Here's how Brian Houseman, the assignment manager at 13WHAM, defended the station:
"We were not going to sit there and pimp his book … This is someone when he comes to town, which is rarely, he gives us very limited time to ask questions."
Cuomo trying to stage manage the interviews, most of the sheep played along, but not 13WHAM.
Cuomo avoided venues where he knew they wouldn't play along, however:
In the past, Mr. Cuomo has steered clear of the national news media, arguing that granting high-profile interviews would lead to speculation that he wanted to run for president. He has defied his own rule in order to promote his book, delivering the Top 10 List on David Letterman’s show on Tuesday and granting some television interviews.But his promotional efforts have been limited, even cautious, compared with other politicians promoting books.“The Daily Show” invited Mr. Cuomo to be a guest, but he declined, and he also turned down MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” according to people familiar with the matter.
Reading the Top Ten List on Letterman is safe, but going on The Daily Show is not - so Cuomo wouldn't do it.
Ditto for the Morning Joe Show, where they savaged him over the Moreland Commission controversy back in the summer.
Same for NY1 - notice Errol Louis wasn't on the media tour.
Cuomo's people term his press strategy of just doing friendly or stage-managed interviews "cautious."
I would term it "cowardly" - and not just on Cuomo's part.
The members of the press who agreed to abide by Cuomo's agreement for the interview became nothing more than unpaid extensions of his PR operation.
Not 13WHAM, though.
Good for them for sticking to their guns on the ground rules and then going public with the defense.
Enough playing pimp to Cuomo's agenda.