John Oliver Points Out 'Pretty Weird' Cuomo Habit

Governor, now mired in scandals, mimics his father in quoting a fictional AJ Parkinson
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2021 11:59 AM CST
John Oliver Roasts Andrew Cuomo
In this Feb. 24 photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File)

The scandals just keep coming for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the governor is getting no sympathy from John Oliver. On his latest HBO show, Oliver rips into Cuomo over allegations that he sexually harassed two women, covered up COVID deaths at nursing homes, and threatened a state lawmaker over the nursing home controversy. But "even before the current scandals, there was something gross about Cuomo’s glee in his public adulation last year," said Oliver, per Deadline. "From his constant appearance with his brother on CNN to him cosigning on the term 'Cuomosexuals'—the only sexual orientation, by the way, it is completely acceptable to discriminate against." More:

  • AJ who? Oliver also takes the governor to task for frequently quoting somebody named AJ Parkinson at news conferences. As it turns out, that's a name made by up Cuomo's father, Mario, when he was governor, as an inside joke with the media, per "Although that may have been charming at the time, the current Cuomo doing it during a pandemic when virtually no one gets that it is a joke is a pretty weird move," Oliver said. "But it does feel like a pretty apt metaphor for an administration that has aggressively managed facts to fit its chosen reality."

  • Pelosi: Cuomo has apologized over the sexual harassment allegations and said his "jokes" were misinterpreted by the women. But Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the allegations are "serious and credible," adding that an independent investigation now in the works "must have due process and respect for everybody involved," per Fox News.
  • DeBlasio: New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, a frequent political sparring partner of Cuomo's, went after the governor during a radio show Monday morning, reports the New York Post. "He's saying, 'Oh, I was joking around,'" says DeBlasio. "Sexual harassment’s not funny. Who the hell tries to explain that by saying I was just joking around." The mayor also encouraged other women to come forward.
  • Democrats: The sexual harassment allegations will force Democrats—particularly New York Democrats such as Chuck Schumer—who went after former President Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and others over harassment allegations of their own to "show whether they walk the '#MeToo' talk," per Axios. Expect Cuomo, seen as a "political bully," to be pressured by fellow Democrats to announce that he won't run for re-election in 2022, or even perhaps to resign.
  • A primer: The Wall Street Journal offers a "what we know" explainer on the harassment allegations, and how they will be investigated.
(More Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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