Politics

The New York journalist accuses Cuomo of “terrorizing” him for his work as a reporter

Filmmaker and journalist Morgan Pehme released a statement accusing the Cuomo administration of terrorizing him for trying to tell a story that exposed the New York governor for distorting the truth.

The allegations stem from a lawmaker similarly accusing the governor of making harassing phone calls that threatened his career.

Pehle's column, published in the New York Post, accuses Cuomo's secretary Melissa DeRosa of "threatening to destroy me" with a negative story in 2014.

The former editor of City & State, a New York political magazine, claims that DeRosa called but knew it was her boss's order.

"Although DeRosa's call in April 2014 did not come directly from the governor, I knew he was carrying the full weight of his power," he writes.

REALITY CHECK: #NewYork has a fascist governor. # Cuomo's office terrorized me for doing my job as a journalist, @morganpehme says. https://t.co/aMa3HHafPo #CuomoCoverup # Cuomocide # CuomoGate via @nypost

– John Burnett (@IamJohnBurnett) February 23, 2021

RELATED: Walls Closing? Cuomo Admin as part of an FBI investigation into COVID nursing home scandal

Reporter accuses Cuomo of terrorizing and threatening him for telling the truth

Morgan Pehme said it was about the fact that City & State "was about to publish a story exposing Cuomo's machinations in order to distort the final report of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption".

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Cuomo "hastily closed the public corruption commission …" says Pehme. And the fact that he was about to be exposed led to a call from DeRosa at 4:30 a.m.

"I don't remember exactly everything DeRosa hurled at me, although I'm sure she vowed to" destroy "my career and take revenge on my publication," recalled Pehme. "I vividly remember how I felt: fear."

"I had no reason to believe that these were idle threats," he continued. "I was fully aware of the governor's volcanic temperament and the history of vengeance."

"If he wanted to destroy me, he could and probably would."

Good thing @morganpehme that you don't retreat in the face of threats.

But shame on the many, many New York reporters who have done it in the past just to gain favor with Cuomo's henchmen.

They have nothing to do with journalism. And you all know who you are https://t.co/5MxbT9vGe8

– Rusty Weiss @ (@ rustyweiss74) February 23, 2021

Pehme notes that his publication ran the story "how the press is supposed to do it in the face of intimidation".

The problem is, for any journalistic courage in New York, there are countless examples of cowards bowing to, or worse, trying to gain favor with Governor Cuomo, or worse, to win favor with him and his staff.

That way, he quietly got away with the harassing behavior for so long.

Haha: @NYGovCuomo gave reporter @JonCampbellGAN about £ 12 Tobins Bologna first prize that Jon now has to lug around @NYSFair.

This is a refund to Jon, who is doing a montage of Cuomo that says "nonsense" which is a common occurrence. pic.twitter.com/yMPGPfOaqZ

– Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) August 21, 2019

RELATED: Cuomo Threats Democratic Legislators Over COVID Nursing Home Scandal

Cuomo's story of bullying

Pehme claims that Governor Andrew Cuomo, who terrorizes those who may have negative information about him, is well known behind the scenes in New York.

He recalls recent shocking allegations by MP Ron Kim, a Democrat who alleged Cuomo called him and tried to persuade him to explain the recent nursing home scandal that the governor is implicated.

When that didn't work, he vowed to ruin Kim's career.

Kim reported that on a phone call, Cuomo stated, "we are in this business together and we do not cross certain lines," adding that Kim "did not see his anger" and that "I can destroy you".

New York Democratic MP Ron Kim, whose uncle died in a New York nursing home: @NYGovCuomo called and "berated me, yelled at me. He told me that my career would be over (if I didn't lie) and… would ask me to cover up (a) crime ”pic.twitter.com/uHKopiIeDW

– Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 18, 2021

"Many Americans are shocked because they chose the compassionate person Cuomo conveyed in his pandemic briefings," writes Pehme.

"But Kim's revelations didn't come as a surprise to anyone who looked at the governor," he added. "As an Albany insider wrote to me last week," Everyone has an Andrew Cuomo story. "

The Cuomo administration is currently under investigation by the FBI and a U.S. attorney in Brooklyn over the administration's COVID-related nursing home scandal.

The scandal exploded earlier this month when DeRosa admitted on a conference call with fellow Democrats that the government had been hiding information about deaths from COVID nursing homes from federal investigators.

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