NBC News chief denies passing on Weinstein bombshell

MSNBC
Ronan Farrow speaking with Rachel Maddow on Oct. 10

"I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should've been public earlier". The piece included "extensive, on-the-record interviews and a damning audiotape of Weinstein", Fox News reported. "Look, you would have to ask NBC and NBC executives", Farrow said, but "I will say that over many years, many news organizations have circled this story and faced a great deal of pressure in doing so". Yet when Maddow mentioned NBC's belief that the story wasn't "publishable", Farrow fought back.

His comments came during an interview on Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC. Farrow is the son of actress Mia Farrow and Woody Allen (although Mia Farrow has suggested that her son's father may actually be her former husband Frank Sinatra).

It's unclear, however, whether Farrow presented NBC with that on-camera interview with one of Weinstein's accusers.

So, given that at least two arms of the NBC machine have made a decision to ignore the Weinstein story it's worth asking: Is NBC afraid of the former movie mogul - as Farrow implies - or were they engaged in a pattern of protecting him until the story got to big?

Farrow asked NBC News if he could bring his work to a print outlet, this person said, thinking that sources might be more willing to cooperate if they did not have to go on camera. However, another unnamed source told Variety that Farrow had strong material.

Farrow did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Farrow, who has a non-exclusive arrangement with NBC News, wrote the results of his 10-month probe into Weinstein's behavior for the New Yorker because the network did not believe it met the reporting standard necessary to put it on the air.

Through his spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, Weinstein has denied wrongdoing.

Weinstein has denied many - though not all - of the allegations, including all accusations of sexual assault. "Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances". NBC said its lawyers had needed several days to review the footage before it could publish the story.

In his remarks to employees, NBC's Oppenheimer expressed few regrets. "[Today] we couldn't be prouder of him". He was sacked from the production company he helped create over the weekend and has admitted he needs to seek counseling, even as he has threatened to sue the New York Times and media companies allege huge pressure from him and his lawyers to kill the stories. Multiple sources say that Farrow had convinced several victims, majority former employees, to tell their stories.

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