Thursday, October 12, 2017

NBC News Sitting On Ronan Farrow's Weinstein Story IS A Scandal

thedailybeast |  By the time Farrow pitched New Yorker Editor in Chief David Remnick in August, according to multiple sources, he and NBC News investigative unit producer Rich McHugh, among others, had been pursuing Weinstein’s alleged serial groping—and worse—of young actresses and female staffers since the previous December.

Over the course of several months, scripts were prepared and vetted, and Farrow’s and McHugh’s reporting was subjected to various layers of both fact-checking and legal reviews, insiders said, and at one point a senior producer on NBC News’ Friday night show Dateline carefully re-interviewed many of their sources and witnesses, and concluded they were solid.

The vetting process lasted weeks and weeks, through much of the summer, but ended shortly after Kimberley D. Harris, executive vice president and general counsel of NBC Universal, subjected the material to her own review. Since Harris oversees the in-house lawyering of all the company divisions, an NBC source said it would not be unusual for her to review news division material for potential exposure to litigation. And although Harris reports to NBC Universal Chief Executive Steve Burke, a source insisted Burke wasn’t involved in the decision to spike the Weinstein story.

Indeed, according to this account, Harris never formally weighed in, because NBC News had already pulled the plug by the time she finished examining Farrow’s work.

With two such wildly contradictory versions of why and how NBC News spiked Farrow’s Weinstein story, it’s difficult to determine what objectively occurred.

But author and New Yorker media writer Ken Auletta, who has been covering Weinstein for decades and is among the legions of journalists who’ve tried and failed to document his casting-couch behavior, also sat for an NBC interview; at one point, according to witnesses, he turned to the camera and declared: “This evidence is so overwhelming that if NBC News sits on it, that will be a scandal.”