Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz, a former Republican congressman from Utah, was called out on air Monday after he claimed The New York Times has been “behind” in its coverage of sexual assault allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
“We will see what the media does. They’ve been very tepid in doing this,” Chaffetz said on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” panel. “Only the New York Post and a handful of others have covered this with a seriousness that it takes. The New York Times and other big, big media outlets have been far behind.”
“But the Times broke the most recent story,” Fox News Washington correspondent Gillian Turner interrupted.
“We wouldn’t even be talking about it if it wasn’t for the New York Times reporting,” Turner added. “Just pointing that out.”
Appearing flustered, Chaffetz argued, “Yeah, but what I’m saying is that they were very slow to the mark.”
The Times did break the story over the weekend about a second accuser, former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett, who alleged the governor asked her questions about her sex life, if she’d had sex with older men and told her he was open to relationships with women in their 20s.
Before that, the newspaper covered allegations from Lindsey Boylan, another former aide who accused the governor of sexual harassment in a lengthy essay on Wednesday. Boylan described multiple uncomfortable exchanges with Cuomo over several years, including an unsolicited kiss.
Most major news outlets and networks have dedicated significant coverage to the story since the Times broke it on Saturday. Fox News has accused other media outlets of ignoring the story before that.
Cuomo released a statement Sunday apologizing for comments that “have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation” and referred the matter to the state attorney general’s office for independent review. He had previously denied the allegations.