Shelby Talcott, DCNF
Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow hit back at an NBC News staff-wide memo condemning the reporting in his upcoming book during an interview with “The View” Monday, noting that his allegations come complete with “proof and a paper trail.”
Farrow’s upcoming book “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators” details sexual assault allegations against now-disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and the cover-up attempts those at NBC News allegedly made. The book expands on Farrow’s reporting published in The New Yorker on Oct. 10, 2017 and explains how Weinstein allegedly pressured NBC into dropping a story because he knew of former NBC host Matt Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct.
NBC President Noah Oppenheim sent a staff-wide memo Monday morning and said Farrow’s reporting was “false.” The staff-wide memo hit back on Farrow’s account that the network had secret settlements and nondisclosure agreements with women who accused Lauer of sexual misconduct over the years.
“There is proof and a paper trail in this book, and here’s the thing — the nature of secret sexual harassment settlements, employed by Harvey Weinstein, employed by NBC, employed by a lot of the institutions in this book, is that they don’t say, ‘Here’s a payout so you don’t talk about Matt Lauer and these specific things he did to you,’” Farrow said on “The View.”
“The nature is, we know legally it’s euphemistic. It’s a payout for silence,” he continued. “It bans them from talking about the company and what it knew. It’s designed to protect executives, but we did the reporting and found this: Just about everyone involved in all these transactions said this was explicitly designed to shut up women with allegations of sexual harassment.”
Farrow also hit back at part of the memo that alleged he has an issue with NBC News. The outlet gave Farrow permission to publish his story with The New Yorker while still working for NBC.
“Farrow’s effort to defame NBC News is clearly motivated not by a pursuit of truth, but an axe to grind. It is built on a series of distortions, confused timelines, and outright inaccuracies,” Oppenheim wrote.
NBC-MSNBC Chairman Andy Lack sent a staff-wide email on Oct. 9 and wrote that it was disappointing “Farrow’s account has become neither more accurate, nor more respectful of the dedicated colleagues he worked with here at NBC News.” Lack added the allegations in the upcoming book paint a “fundamentally untrue picture.”
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