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The ink had barely dried on a TimesLedger Newspapers editorial questioning the demeanor and language of Carl Paladino when the Republican candidate for governor went out his way to prove us right.
On Wednesday of last week, Politico.com quoted Paladino, who has admitted to fathering a child outside his marriage, as saying, “Has anybody asked Andrew Cuomo about his paramours when he was married? Or asked why his wife left him or threw him out of the house?”
This is a serious accusation. That night, a New York Post reporter questioned Paladino about the remarks after his speech in Buffalo. In a verbally violent confrontation, Paladino waved his finger in the face of the reporter and threatened, “I’ll take you out.”
The reporter had pushed past aides to ask the Buffalo developer for proof that Cuomo had cheated on then-wife Kerry Kennedy. During his tirade, Paladino said he had proof but was not ready to release it.
Paladino’s press person, who should have been doing damage control, instead told the Post reporter the campaign was going to cut him off. No press releases. No invitation to Paladino events.
The behavior of Paladino and his flack is inexcusable and a threat to freedom of the press. The reporter was doing his job. When a candidate publicly challenges the morals of his opponent, the press should be asking for proof. That is all this reporter did.
We are not persuaded by Paladino staffers and supporters who claim the reporter rudely pushed his way through the crowd to get to Paladino. Reporters often have to be aggressive to get an interview.
The next day, Paladino claimed the press took his remarks out of context.
Paladino accused Cuomo of infidelity and said he had proof he was planning to release. He then threatened to “take out” a reporter. Imagine this man becomes governor and threatens to cut off any reporter who writes a story he does not like.
Paladino is not just another candidate. In November, he will be at the top of the Republican and Conservative tickets. It is only fair to ask other candidates on those tickets to make it clear how they feel about his behavior.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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