Governor Cuomo: "To say it's a great loss to journalism is to understate it. It's a great loss to journalism but he was just a great New Yorker and a powerful voice for many, many years... he's gone and I miss him, and we're going to be the weaker for it."
Cuomo: "Jim Dwyer was about the discovery of the truth, and he was brilliant. He was hard working. He also was a poet. He had a beautiful way of communicating it... the ability to connect with New Yorkers, to take complicated subjects, find the truth, and then communicate it to New Yorkers in a way they understood."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered remarks on the passing of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jim Dwyer.
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
Jim Dwyer, for those of you who don't know, he was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He was at Newsday, he was at the Daily News, I've known him for I bet you 30 years. To say it's a great loss to journalism is to understate it. It's a great loss to journalism but he was just a great New Yorker and a powerful voice for many, many years. I did a video for tonight they have the Jack Newfield Lecture Series, named for Jack Newfield, and tonight they're talking about a book of Wayne Barrett's work, Without Compromise, a book where Wayne Barrett was one of the first reporters to look at Donald Trump and expose the deception that is Donald Trump. He was also a colleague of Jack Newfield and the Jack Newfield Lecture Series is going to be hosting tonight about Wayne Barrett, the same day we lose Jim Dwyer. And working on the video for Wayne Barrett, it's almost reinforcing that we lose Jim Dwyer. Jack Newfield, Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill who we just lost, Jim Dwyer - I grew up with these guys. I say in the video, I said that I'm out of sync with today's journalism, because I grew up in the home of Mario Cuomo. As a kid, listening to Jack Newfield, and Jimmy Breslin, and Pete Hamill, and Wayne Barrett and the back and forth, and it was a different type of journalism back then.
It was not journalism that was 280 characters in a Tweet. They wouldn't do that. They wouldn't think that you could do it. And it was not about 'he said, she said'. I say in the video, when journalism becomes 'he said, she said' - he says the world is round, she says the world is flat - when that's the extent of journalism, don't be surprised when half the population thinks the world is flat because there was no arbiter of truth. A higher endeavor of journalism, he says the world is round, she says the world is flat, however every scientist since the findings of Christopher Columbus say the world is round and there is absolutely no basis to say the world is flat. That's adding the discovery of the truth. Jim Dwyer was about the discovery of the truth, and he was brilliant. He was hard working. He also was a poet. He had a beautiful way of communicating it. He had the same gift that I think Billy Joel has. Billy Joel is brilliant, but he has a gift of communicating in a way that people understand. He has a connectivity - capacity to connect. Jim Dwyer, through a different medium, had that same ability; the ability to connect with New Yorkers, to take complicated subjects, find the truth, and then communicate it to New Yorkers in a way they understood.
Jim Dwyer had a contemporary, Mike McAlary, who was a good friend of mine in my bridal party, and both Jim and I spoke at Mike's eulogy. Mike had that gift also. But he is gone, he is gone, and it's a terrible loss. I went to see Jim at Memorial Sloan Kettering the other day and he was full of - he was there and the whole experience, God bless those people at MSK, gowns, and masks, face shields. They're trying to do their job, and then they have to do their job, which is difficult enough, on top of COVID. I spent hours with Jim walking through Subway tunnels when we were redoing the MTA last year, and finding out why the system had decayed. I can't tell you how many - we got to the bottom of the drainage problem. The reason the water was backing up was because the drainage system was clogged at the MTA. And then we did these late night visits together to car repair shops, where people were supposed to be working and nobody was around, and that's what prompted the time clocks being put in, because we showed up at places that the employees just weren't there, so that's when we started the time clocks.
Anyway, it's sad. It is really, really sad. He was my contemporary, my age. Best I know he didn't have COVID. But he's gone and I miss him, and we're going to be the weaker for it.