Looks as though I might owe NBC News an apology. Last week I accused the network of spiking Ronan Farrow’s bombshell Harvey Weinstein story in order to protect a high-powered, leftwing Democrat. You cannot blame me. That is what NBC does. Well, now it looks as though NBC’s motives might even be worse. Apparently, the just-appointed president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim, is an ambitious screenwriter who recently attended an event with Weinstein.
Oppenheim already has three impressive screenwriting credits. Last year his biopic Jackie, starring Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, was released. That same year, he was a co-writer on Allegiant. In 2014, Oppenheim was one of three writers credited for The Maze Runner.
As if that is not already a major conflict of interest (more on this below), according to powerhouse producer Gavin Polone, Oppenheim was seen seated at an elite event with Weinstein in April: [emphasis added]
Why Oppenheim really did not air this story, I’m not sure. I would conjecture it was the weight of the lawsuits that Weinstein may have threatened against NBC and other retribution that could be waged against him personally, either through tabloid attacks or the possibility that Weinstein could hinder Oppenheim’s side-career as a screenwriter (NBC News’ response is below). I would like to know if Oppenheim spoke with Weinstein when the two sat at the same table at the Time 100 Gala in late April, or at any other time, while Farrow was working for NBC on this story.
In response to Polone’s must-read act of moral clarity — which also demands answers from The New York Times, New York Post, and Disney — NBC does not answer the question of whether or not Oppenheim spoke with Weinstein.
Instead we are snippily told that “the notion that we would try to cover for a powerful person is deeply offensive to all of us. And, as has been previously stated on the record, Oppenheim has never had any relationship with Weinstein, business or personal.”
Oh, well, NBC News is deeply offended. Harumph! Harumph! Harumph!
But they did not answer the question.
Okay, Oppenheim and Weinstein do not have a relationship. But did they talk? Did they talk business? According to Fox News, it would have been awkward for the two men not to talk when the “tables at this exclusive event are relatively small, affording conversation between all those seated.”
Fox also reports that Oppenheim would like to ditch NBC to become a full-time screenwriter.
Even if you choose to believe that an ambitious screenwriter sat at a small table with one of the most influential producers in town and did not talk business, and did not do so while Farrow was working on his story, knock yourself out.
After the Brian Williams debacle, Oppenheim was supposed to usher in a new era for a news network that had become a laughingstock after allowing its figurehead anchor to run around for years unchecked as he made himself the hero of his own fables.
Well, to no one’s surprise, NBC’s new boss is just like the old boss… No transparency, massive conflicts of interest, and absolutely no moral authority — because in the age of New Media, this corruption can no longer be covered up or swept under the rug.
Maybe NBC will answer this question: While sitting close enough to smell Weinstein’s aftershave, had Oppenheim already heard the audio Farrow procured — the audio of Weinstein admitting on tape that he had groped Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez?
What we do know for a fact is that NBC News had in its hands the story of the year and the biggest scandal in Hollywood history. NBC had audio recordings of Weinstein admitting to his crime and on-the-record sources. And they killed it, smothered it, gave it away — and that includes the Pulitzers that are almost certainly coming.
Some are calling for Oppenheim to be fired.
Oppenheim is not the problem, The System is the problem; a hopelessly corrupt establishment media infested with Oppenheims is the problem. The System is set up to ensure an Oppenheim is always in charge.