- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 4, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Journalist Ronan Farrow has responded to a statement from NBC News President Andy Lack where Lack claimed the blockbuster Harvey Weinstein story was not ready for broadcast last year and the network granted Farrow’s request to take his reporting to the New Yorker. 

Farrow’s statement accuses the network and Lack of lying about the details and circumstances leading up to the network’s decision to pass on the Pulitzer Prize-winning expose. 

“I’ve avoided commenting on the specifics of NBC’s role in the Weinstein story to keep the focus on the women and their allegations,” Farrow posted on Twitter. “But executives there have now produced a memo that contains numerous false or misleading statements.”

“Their list of sources is incomplete and omits women who were either identified in the NBC story or offered to be. The suggestion to take the story to another outlet was first raised by NBC, not me, and I took them up on it only after it became clear that I was being blocked from further reporting,” Farrow said.  “The story 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.”

Farrow has not made any public comment in the past several days since a New York Times report detailed the allegations of Farrow’s producer, Rich McHugh, who claimed the highest levels of NBC News had ordered the Weinstein story to be spiked. 

Lack delivered a statement earlier today denying that charge. 

“We spent eight months pursuing the story but at the end of that time, NBC News — like many others before us — still did not have a single victim or witness willing to go on the record. (Rose McGowan — the only woman Farrow interviewed who was willing to be identified — had refused to name Weinstein and then her lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter). So we had nothing yet fit to broadcast. But Farrow did not agree with that standard. That’s where we parted ways — agreeing to his request to take his reporting to a print outlet that he said was ready to move forward immediately.”

Meanwhile, McHugh released his own statement backing-up Farrow’s account and further criticizing NBC and their handling of the matter. 

Whether one believes Lack or Farrow the story is hardly good for morale at NBC News, an organization under fire this past year over their handling of the Weinstein story and the Matt Lauer / Mark Halperin controversies that followed. 

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