Real Journalism: CBS Devotes 14 Minutes to Latest Cuomo Accuser


It’s becoming very clear that Andrew Cuomo isn’t going to resign. Instead, the scandal-plagued Democratic governor is digging in, attempting to save himself from impeachment and conviction. So it’s incumbent on the networks to continue to look into this story and investigate every angle of it. 

CBS This Morning is showing an interest in doing just that. On Monday, the program devoted 14 minutes and 1 second (three segments) to interviewing accuser Brittany Commisso, a woman who says the New York Governor groped her. In contrast, NBC’s Today only allowed one segment, a mere 3 minutes and 7 seconds. ABC’s Good Morning America, surprisingly, had a much more respectable 5 minutes and 57 seconds over two segments. 

On CBS, reporter Jericka Duncan allowed Commisso, previously identified as “executive assistant number one” in the AG’s report, talk about the fear of angering the powerful Cuomo: 

These are not hugs that he would give his mother or, you know, his brother. These were hugs with the intention of getting some personal sexual satisfaction out of. Then they started to be hugs with kisses on the cheek. And then there was at one point a hug and then when he went to go kiss me on the cheek, he quickly turned his head and kissed me on the lips. 

People don’t understand that this is the governor of the state of New York. There are troopers that are outside of the mansion. They are not there to protect me. They are there to protect him. 

So he gets up and he goes to give me a hug. I could tell immediately when he hugged me it was probably the most sexually aggressive manner than any of the other hugs that he had given me. It was then that I said, “Governor,” my words were “You’re going to get us in trouble.” 

 

CBS ran interviews with Commisso in the 7 AM hour, the 7:30 AM hour and the 8 AM hour. She almost broke down discussing how difficult it is to speak out against Cuomo: 

There was a time when between my personal life and this it was too much. People don’t understand. It’s the governor of the state of New York. He is a professional fighter. And I think people should know that it hasn’t been easy. And I apologize that I haven’t come forward sooner. 

Last week, CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell interviewed Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett about the governor’s creepy interrogation of her past sexual abuse. 

As the Cuomo debacle continues to develop, all three networks have a responsibility to seek out the governor’s various accusers. 

This real journalism was sponsored by Giant and Toyota. Click on the links to thank them. 

Partial transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read more. 

CBS This Morning
8/9/2021

Segment 1: 2:34
Segment 2: 8:58
Segment 3: 2:29

Total: 14:01

TONY DOKOUPIL: I want to get to your exclusive reporting. Our big sit down interview with Brittany commisso, one of the 11 women who claim New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed them It comes as the three-term Democrat faces a crisis as his top aide, Melissa Derosa announced she is resigning. And state legislators meet to discuss their impeachment investigation. We should point out at the top here that Cuomo denies all allegations of misconduct and rejected new calls for his resignation after a scathing report from the state’s attorney general. Commisso identified as executive assistant number one in the AG.’s report has filed the first criminal complaint against Cuomo. In an exclusive interview with CBS This Morning and Albany’s Time Union newspaper, Commisso says the governor gave her intimate hugs and kisses. 

BRITTANY COMMISSO: These are not hugs that he would give his mother or, you know, his brother. These were hugs with the intention of getting some personal sexual satisfaction out of. Then they started to be hugs with kisses on the cheek. And then there was at one point a hug and then when he went to go kiss me on the cheek, he quickly turned his head and kissed me on the lips. 

JERICKA DUNCAN: What did you say? 

COMMISSO I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything this whole time. People don’t understand that this is the governor of the state of New York. There are troopers that are outside of the mansion. They are not there to protect me. They are there to protect him. I felt as though if I did something to insult him, especially insult him in his own home, it wasn’t going to be him that was going to get fired or in trouble. 

DUNCAN: Did you ever have any consensual sexual activity with the governor of New York state? 

COMMISSO: No. 

DUNCAN: Is it possible that the governor thought that these interactions that he was having with you was something that was normal, something that he thought was not a big deal? 

COMMISSO: No. Maybe to him, that he thought this was normal. But to me and the other women that he did this to, it was not normal. It was not welcomed. And it was certainly not consensual. 

DUNCAN: The governor testified that he did not kiss executive assistant number 1. 

7:30 AM ET

DUNCAN: The first woman to file a criminal complaint against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is telling us why she did it. In an exclusive interview with CBS This Morning and Albany’s Times-Union newspaper, Brittany Commisso said Cuomo groped and sexually harassed her. Commisso was identified as executive assistant number 1 in the state attorney general’s report and is one of 11 women who accused the governor of sexual misconduct. Cuomo denies all their allegations. Commisso says the governor broke the law and in her words needs to be held accountable. 

DUNCAN: In the report you’re known as executive assistant number 1. 

COMMISSO: I am executive assistant in the governor’s office, but I am also a mother, I am a daughter, I am a friend, I’m a colleague, I am more than executive assistant number 1. 

DUNCAN: She said governor Cuomo groped her twice, the first time on New Year’s Eve, 2019, at the governor’s mansion. 

DUNCAN: The governor has denied that he put his hand on Commisso’s bottom during the selfie. Commisso alleges that the governor groped her a second time at the governor’s mansion in November of 2020. 

COMMISSO: So he gets up and he goes to give me a hug. I could tell immediately when he hugged me it was probably the most sexually aggressive manner than any of the other hugs that he had given me. It was then that I said, “Governor,” my words were “You’re going to get us in trouble.” 

COMMISSO: There was a time when between my personal life and this it was too much. People don’t understand. It’s the governor of the state of New York. He is a professional fighter. And I think people should know that it hasn’t been easy. And I apologize that I haven’t come forward sooner. 



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