NBC News is reeling after chairman Andy Lack’s overnight attack on Ronan Farrow blew up in the left-wing network’s face.
Currently, NBC News is under fire for two reasons.
- The network had in its hot little hands the biggest scandal in Hollywood history, the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal, and let it waltz out the door for no valid reason.
- NBC News refused to bring in outside investigators (as Fox News did following two sexual harassment scandals) to examine its conduct in this matter or the Matt Lauer scandal. Instead, NBC keeps releasing factually-challenged statements attacking and blaming others in the obvious hope its confederates in the establishment media will do what they have done for the disgraced Carl Bernstein at CNN — sweep it under the rug.
First some background…
Last week, Rich McHugh, a NBC News whistleblower, went on the record against his former company. McHugh spent years as a producer for NBC’s investigative unit and worked closely with Farrow for eight months on the Weinstein story.
According to McHugh, “Three days before Ronan [Farrow] and I were going to head to L.A. to interview a woman with a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, I was ordered to stop, not to interview this woman’”
He added, “And to stand down on the story altogether.”
At this point in the timeline, Farrow was already on his way out the door.
At this point, though, this alleged victim was not the only thing Farrow had on Weinstein; and by any journalistic standard, Farrow had already nailed the story.
While NBC News either ignores or glosses over the following, NBC has not disputed the following…
Other than having a source willing to talk on camera in silhouette (something news networks allow all the time), Farrow had a handful of off-the-record sources who would corroborate Wesintein’s alleged predations, including Rose McGowan.
Finally — and this is the deadly fact NBC cannot address because there is no way to justify it — Farrow had audiotape of Weinstein admitting to groping a model and groping the breasts of other women.
What is most important about this audio is its source — a law enforcement undercover operation.
Forget everything else… Forget the alleged rape victim willing to speak on camera and all of Farrow’s corroborating sources… If Farrow ONLY had this audiotape, he had the story.
The audiotape ALONE was a blockbuster, and NBC News refused to run with it.
The reasons for this are not hard to figure out…
First off, Weinstein is a huge donor to the left-wing causes NBC News holds dear. It is not only that Weinstein is a friend of the Clintons and a bigtime Democrat fundraiser, his donations also came in the form of his films, the way in which he impacted the culture through his movies. Weinstein was irreplaceable in NBC’s war against the political right, so of course NBC would protect him.
What’s a rape or two in the scheme of things?
And then there is Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News, and his breathtaking conflicts of interest. Oppenheim — you’re not going to believe this — moonlights as a screenwriter and shared a table with Weinstein at the 2017 Time 100 Gala while Farrow was working on the Weinstein story.
And so, in the end, Farrow was forced to take his story to the New Yorker, where it ran two months later and won a deserved Pulitzer Prize.
In a pitiful attempt at damage control Monday night, Lack released a hapless statement that failed to address why his network refused to run — at the very least — the police audio of Weinstein admitting to assaulting women, but he did try to throw Farrow under the bus.
Despite the audio, Lack continues to maintain Farrow’s story did not meet NBC’s lofty broadcast standards (does Lack not watch his own network?), but in his attempts to throw Farrow under the bus, Lack does accidentally admit to a few things:
If we had tried to [stop Farrow from leaving with the story] and nothing changed, we would have needlessly blocked him from disseminating [the story] via another forum. And that is why we agreed to let him go elsewhere.
Here Lack is admitting NBC knew the story was legitimate, but they let Farrow and the biggest Hollywood scandal ever walk out the door because NBC wanted the story to get out, or something.
The following is even more damning:
Furthermore, we were increasingly concerned that repeatedly asking victims to sit for anonymous interviews in front of television cameras on this subject matter was no longer a productive approach.
Note the plural: “victims.”
Lack is admitting Farrow had more than one source to corroborate Weinstein’s alleged predations. Exactly how many sources does NBC need to run a negative story about a Democrat?
After Lack released his absurd statement, the return fire and fallout was immediate.
McHugh’s response hits NBC on three points: 1) He was never even interviewed for NBC’s internal whitewash investigation. 2) NBC investigating itself is beyond absurd. 3) NBC had that exclusive audio of Weinstein admitting to assaults.
NBC recently published a memo and "fact sheet" from Andy Lack regarding their handling of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault story that was never aired. Here is my response: pic.twitter.com/H9RbsW78jB
— Rich McHugh (@RichMcHugh) September 4, 2018
Farrow responded with two bombshells: 1) “The story was twice cleared and deemed ‘reportable’ by legal standards only to be blocked by executives who…” 2) “refused to allow us to seek comment from Harvey Weinstein.”
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) September 4, 2018
If that was not bad enough for NBC and Lack, Emily Nestor, a former Weinstein Company assistant, pretty much called Lack a liar.
There are “two women who had been involved in Farrow’s reporting while at NBC, Amba Gutierrez and myself. Ambra had always been willing to allow Farrow to identify her by name and the use the recording of her, and I had filmed an interview in silhouette.”
Nestor added, “I actually did film a spot for NBC, albeit in silhouette, and had tentatively agree with Farrow to reshoot the interview in full-face ot attach my name to the already filmed interview in silhouette.” (emphasis original)
Adding to NBC’s circular firing squad is Chuck Todd’s laughably timed editorial where, without any evidence, he blames public distrust of the media on Richard Nixon and Fox News. Maybe Todd will write a follow-up explaining how Nixon and Fox convinced NBC to cover up for Weinstein.