How NBC 'Killed' Ronan Farrow's Weinstein Exposé

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Lloyd Grove via The Daily Beast,

Inside and outside NBC, sources are challenging the network’s take on the bombshell it missed. "NBC did everything they could to delay it, complicate it, and ultimately [kill] it."

Freelance NBC News correspondent Ronan Farrow, whose months-long investigation into reports of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct was spiked by the network but morphed into a journalistic blockbuster at The New Yorker, initiated a scuffle with the Peacock Network on Tuesday night.

Appearing on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show—which, like NBC, is a property of NBC Universal and its parent company Comcast—Farrow disputed what sources said was NBC News President Noah Oppenheim’s judgment this past summer that Farrow’s reporting on the movie mogul and the women he allegedly harassed and assaulted wasn’t ready for prime-time.

Addressing a controversy that has been percolating for the past several days in the media ecosystem since The New York Times published its own Weinstein exposé—including questions about whether NBC executives caved to the well-connected Weinstein and his formidable lawyers, Charles Harder, Lisa Bloom, and David Boies—Maddow brought it to a boiling point by telling Farrow: “NBC says that the story wasn’t publishable, that it wasn’t ready to go at the time that you brought it to them.”

Farrow fired back:

“I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier. And immediately, obviously, The New Yorker recognized that. And it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable. In fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC.”

Farrow’s blunt claim highlighted an uncomfortable debate among NBC News insiders, and beyond, concerning the quality and status of his investigative reporting and the reasons why a respected television network would kill a sensational scoop about a famous, influential, politically wired, and undeniably newsworthy figure like Harvey Weinstein.

Rumors about the iconic producer’s alleged misconduct with women have fueled journalistic curiosity for decades. But the 65-year-old Weinstein somehow managed to keep his alleged misdeeds from public exposure—until now.

He was supremely hooked up in the worlds of media, entertainment, and politics. (Former first daughter Malia Obama recently interned at the Weinstein Co.) He had enjoyed a long business relationship with NBC Universal, and Universal Pictures produced both his seven-Oscar Shakespeare in Love in 1998 and 2009’s Inglourious Basterds, for instance, while he had co-produced the hit reality-TV show Project Runway for the NBC-owned Bravo channel.

When it came to shaping his public image, Weinstein was at once meticulous and relentless - forever calling in chits and wielding leverage like a weapon. He alternately flattered and bullied reporters (including this one), while occasionally attempting to entice journalists and gossip columnists with offers of book and movie deals.

More than a decade ago, when this reporter was doing a gossip column at the New York Daily News and politely declined Weinstein’s request to kill an item about his recent divorce, he wheedled that he was my most loyal fan and had advised the paper’s owner to give me a raise; when that didn’t work, he angrily threatened to ban me from his screenings and premieres, and finally erupted:

“I’m the scariest motherfucker you’ll ever have as an enemy in this town!”

Even before Farrow’s shot across NBC’s bow, CNN anchor Jake Tapper, for one, tweeted: “Speaking of media complicity ask yourself why NBC reporter ?@ RonanFarrow wrote this for The New Yorker.”

NBC declined to respond officially to Tapper or to Farrow, a former MSNBC anchor and NBC correspondent whose four-year contract with the network recently expired.

But an NBC source promptly contradicted Farrow’s late-night claim, telling The Daily Beast in a statement:

“Ronan has had a non-exclusive relationship with NBC News for the last year. He brought NBC News early reporting [on Weinstein] that didn’t meet the standard to go forward with a story; it was nowhere close to what ultimately ran in The New York Times or The New Yorker—for example, at that time he didn’t have one accuser willing to go on the record or identify themselves.”

The NBC source continued:

“He asked if he could bring it to a print outlet (presumably sources might be more willing to cooperate vs. going on camera), NBC agreed, with the understanding that if he got the story published he would come back and talk about it. The story he published is radically different than what he brought to NBC News.”

Months ago, however, the 29-year-old Farrow, a lawyer and member of the New York Bar, did indeed secure for his investigation an incriminating audio recording made by the New York Police Department in March 2015 and which now accompanies Farrow’s article on The New Yorker’s website. It’s essentially a sting tape for which the Special Victims Unit had wired 22-year-old Filipina-Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who’d formally complained to the cops that he’d groped her breast and tried to put his hand up her skirt the previous day, and sent her to meet the movie mogul at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.

After initially refusing Weinstein’s invitation to join him in his hotel room—and resisting his entreaties to come in, sit down, and have a drink while he took a shower—Gutierrez had a fraught back-and-forth with Weinstein on tape as she asked him why he’d groped her breasts.

“Oh, please, I’m sorry, just come on in,” Weinstein answered, in The New Yorker’s account. “I’m used to that. Come on. Please.”

“You’re used to that?” Gutierrez asked, disbelieving.

“Yes,” Weinstein said. In an apparent admission, he added, “I won’t do it again.”

The cops were thwarted in their attempt to question Weinstein when he demanded his lawyer, and in the end, no charges were filed.

Ironically, despite the fact that NBC News had access to the recording for several months and certainly could have used it as part of Farrow’s report, both NBC and MSNBC were at pains on Tuesday to credit The New Yorker in their repeated replays of the bombshell tape.

And despite his public row with the powers that be, Farrow was booked on the Today show Wednesday along with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, to discuss his 8,000-word New Yorker article, which landed with a bang on the magazine’s website Tuesday morning, and immediately dominated television coverage.

Farrow also was booked for appearances on ABC’s World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, the PBS NewsHour, CNN, and NPR.

Sources inside and outside NBC, meanwhile, challenged the network’s assertion that Farrow had obtained no usable on-the-record, on-camera interviews with Weinstein’s alleged victims. By several accounts, at least eight women claiming to have been sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted by Weinstein had agreed to go on camera—most of them anonymously in shadow, but two alleged victims with their names and faces. A third alleged victim was willing to allow her name to be used, but not her on-camera image, according to sources, and at least two of the women who spoke to NBC News ultimately ended up in The New Yorker piece.

Those claims, however, were heatedly contradicted by other network insiders, who said Farrow had not arranged a sufficient number of usable on-camera interviews with Weinstein’s alleged victims, especially on-the-record interviews, to produce a story that could legitimately be broadcast by a major television network. Meanwhile, it was decided that the sting tape, absent context, could not be the basis for a stand-alone story.

Sources said Rose McGowan, a well-known actress who went before NBC’s cameras in January to describe how Weinstein allegedly forced sex on her years ago, was compelled to withdraw her participation because it could have a provoked a lawsuit and threatened a non-disclosure agreement and financial settlement she’d made with the powerful and litigious co-chairman of the Weinstein Company.

Without identifying McGowan by name, Farrow’s article reported: “One actress who initially spoke to me on the record later asked that her allegation be removed. ‘I’m so sorry,’ she wrote. ‘The legal angle is coming at me and I have no recourse.’”

According to a television-industry insider familiar with Farrow’s NBC News project, however, “Farrow and his producer had been working this for 10 months. They had eight interviews on camera, with a mix of silhouette and not-silhouette—so eight women speaking. They had an NYPD audio tape, and they had enough for a story. And NBC did everything they could to delay it, complicate it, and ultimately Noah [Oppenheim] killed it. NBC shut it down.”

This person continued:

“It is what it is, and everybody can see it. It’s crazy. There’s no reason, journalistically, for the story to have been killed. Obviously, there was some other reason—and I don’t know what that is.”

By the time Farrow pitched New Yorker Editor in Chief David Remnick in August, according to multiple sources, he and NBC News investigative unit producer Rich McHugh, among others, had been pursuing Weinstein’s alleged serial groping—and worse—of young actresses and female staffers since the previous December.

Over the course of several months, scripts were prepared and vetted, and Farrow’s and McHugh’s reporting was subjected to various layers of both fact-checking and legal reviews, insiders said, and at one point a senior producer on NBC News’ Friday night show Dateline carefully re-interviewed many of their sources and witnesses, and concluded they were solid.

The vetting process lasted weeks and weeks, through much of the summer, but ended shortly after Kimberley D. Harris, executive vice president and general counsel of NBC Universal, subjected the material to her own review. Since Harris oversees the in-house lawyering of all the company divisions, an NBC source said it would not be unusual for her to review news division material for potential exposure to litigation. And although Harris reports to NBC Universal Chief Executive Steve Burke, a source insisted Burke wasn’t involved in the decision to spike the Weinstein story.

Indeed, according to this account, Harris never formally weighed in, because NBC News had already pulled the plug by the time she finished examining Farrow’s work.

With two such wildly contradictory versions of why and how NBC News spiked Farrow’s Weinstein story, it’s difficult to determine what objectively occurred.

But author and New Yorker media writer Ken Auletta, who has been covering Weinstein for decades and is among the legions of journalists who’ve tried and failed to document his casting-couch behavior, also sat for an NBC interview; at one point, according to witnesses, he turned to the camera and declared:

“This evidence is so overwhelming that if NBC News sits on it, that will be a scandal.”

Finally, former CNN, Fox News, and NBC News anchor, Greta Van Susteren asks a very pertinent question...

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JoeTurner's picture

Listen goyim, just keep sending your hot shiksa teen daughters to (((hollywood))) and all their (and your) dreams will come true...

YUNOSELL's picture

Weinstein is like a bank and NBC, the Obamas and Clintons only finally tried to take their money out after it become obvious and apparent that there was a full fledged bank run and everyone else had withdrew all their capital invested in Weinstein

You don't want to take your money out too early in case there may be enough elite support to give him a bailout

Jim in MN's picture





Row Well Number 41's picture

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.
    -- George Orwell

Joe Davola's picture

What I can't figure is if it was an open secret in Hollywood, how come several of the top names listed all have parents in the movie biz (Jolie, Paltrow & Sorvino) - wouldn't their parents have at least heard rumors and kept their daughters away.

Juggernaut x2's picture

Why (only) Weinstein, why now after almost 30 years of his debauchery? You can't tell me Hollywood isn't rife with these degenerates.

innocent observer's picture

folks are acting like weinstein is a big deal?

he is not.

but he has been a heavy dem contributor.


Joe Davola's picture

Curious how in the New Yorker article they talk about the category of people who were called the Friends Of Harvey - much like the Friends Of Bill got special consideration for contracts 'rebuilding' Haiti.

Socratic Dog's picture

They're adult women, they make choices.  They choose to be whores to jew wealth and power.  What exactly is the problem here?  Not that I wouldn't burn them at the stake for it, but he's just being a jew. 

This does, of course, distract attention from the entrenched pedophilia in the elites of this country.

FatTony7915726's picture

Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband 'cause they rapin' e'rybody out here.

FatTony7915726's picture

Hillary's top donors: Saban, Soros, Spielberg, Epstein (Jeffrey the rapist), Weinstein, Katzenberg, Zuckerberg, Silberstein.... looks like the guest list of a Bar Mitzvah

The Wizard's picture

Is this the calm before the storm?????

InflammatoryResponse's picture

I wondered the exact same thing.  OTOH,  why didn't somebody show up and beat the shit out of the fat bastard?



hannah's picture

joe davola....these'stars' are fucking their own children for christ sakes. to them sex is power sex is money. they dont care if weinstein fondles their kids............

venturen's picture

why...Democrats/Liberals and their parents...are wiling to prositute themselves or thier kids for fame and money.

Liberals are Hateful,  GREEDY and HYPOCRITES....remember that and it will answer any question you have about them!

Ghost of Porky's picture

Meryl Streep: "How come Harvey never grabbed ME???"

halcyon's picture

The jewish clique control the media. Bhwaa, quelle surprise!


chiswickcat's picture

King of Hollywood.

Well he sits up there on his leatherette
Looks through pictures of the ones
That he hasn't had yet
When he thinks he wants a closer look
He gets out his little black telephone book

Come sit down here beside me honey
Let's have a little heart to heart
Now look at me and tell me darlin'
How badly do you want this part?

Are you willing to sacrifice
And are you willing to be real nice
All your talent and my good taste
I'd hate to see it go to waste

We gon' get you an apartment, honey
We gon' get you a car
Yeah, we gon' take care of you, darlin'
We gon' make you a movie star

For years I've seen 'em come and go
He says, "I've had 'em all, ya know"
I handled everything in my own way
I made 'em what they are today

After 'while, nothing was pretty
After 'while, everything got lost
Still, his jacuzzi runneth over
Still, he just couldn't get off

He's just another power junky
Just another silk-scarf monkey
You'd know it if you saw his stuff
The man just isn't big enough

DirtySanchez's picture

Weinstein is so fucking grotesque, that even the brothers in the joint will gag at the sight of him.

DeathingerStar's picture

So, what you're saying is, Harvey will have to force the brothers to watch him shower? 

ParkAveFlasher's picture

"NBC", what's that?  They have an app?

mily's picture

What's going on in the jewish family?

Arnold's picture

Well, that whole cloth is unraveling.

Son of Loki's picture

NBC News Passed on Ronan Farrow’s Bombshell Report of Weinstein Rape Allegations

My crotch itches's picture

John Harwood from NBC has always shown to be a unbiased and non-partisan reporter (see emails during 2016 election).  Surprised that he didn't just into this story about a big time Dem contributor.  /sarc

Soph's picture

Good thing there's more than one news source.

wisehiney's picture

Every single day they go at each other more and more.

Best show they ever made.

Pass the popcorn.

Juggernaut x2's picture

If I mention that Weinstein is jewish will you be triggered?

cluelessminion's picture

And we care because ...?


Another smokescreen to keep our eyes focused away from what they don't want us to see.


I mean, in the grand scheme things this has no more bearing on mine nor anyone's life outside of Weinstein and those associated with him.  But it's all over the news.  Just like the kneeling "controversy", it's the number one thing being discussed.  They've "sacrificed" one of their own to protect the status quo; to convince us that "the system" really works and that no one is too powerful to bring down.


Who cares?

gregga777's picture

Because it's destroying the Anglo-Zionist FAKE NEWS Media with the death of a thousand cuts. Besides that it's immensely entertaining to see these monumentally hypocritical Alinskyite liberal retards turning on each other.

All Your Base's picture

Agreed. Watching the cannibalism among the 'tards is 5-star entertainment. Like BLM protesting the ACLU. I guess they've realized no one else is paying attention to them so they have to turn on each other.

docloxvio's picture

That is the best news I've read all day.

lester1's picture

Sexual harassment is ok if you're a liberal Democrat.

Juggernaut x2's picture

Ds and Rs both sup at Satan's banquet.

motoXdude's picture

Oh it's fun watching the crooked MSM exposed and coming apart at the seams!  And to think we used to accuse the former Soviets of having rigged news!   Sucks to look in a mirror and see the truth, doesn't it!

homiegot's picture

Jews run everything.

Farmer Joe in Brooklyn's picture

Oppenheim spikes story on Weinstein.

Nuff said.

smallblockchevy350's picture

This Joo asshole can afford to hire entire TEAMS of high-end prostitutes to do whatever he wants for as long as he wants, and it still wasn't enough for him.

markar's picture

you don't get that power rush with a willing prostitute. Weinstein and countless others like him are real sickos.

QE4MeASAP's picture

Looks like the Hollywood moral authority was too busy bashing Trump and the Deplorables to care.

Vinividivinci's picture

the real story here, is how nbc is suddenly getting piled on...
as for mia and woody's evil hollywood spawn...yawn and whatev's

Vinividivinci's picture

ronan farrow's father, married his underage, adopted daughter...
so i guess that kinda gives this evil hollywood spawn, some credibility on the subject...
nonetheless, yawn and whatev.

yaright's picture

Lot more to this story I wonder if we will ever find out 

junction's picture

Ronan Farrow's news career is on life support, his Clinton friends are out of power.  So, someone hands Farrow the Weinstein story and Farrow's producer writes the New Yorker article that Farrow claims credit for.  The big loser in this matter is Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, whose corrupt office covered up the sex complaints against Weinstein.  Weinstein was no different than Al Gore or Bill Clinton, looking for sex in all the wrong places.  Ronan expects this story to get him back to the majors.    

allamerican's picture

who the hell this guy harvey.  if it exposes left for lying broken ass party fucks that they are, burn that asshole.

gregga777's picture

To be balanced Hollypedophiliawood is also rife with whores of both genders who'll do anything to "make it big" in Hollypedophiliawood. Now the news is filled with harrowing tales from those very same exploited whores who made it big.


Do these so-called "actresses" look like they are being coerced? At least 35 pages of photographs of so-called "actresses." Enjoy.

allamerican's picture

exobishanist and voyers.

lots of cash and bored will do stange shit to people.

nice tit shots though so thanks..

Ali Tarpate's picture

Goddam, son, I hope English isn't your first language. Stay in school, kid.

gregga777's picture

Why did the Khazarian Mafia pick this moment to throw Harvey Weinstein to the wolves? What else are they desperately trying to cover up? Other famous Hollypedophiliawood moguls guilty of buggering children? Or even worse? Maybe a lot of them got caught by that recent Australian police operation that shut down a major worldwide pedophile ring?