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Female reporter comes out with bullying, intimidation allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo


Lining up to fall down

Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images

A former journalist said recently that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and his administration bullied and attempted to intimidate her, according to the New York Post.

What is a brief history here?

The woman, Lindsay Nielsen, is just one of several people who have come forward with allegations that the New York governor bullied and attempted to intimidate them.

Karen Hinton, a woman who once worked as Cuomo's press secretary, says that the New York governor is a master of "penis politics" and has a "penchant for bullying." She also insisted that Cuomo worked to undermine her and her experience on a regular basis while under his employ.

New York journalist Morgan Pehme claimed last week that Cuomo "terrorized" him for doing his job as a journalist.

Cuomo also reportedly threatened Assemblyman Ron Kim (D) for calling out Cuomo's "BS" as the state's ongoing COVID-19-nursing home scandal continues to unfold. During a phone conversation, Cuomo reportedly told Kim, "You have not seen my wrath. I have been biting my tongue for months. I can tell the whole world what a bad person you are and you will be finished. You will be destroyed."

A Cuomo senior adviser hit back at Kim's claims, alleging that the assemblyman was "lying about his conversation" with the governor, and insisted Cuomo never made those remarks.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that reports about Cuomo's purported conversation were not surprising, and that the alleged bullying was "classic Andrew Cuomo."

"A lot of people in New York state have received those phone calls," he added. "I believe Ron Kim and it's very, very sad. No public servant, no person who is telling the truth, should be treated that way. The threats, the belittling, the demand that someone change their statement right that moment — many, many times I've heard that and I know a lot of other people in the state that have heard that."

What are the details?

In a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday, Nielsen wrote, "'You have a vendetta against him don't you!' That was the last time I allowed someone connected to Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration to harass and manipulate me. It was during one of the many accusatory and threatening phone calls I received by his staff members that I realized this behavior was never going to stop."

"It was shortly thereafter that I decided to leave my job at News10," she continued. "The late night phone calls from the administration, the constant threats to call my boss, the incessant bullying to try and get me to stop doing my job and reporting specific stories ... it would never end. The tactics used were deliberate yet evasive. They skimmed the line of inappropriateness ever so delicately as to make you feel like they were acceptable."

Nielsen concluded the post, "I am writing this today to make sure that those involved in this behavior back then now know that not only was it not acceptable but also that it was damaging. I applaud those who have come forward recently with reports of similar behavior by the same administration."

What else?

Nielsen told the New York Post that what she went through felt like "personal attacks" though she was simply trying to do her job as a journalist.

"It was very harassing," she added.

The Post reported, "Nielsen explained that when she'd reach out to Cuomo's office for comment on a story she often would not get a response — only to then get a barrage of phone calls demanding changes after it was published."

She told the outlet, "They would make it person, claiming I have this personal vendetta against the governor, which is absolutely bogus. I was doing my job as a journalist. All I was ever trying to do was report the story, report the facts."

Nielsen said that she decided to come forward with the accusations after other women stepped forward with what she said were similar stories.

"I don't want another reporter to have to go through that," she explained. "That's why I did it."

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