After Times Union broke the story on Tuesday that a sixth accuser has come forward against the embattled governor over an incident that took place at the Executive Mansion late last year, the Albany newspaper broke a bombshell report on Wednesday that included disturbing details from the unnamed Cuomo administration aide.
“The staff member, whose identity is being withheld by the Times Union, had been called to the mansion under the apparent pretext of having her assist the governor with a minor technical issue involving his mobile phone,” the Times Union reported according to a source with direct knowledge of the allegation. “They were alone in Cuomo’s private residence on the second floor when he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her, according to the source.”
The report continued, “The person, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the woman — who is much younger than Cuomo — told the governor to stop. Her broader allegations include that he frequently engaged in flirtatious behavior with her, and that it was not the only time that he had touched her.”
Cuomo denied the allegations but called the reported details “gut-wrenching.”
The second report from the Times Union, which broke Wednesday evening, received no airtime on CNN after the pro-Cuomo network spent the 24 hours prior avoiding the paper’s first report revealing the existence of a sixth accuser.
MSNBC, which similarly avoided the sexual misconduct developments on Tuesday, made a brief reference to the Times Union’s latest reporting on Wednesday night’s “The Last Word” when host Lawrence O’Donnell asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to react to the latest accuser, though O’Donnell refrained from sharing the details about Cuomo’s alleged groping.
CNN previously went roughly an entire day before mentioning on-air the accusations made by Cuomo’s first accuser Lindsey Boylan, a former aide who wrote an essay accusing her former boss of unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, and forcibly kissing her on the lips.
The mainstream media previously hailed Cuomo’s “leadership” in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic and did all it could to downplay the nursing home scandal that has grown since last spring.
CNN in particular has been in a difficult position, as the governor is the older brother of the network’s star anchor, Chris Cuomo.
Rather than cover the Democratic governor objectively, CNN allowed the “Cuomo Prime Time” host to welcome the governor for a series of chummy interviews that lacked in substance but were heavy in fanfare. While Andrew Cuomo’s controversial nursing home policy that critics say is responsible for the deaths of thousands of elderly New Yorkers went virtually unmentioned, the CNN anchor made plenty of time for brotherly banter, hyping the governor’s presidential prospects, and even prop comedy.
Now, as his brother faces multiple scandals and investigations, and calls for his resignation and impeachment, Chris Cuomo has said he “obviously” cannot cover the embattled governor despite previously starring in what critics dubbed CNN’s “Cuomo-Cuomo variety hour.”