Monday, 23 October, 2017

NBC News chief denies passing on Weinstein bombshell

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Nicole Thomas | 12 October, 2017, 00:27

This after Farrow told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow pointedly that she would have to ask NBC News why his Weinstein report did not break on NBC, where he originally worked on it.

"By several accounts, at least eight women claiming to have been sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted by Weinstein had agreed to go on camera - a lot of them anonymously in shadow, but two alleged victims with their names and faces", according to the Beast.

Multiple sources say that Farrow had secured an on-camera interview with Rose McGowan, who the New York Times revealed as one of the many women to whom Weinstein paid settlements. He rejected the idea that the story "wasn't ready to go" and alluded to the idea that NBC may have caved to pressure from the accused.

"Why did you end up reporting this story for The New Yorker and not NBC News?"

Farrow's comment, delivered on the company's own network, raised the question as to whether NBC News buckled under legal pressure from the notoriously aggressive Weinstein - or whether the company's entertainment connections to the mogul inhibited the investigation.

But NBC News executives have strenuously - and privately - pushed back on the narrative that they spiked the story.

In this November 23, 2011 file photo, producer Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, appears during an interview in NY. By then, Farrow, an NBC contributor and investigative reporter, had already obtained damning audio of an encounter Weinstein had with a woman, in which Weinstein admits to having groped her, sources told HuffPost.

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"Ronan, who was not working for us exclusively, began reporting on that story for NBC".

Farrow was unequivocal: "I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier. In fact, there were multiple determinations at NBC that it was reportable".

"We launched him on that story, we encouraged him to report that story". Anonymous sources said the same to the Daily Beast.

NBC was lambasted for spiking the story online, and many brought up a similar situation involving NBC past year. But they were not the first media outlet that had access to the NBC-owned Access Hollywood tape. For NBC, the swirling media controversy was immediately reminiscent of another missed opportunity for its news division - the internal leak of its infamous Access Hollywood Donald Trump tape to the Washington Post nearly exactly one year ago. The Post said it took five hours to vet and post the story after receiving the tip.

So, given that at least two arms of the NBC machine have made a decision to ignore the Weinstein story it's worth asking: Is NBC afraid of the former movie mogul - as Farrow implies - or were they engaged in a pattern of protecting him until the story got to big?

The Apprentice, formerly hosted by Trump, is also aired by NBC.

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