“The assertion that NBC News tried to kill the Weinstein story while Ronan Farrow was at NBC News, or even more ludicrously, after he left NBC News, is an outright lie.
In August of 2017, after NBC News assigned Ronan Farrow to investigate Weinstein and supported his reporting efforts for eight months, Farrow believed his reporting was ready for air. NBC disagreed because, unfortunately, he did not yet have a single victim of — or witness to — misconduct by Weinstein who was willing to be identified.
Dissatisfied with that decision, Farrow chose to leave for a print outlet that he said was willing to publish immediately. NBC News told him “we will not stand in your way,” and allowed him to take his reporting to The New Yorker, where, two months later, he published a strong piece that cited the following victims by name: Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Lucia Evans, Emma de Canes, Jessica Barth, and Sophie Dix.
Not one of these seven women was included in the reporting Farrow presented while at NBC News.
EARLIER: The New York Times reported today that Ronan Farrow’s groundbreaking expose on producer Harvey Weinstein was killed by NBC upper management.
The Times reported today that Rich McHugh, a producer described as someone who worked closely wtih Farrow, has said that the order to kill the Weinstein story came from “the very highest levels of NBC.”
Farrow was working for NBC News as an investigative reporter and spent months digging into the long-standing rumors about Weinstein. But his initial article appeared in The New Yorker, leaving many wondering why NBC did not have it first.
McHugh called the squelching of the story “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.” He is the first NBC insider to go on the record and make the charge that the story was killed. NBC has maintained throughout that the story was thinly sourced and not ready for airing.
NBC said today in rebuttal to the allegations by McHugh that Farrow’s work was not broadcast-ready and that Farrow decided to go to The New Yorker with the story, which was published two months after he stopped working on it for NBC. The series on Weinstein won a Pulitizer Prize, journalism’s top honor.
McHugh today said NBC was “resistant” during the entire reporting process.
NBC subsequently granted Farrow permission to take the story elsewhere.
McHugh did not name which executives exerted pressure on the story. He left NBC two weeks ago for another job.
Farrow praised McHugh in a statement for the NY Times. “Rich is a fantastic producer and journalist. He’s a person of integrity, and he cared deeply about the investigative stories we worked on together and the importance of seeing them through.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.