Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Why Did The NY Times Edit Andrew Cuomo Statements Out Of The Libous Criminal Indictment Story? (UPDATED - 7/2 - 3:00 PM)

Here's the way the NY Times story on the indictment of State Senator Tom Libous, the second ranking Republican in the State Senate and a close friend and ally of Governor Cuomo, read this afternoon at 1:50 PM:

The indictment of Senator Libous effectively could deprive the governor of his most powerful and sympathetic ally within the Senate Republican majority. But it comes just weeks after Mr. Cuomo made a break of his own, agreeing for the first time to help Democrats in an aggressive effort to capture control of the chamber.
The senator is one of Mr. Cuomo’s closest allies in the Legislature. The two men are so fond of each other that Mr. Cuomo attended Matthew Libous’s wedding reception last year.
In an appearance at Binghamton University last week, Mr. Cuomo praised Mr. Libous at length, complimenting “his leadership and his character.” The governor praised their ability to work together to produce results, even though they are from different political parties, as an example of “the difference between the old Albany and the new Albany.”
“He is one of the really special human beings in the New York State Legislature,” Mr. Cuomo said of Mr. Libous. “And he is one of the natural leaders for the entire legislative body – Democrats and Republicans, both houses. And he’s been a great mentor and a great friend to me.”

Here's how the story reads tonight:

The indictment of Senator Libous could deprive the governor of his most sympathetic negotiating partner in the Senate Republican caucus, which has shared control of the chamber with an independent faction of Democrats. But it comes just weeks after Mr. Cuomo agreed to aid a renewed Democratic effort to capture control of the chamber.

In an appearance near Binghamton last week, Mr. Cuomo praised the senator for “his leadership and his character.” 

Notice the difference?

In the first edition of the story, it's clear just how close Cuomo is to the guy, calling him a "special human being," "a great mentor," and "a great friend".

In the second edition, gone is all the bromance language from Cuomo, replaced with Cuomo praising Libous for his "leadership and character."

Totally changes the takeaway from the story, no?

You have to wonder what happened between 1:50 PM this afternoon and the point when Cuomo's statements were edited out.

Or maybe not wonder - just what pressure did the Times get from Cuomo's people to pull those statements out of the story?

Thankfully, the Times has kept video of Cuomo complimenting Libous numerous times over the years on their site for now - video which you can see here.

Because the big part of this story is not just that the second ranking Republican in the State Senate was indicted for making false statements to the FBI back in 2010 - it's also that Andrew M. Cuomo's bestest buddy, the guy who was the "go-between" for talks between Senate Republicans and Cuomo, the guy who Cuomo called a mentor, a friend, and a special human being, is a crook and is now under indictment.

It's a shame that the Times took those Cuomo statements out of the story, because they tell you an awful lot about who Andrew Cuomo pals around with and what he considers a "special human being."

UPDATE - 7/2 - 3:00 PM: Azi Paybarah has the changes in the Times headlines between the two editions of the stories:

Would love to know what was said to the Times editors to get these changes in the story and headline.


  1. Andrew Cuomo is a 'special human being'. A "Special Fred" type human being.

    1. Can you believe he called Libous a "special human being," than had the nerve to have Percoco call the Times and tell them they had better take the statement out of the story? Because you know that's exactly what happened here behind the scenes.