Reporters were banned from an event held by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the Javits Center on April 6th, continuing his pattern of avoiding journalists’ questions in recent public appearances
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2021
NEW YORK— In an event at the Javits Center on April 6th, Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke about the importance of vaccines against a large backdrop, reading “No Excuses.” The event was closed to the press, an apparent attempt to avoid questions surrounding the recent allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Cuomo. Sources have alleged that the governor asked aides invasive questions about their sexual background and touched a woman inappropriately. The governor dismissed these claims as “misinterpretations” of his “playful” demeanor. These allegations came in the wake of a scandal around the governor’s mishandling of nursing homes during COVID and subsequent coverup, a mistake leading to a significant loss in credibility.
TPF spokesperson Sami Campana-Gladstone commented, “Governor Cuomo’s exclusion of the press in recent public appearances is a mistake of epic proportions. In spite of the recent sexual assault and harassment allegations that came out against Cuomo, the governor has only spoken to reporters in a controlled environment. He has elected to only speak to the press on conference calls where his team can pick and choose whom to take questions from and prevent reporters from posing follow-up questions. In doing so, he is taking away New Yorkers’ right to obtain the truth about these accusations and hindering journalists from exercising their role as the liaison between the public and government officials. In the midst of the #MeToo movement, TPF recognizes it is vital that if these allegations have merit, Cuomo be immediately held accountable and, in the governor’s words, have no excuses be made for him.”
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Source: Business Insider
Read PEN America resources about other instances of reporters being banned or shut out by United States government officials here and here.
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