MSNBC’s Chris Hayes addressed the growing scandal at NBC on the eve of the release of Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill. In the book, Farrow, who used to work for NBC News, offers a scathing rebuke of the network’s handling of his reporting on the Harvey Weinstein story, and asserts NBC was hesitant to cover Weinstein for fear it would expose allegations of sexual misconduct against former Today host Matt Lauer. NBC News head Noah Oppenheim denies Farrow’s claims, saying they’re conspiracy theories and that Farrow just has an axe to grind.
Hayes said Oppenheim and others maintain that the Weinstein story was never broadcast because it lacked sufficient on-the-record sourcing, even though NBC supported Farrow’s work on the story for seven months. Hayes went on to heap praise on his former colleague.
“One thing though is indisputable,” Hayes said, “Ronan Farrow walked out NBC News after working on the Weinstein story and within two months published an incredible article at The New Yorker that not only won a Pulitzer, but helped trigger a massive social and cultural reckoning that continues to this day. It is the kind of journalism that you want to do as a journalist, that everyone who works in this business should want to facilitate.”
Hayes wasn’t so kind to NBC.
“There’s a reason it took so long for the true story about Weinstein to be told, for the many allegations against him to stay locked in a vault, and that’s because time and again the path of least resistance for those with power was to not cross Weinstein or his army of friends and lawyers,” Hayes said. He later added, “The path of least resistance is always there, beckoning seductively with an entirely plausible cover story: You’ve got bigger fish to fry, this isn’t the hill to die on, the story isn’t ready. But of course it’s the very ease of that path that makes it the enemy of the kind of work that we as journalists are supposed to do.”
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