Culture

NBC Refused to Pick Up Ronan Farrow's Harvey Weinstein Scoop

NBC Refused to Pick Up Ronan Farrow's Harvey Weinstein Scoop”

New Yorker may not be thrilled the author of its blockbuster Harvey Weinstein expose began talking on TV last night about the report not breaking on NBC News.

Appearing on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show, she'd asked Farrow, "Why did you end up reporting this story for The New Yorker and not NBC News?"

Kurtz was asked for his thoughts about this, and he told Stuart Varney "this is a major embarassment for NBC". It's a question Rachel Maddow put to Ronan Farrow - until this summer an NBC News contributor fronting a series called Undercovered - who had been working on the story for ten months.

"You have to wonder if this had been a conservative, a big Republican fundraiser, whether NBC would have the hesitation", said Kurtz. And while several of them would do so only anonymously - they consented to on-camera interviews with their identities disguised - there were two victims willing to go on the record with stories of harassment at the hands of the powerful Hollywood mogul.

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? Speaking to a videographer for The Daily Mail who noted that the show had made no mention of Mr. Weinstein, Mr. Michaels said, "It's a NY thing". Immediately, obviously, The New Yorker recognized that.

Farrow was unequivocal: "I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier". One NBC News source stressed that Farrow's "early reporting" did not "meet the standard to go forward with a story". "In fact, there were multiple determinations at NBC that it was reportable", Farrow continued. However, another unnamed source told Variety that Farrow had strong material.

NBC was lambasted for spiking the story online, and many brought up a similar situation involving NBC a year ago.

The inference is that NBC News - which let The Washington Post scoop its own Donald Trump Access Hollywood video a year ago - knew about Weinstein and didn't have the courage to take him on.

Maddow, however, reported NBC News said what he brought to them was not ready to air. The Post said it took five hours to vet and post the story after receiving the tip. Some people who worked on that show say the producers are sitting on tapes that feature the president making racist and sexist remarks, but no such tapes have come to light.



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