The guts of this story are entirely unsurprising. According to an NBC News producer, when Rowan Farrow approached the NBC investigative news unit with his blockbuster story on Harvey Weinstein, he was told to stand down.
In October, when Ronan Farrow published his first article in The New Yorker on the alleged transgressions of Harvey Weinstein, people in the media and entertainment industries wondered how NBC had missed the story. After all, Mr. Farrow had spent months gathering material on the mogul when he was with NBC News.
Now a producer who worked closely with Mr. Farrow has accused the network of putting a stop to the reporting, saying the order came from “the very highest levels of NBC.”
Rich McHugh, the producer, who recently left his job in the investigative unit of NBC News, is the first person affiliated with NBC to publicly charge that the network impeded his and Mr. Farrow’s efforts to nail down the story of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct. He called the network’s handling of the matter “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.”
According to The Daily Beast, not only did NBC want nothing to do with the story, they actually threatened Farrow if he pursued it.
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.
According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, NBC News general counsel Susan Weiner made a series of phone calls to Farrow, threatening to smear him if he continued to report on Weinstein.
As I said, this is not news. The media routinely covers up the misdeeds of people who are politically aligned with them or who move in the same social circle. Let’s not forget that Newsweek had spiked Michael Isikoff’s story on Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The salient fact about the Weinstein story was that no one in the entertainment business seemed all that shock or surprised. Where was the reporting on the sexual predations of Ted Kennedy? How about the in-depth reporting on Hillary Clinton and how the Clinton Foundation benefited during her tenure as Secretary of State? This is just how the media work. And, in this case, I give Farrow and the New Yorker props for doing the right thing.
The humorous sideline to the cover-up is the CNN reaction. Brian “Tater” Stelter is one of the authors. This is their lede:
A veteran NBC News producer who worked with Ronan Farrow on Farrow’s explosive story on disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has left the network and is speaking out, calling the network’s decision not to make the story public “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.”
Rich McHugh, who left NBC News’ investigative unit recently, said in a statement provided to CNN that the orders not to run the story came from “the highest levels of NBC. That was unethical.”
This is the journalistic equivalent of a bum fight.
Dude, have a little bit of self-awareness. There are things to dig at NBC about here and not beclown yourself, but “journalistic integrity” and ethics are not among them. Only on Monday, it was revealed that CNN had used Lanny Davis as an off-the-record source and then allowed him to refuse to comment on-the-record. And the story would have been a significant one had it had any relationship with the truth. In fact, during the Trump administration is CNN’s accuracy rate was a ball player’s batting average, they’d be back in Single A minors. In fact, the Washington Post’s media critic wrote a story which makes in clear that CNN has zero editorial standards and implies it is something of a joke.
One has to assume that Tater is trying to divert attention from the travesty CNN perpetrated on journalism last weeks by slamming a big, fat, slow-moving target like NBC. It won’t work because by this time next week CNN will have run at least one more false story that Stelter will be trying to ignore.
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