NBC told journalist Ronan Farrow his bombshell 2017 story about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct was not ready to air and he was even threatened by someone at the network when he chose to take the story elsewhere, according to a new report.
"Three days before Ronan [Farrow] and I were going to head to L.A.to interview a woman with a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, I was ordered to stop, not to interview this woman", an NBC News whistleblower told the far-left New York Times. Oppenheim granted permission, and Farrow took the story to The New Yorker, where he published specific names on the record that Oppenheim said were not in his NBC reporting. "And to stand down on the story altogether". It landed at The New Yorker, which published the piece in October 2017.
After Farrow left the network following its refusal to run his Weinstein story - a story which eventually helped secure him a Pulitzer Prize after he published it at the New Yorker - "a top lawyer at the network threatened to smear him if he continued to pursue the Hollywood mogul", the DB's sources say.
Oppenheim, the president of NBC News, has denied McHugh's account, telling theTimes that Farrow and McHugh were told repeatedly that "the standard for publication is we needed at least one credible on-the-record victim or witness of misconduct" andthat "we never met that threshold while Ronan was reporting for us". "We immediately were clear with Weinstein's legal team that we disputed the characterizations", the NBC spokesperson told The Daily Beast. Weiner never made any threats against Ronan Farrow. "Not one of these seven women was included in the reporting Farrow presented while at NBC News". "I knew that Weinstein was calling NBC executives directly", he added. "Will you be O.K. if I take the reporting to this magazine?'" Oppenheim said.
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Farrow was working for NBC News as an investigative reporter and spent months digging into the long-standing rumors about Weinstein.
Oppenheim, however, has yet to explain why audio tape of Weinstein (a big-time Democrat player and Clinton supporter, and the most powerful man in Hollywood at the time) admitting to groping women was not in and of itself a legitimate story. The network and its executives have also been under scrutiny in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against former "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer.
Sources told The Daily Beast that Farrow suspected that Oppenheim, who is also a screewriter and TV producer, was communicating with Weinstein about Farrow's investigation.
While The Daily Beast's upcoming story is hanging ominously over NBC News, Ronan Farrow's upcoming book Catch and Kill could join with the expose to create a brutal 1-2 punch. Lauer, who was sacked, has denied allegations against him.