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NBC Refused to Report Weinstein Story
12 October 2017, 01:07 | Myron Mathis
Ronan Farrow in Ukrain in 2012
The person behind the decision to pass on the story was NBC News president Noah Oppenheim, according to the Daily Beast. And just like the first time, the reasons for the network's hesitation are in dispute.
Ronan Farrow said he was "threatened with a lawsuit personally by Mr. Weinstein" while working on his bombshell story that includes sexual assault allegations against the movie mogul. Weinstein was sacked by the board of the Weinstein Company on Sunday, in the wake of allegations revealed in the New York Times that he had been harassing women for many years.
For the second time in a year, NBC is defending itself about why the company didn't publish an explosive, newsworthy tape. NBC's story was posted online seven minutes later.
Farrow reportedly worked on the story for more than a year, and after NBC passed on the story, took it to the New Yorker. At that point he had spent months investigating Weinstein.
"I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier and immediately, obviously The New Yorker recognized that", said Farrow. "In fact, there were multiple determinations at NBC that it was reportable". One NBC News source stressed that Farrow's "early reporting" did not "meet the standard to go forward with a story".
The contradiction has raised questions as to whether NBC was subjected to any pressure by Weinstein to suppress the reporting. Although the exact nature of their issues couldn't be determined, their inquiry could be read as an implied threat to sue, people at the network acknowledged.
Weinstein has a phalanx of high-priced lawyers.
NBC was lambasted for spiking the story online, and many brought up a similar situation involving NBC past year.
Farrow is the son of actress Mia Farrow. There are now reports emerging publicly about the kind of pressure news organizations have faced. He tweeted on Tuesday that his New Yorker article had been in the making for 10 months.
It's unclear, however, whether Farrow presented NBC with that on-camera interview with one of Weinstein's accusers. The New Yorker published the tape on Tuesday.
When asked why the story did not run on NBC, Farrow responded she would have to ask NBC execs. "I'm not going to comment on any news organization's story that they did or did not run".
Through his spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, Weinstein has denied wrongdoing.
"By several accounts, at least eight women claiming to have been sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted by Weinstein had agreed to go on camera - majority anonymously in shadow, but two alleged victims with their names and faces", according to the Beast.
The Apprentice, formerly hosted by Trump, is also aired by NBC. Bush eventually lost his job. "We launched [Farrow] on that story, we encouraged him to report that story", he said. Multiple sources say that Farrow had convinced several victims, a lot of them former employees, to tell their stories. "We are proud of that", Oppenheim said.
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