NBC accused of trying to quash Weinstein harassment probe

Oscar Cross
September 4, 2018

According to reports in The New York Times and Daily Beast, NBC sought to stop the investigation led by journalist Ronan Farrow and producer Rich McHugh. Since last fall, the journalist has written several pieces that revealed sexual assault and harassment by Hollywood higher-ups, including Weinstein. McHugh quit his job with NBC's investigative unit earlier this month, telling The New York Times that he had delayed his departure from the network out of fear that NBC could retaliate against him.

Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz criticized NBC News for their mishandling of the Harvey Weinstein bombshell report.

McHugh said that when he and Farrow were about to interview a woman with a credible allegation of rape against Weinstein, "I was told not to do the interview and ordered to stand down, thus effectively killing the story". "And to stand down on the story altogether".

Farrow eventually took the story to The New Yorker, and the story ultimately won a Pulitzer Prize. He said the order came from "the very highest levels of NBC" and that Weinstein allegedly called NBC executives directly - once, he says, while he was in the room with them.

While Farrow has publicly discussed NBC's refusal to run the story, the Daily Beast "has uncovered new details of how the process went awry, including alleged threats from NBC, back-biting inside the network about who was truly responsible, and a previously unreported ultimatum by Weinstein's attorneys". "We in most cases made sure to Ronan and Rich McHugh the conventional for newsletter is we wanted no now now not as much as one credible on-the-file sufferer or watch of misconduct", Oppenheim advised the Times.

"Dissatisfied with that decision, Farrow chose to leave for a print outlet that he said was willing to publish immediately", read the statement.

According to Oppenheim, Farrow's story wasn't meeting NBC's standards and so he was allowed to take it to the New Yorker.

"He was never told to stop in the way he's implying", Oppenheim told the Times. NBC denied the reports.

Farrow did not respond to a request for comment.

McHugh told the Times that the "resistance" he experienced from NBC News executives amounted to "a massive breach of journalistic integrity".

The network infamously lost the "Access Hollywood" scoop in the run-up to the 2016 election, and one of NBC's biggest stars, Matt Lauer, was sacked previous year over allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Lauer, who was sacked, has denied allegations against him.

Farrow has said little about how NBC handled his reporting on Weinstein while he was at the network.

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