An ex CNN executive and one-time aide to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign from the media network after an investigation revealed a trove of written communications between her and the former governor, The New York Times reports.
In March 2020, as nationwide lockdowns were underway, Andrew Cuomo reportedly told CNN’s former chief marketing officer Allison Gollust what questions he would like to be asked during an interview. Following the exchange, Gollust passed a note back to Cuomo reading, “done.”
Although it’s not unusual to screen an interviewee before an interview, the Times reports that Cuomo requested to be asked questions about his conversations with former President Donald Trump and the lockdowns, which Gollust then passed onto staff.
But Risa Heller, Gollust’s spokeswoman, says she “in no way suggested that inclusion of these topics was a condition of the interview, nor did she suggest the interview should be limited to these subjects.”
Heller went on to say that “WarnerMedia relying on this everyday practice as justification for dismissing Allison demonstrates how ignorant they are of journalistic practices, and further proves that her dismissal is nothing more than retaliation.”
But during the interview, Cuomo, commenting on the lockdowns, conjectured that a lockdown would be akin to closing the state’s borders, and would be a “federal declaration of war.”
But in addition to Gollust, The Wall Street Journal reported that WarnerMedia investigators determined she had made misleading statements about her romantic relationship with former CNN President Jeff Zucker.
Heller says, “Allison has been clear that her relationship with Jeff changed during COVID, and regrets that they didn’t properly disclose it to WarnerMedia at that time.”
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