; The sources remain silent.
- Tucker Carlson: Coronavirus epidemic, lockdown reveals the totalitarian tendency of our leaders
- Dr. Mark Seagal: COVID and the incident of 500,000 deaths – keep in mind the story of two epidemics
- John B. Duacas: COVID and Cuomo – Why New York Governor Should Be Concerned About Federal Investigation
There are several reasons that do not highlight the media governor’s bullying. Albany journalists fear that if the governor excludes them, they will not be able to do their work effectively. Some journalists are seen speaking out as violating the unwritten code of “off-the-record” conversations. Others simply assume that “everyone knows” how Cuomo works, so it’s not worth reporting.
For years, entertainment reporters have justified their silence about the #MeToo monsters in the industry by saying “everyone knows.” But the public did not know. Many of the future victims of criminals did not know. And so these thugs continued to work with Impunity.
As of last week, most New Yorkers did not know of Cuomo’s vile methods. But they must have. Journalists are agents of accountability. It is time for New York journalists to step up and tell their own Cuomo stories.