HBO late-night host John Oliver ripped New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D., in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual harassment on Sunday, but some aren’t eager to give him credit for joining a growing chorus against the former media darling.
Two of Cuomo’s former aides have come forward with harassment complaints against the governor, who was already facing calls to resign over accusations of underreporting nursing home coronavirus deaths by as much as 50 percent to avoid a federal investigation.
“Even before the current scandals, there was something gross about Cuomo’s glee in his public adulation last year,” Oliver said on Sunday. “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.”
Oliver also called him a “colossal a–hole” who was “famously unpleasant,” and added his undercount on nursing home deaths felt like something out of North Korea.
Media pundits and celebrities alike gushed over Cuomo’s coronavirus leadership in 2020, praising him for honesty, directness, and transparency. One of those figures was Oliver on “Last Week Tonight,” his weekly, left-leaning satire program.
“I never really liked Andrew Cuomo before this, but I will admit he’s doing admirably well, and I can’t wait to get to the other side of this when I can go back to being irritated by him again,” Oliver said on March 29, the same month Cuomo made his infamous directive that nursing homes had to accept COVID-positive patients. The decision may have led to thousands of preventable deaths.
Some prominent critics like Commentary’s Noah Rothman, Business Insider’s Anthony Fisher, and the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams didn’t take kindly to Oliver’s late realization.
“Pandemic’s over!” Rothman tweeted, in reference to Oliver looking forward to being “irritated” by Cuomo again.
“John Oliver’s brand as a ‘speak truth to power’ comic has always been hampered by the his unwillingness to go after liberal sacred cows BEFORE they’ve blown their hero myths,” Fisher tweeted.
“[V]ery brave of Oliver to take on Cuomo SIX MONTHS after the Associated Press first reported the governor’s nursing home order may have killed up to 11,000 people,” Adams wrote.
Oliver, like Cuomo, is an Emmy winner.
After a second aide came forward against Cuomo, he released a statement that he likes to make jokes and may have been insensitive at times during office interactions. However, he denied ever making unwanted physical contact with his aides, which conflicts with Lindsey Boylan’s claim he once forcibly kissed her on the lips.