As NBC Defends Itself, Ronan Farrow Takes a Shot

Journalist says network is being misleading about how it handled the Weinstein story
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2018 7:21 AM CDT
A file photo of NBC's Andy Lack.   (Athena Torri/NBC via AP)
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(Newser) – The Harvey Weinstein scandal is leading to another controversy that just keeps growing: how NBC News handled the investigation. Network exec Andy Lack defended NBC in a memo to employees Monday, but reporter Ronan Farrow then accused Lack of fudging the facts, reports CNN. It all centers on a serious accusation: Did NBC try to kill the story that Farrow, then a reporter for the network, presented to his bosses about Weinstein? One of Farrow's former producers made that allegation last week, accusing NBC of a "massive breach of journalistic ethics." But in his memo, Lack insisted that what Farrow presented wasn't "fit for broadcast" because it had too few women willing to go on air to corroborate the accusations. "Contrary to recent allegations, at no point did NBC obstruct Farrow’s reporting or 'kill' an interview," Lack wrote.

He added that the network let Farrow "go elsewhere" to flesh out the story, to the New Yorker. Farrow, however, says Lack's statement "contains numerous false or misleading statements," per the New York Times. For one thing, "the suggestion to take the story to another outlet was first raised by NBC, not me," wrote Farrow, "and I took them up on it only after it became clear that I was being blocked from further reporting." He said his piece for NBC was "twice cleared and deemed 'reportable' by legal and standards only to be blocked by executives who refused to allow us to seek comment from Harvey Weinstein." Lack says that's not true, and he dismissed as "baseless" the accusation that Weinstein himself exerted some kind of influence on NBC's decision. Farrow, for his part, is working on a book about the entire situation. (Read more NBC News stories.)

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