Filmmaker and journalist Morgan Pehme published an op-ed accusing the Cuomo administration of terrorizing him for trying to run a story that exposed the New York governor for having distorted the truth.
The accusations come as one state lawmaker has similarly accused the governor of making harassing phone calls threatening his career.
Pehme’s column, published in the New York Post, accuses Cuomo’s secretary Melissa DeRosa of “threatening to destroy me” fur running a negative story back in 2014.
The former editor of City & State, a New York politics magazine, charges that while DeRosa was the one making the call, he knew it was at the behest of her boss.
“While the April 2014 call I received from DeRosa didn’t come directly from the governor, I knew it bore 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, says @morganpehme. https://t.co/aMa3HHafPo #CuomoCoverup #Cuomocide#CuomoGate via @nypost
— John Burnett (@IamJohnBurnett) February 23, 2021
Reporter Accuses Cuomo of Terrorizing, Threatening Him For Reporting the Truth
At issue, according to Morgan Pehme, was the fact that City & State “was about to publish a story exposing Cuomo’s machinations to distort the final report issued by the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.”
Cuomo “hastily shut … down” the public corruption commission, Pehme says. And the fact that he was about to be exposed led to a phone call from DeRosa at 4:30 in the morning.
“I don’t recall precisely everything DeRosa hurled at me, though I’m positive she vowed to ‘destroy’ my career and take revenge on my publication,” Pehme recalled. “I remember vividly how I felt: scared.”
“I had no reason to think these were idle threats,” he continued. “I was fully aware of the governor’s volcanic temper and track record of vindictiveness.”
“If he wanted to crush me, he could and likely would.”
Good on @morganpehme for not backing down in the face of threats.
But shame on the many, many NY reporters who have in the past, just to curry favor with Cuomo’s minions.
They have no business in 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 “like the press is supposed to do in the face of intimidation.”
The problem being, for every instance of journalistic courage in New York, there are countless examples of cowards who bow down to Governor Cuomo’s threats or worse, try to curry favor with him and his associates.
This is how he’s quietly gotten away with the harassing behavior for so long.
This is payback to Jon making a montage of Cuomo saying “baloney,” which happens often. pic.twitter.com/yMPGPfOaqZ
— Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) August 21, 2019
Cuomo’s History of Bullying
Pehme alleges that Governor Andrew Cuomo terrorizing those who may have negative information about him is common knowledge behind the scenes in New York.
He references the recent shocking allegations from State Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat who claims Cuomo called him and tried to talk him into issuing a statement covering for the recent nursing home scandal the governor finds himself embroiled in.
When that didn’t work, he vowed to ruin Kim’s career.
Kim reported that Cuomo, in a phone conversation stated “we’re in this business together and we don’t cross certain lines,” adding that Kim “hadn’t seen his wrath” and that “I can destroy you.”
NY Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim, whose uncle died in a NY 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 … asking me [to cover up a] crime” pic.twitter.com/uHKopiIeDW
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 18, 2021
“Many Americans are shocked, having bought into the compassionate persona Cuomo conveyed in his pandemic briefings,” Pehme writes.
“But Kim’s revelations came as no surprise to anyone who has dealt with the governor,” he adds. “As one Albany insider texted me last week, ‘everyone has an Andrew Cuomo story.'”
The Cuomo administration is currently under investigation by the FBI and a United States attorney in Brooklyn for his administration’s COVID-related nursing home scandal.
The scandal exploded earlier this month when DeRosa admitted in a conference call to fellow Democrats that the administration hid information on COVID nursing home deaths from federal investigators.
Read more at the Poltical Insider