Ronan Farrow says his Harvey Weinstein investigation could have aired on NBC

Carla Harmon
October 12, 2017

"An NBC source told 'The Daily Beast, ' quote, 'He brought NBC News early reporting on Weinstein that didn't meet the standard to go forward with the story".

"These women were afraid and based on my reporting, legitimately afraid", Farrow told Maddow.

Oppenheim said the network "encouraged" Farrow to pursue the story. His contributor contract with NBC News expired over the summer and he was in the midst of negotiating a new deal with the network.


According to people close to him, Farrow had already taped an interview with one of Weinstein's accusers, although the accuser's identity was masked by shadows. The Times reported that McGowan received $100,000 in 1997, when she was 23, stemming from "an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival". In any case, the news division referred Weinstein's lawyers to the network's in-house attorneys. "That is real. And in the course of this reporting, I was threatened with a lawsuit personally by Mr. Weinstein". However, another unnamed source told Variety that Farrow had strong material.

Sallie Hofmeister, Weinstein's representative, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Tuesday night, however, on Maddow's show, Farrow said, "I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosive reportable piece that should have been public earlier". It is not accurate to say it was not reportable. "In fact, there were multiple determinations at NBC that it was reportable", Farrow continued. "We supported him and gave him resources to report that story over many, many months". "I'm not going to comment on any news organization's story that they did or did not run". 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. Portions of the audio - which stemmed from the investigation into charges made by model and actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez - was released with The New Yorker story and has been played incessantly as major media outlets have picked up Farrow's reporting.


Farrow maintains that he had an NYPD audio recording of Weinstein confessing to groping one woman and had also secured several interviews with three women who said Weinstein made unwanted advances.

So, given that at least two arms of the NBC machine have chose 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? But during a Tuesday appearance on NBC's cable news channel MSNBC, Farrow said he believed the story could have been broadcast.


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