Producer Slams NBC for Impeding Weinstein Story: ‘Massive Breach of Journalistic Integrity’

Ronan Farrow

Oppenheim claims that he did not hinder the reporting of the story, but that he wouldn't allow Farrow to use NBC resources once he took the story over to the New Yorker.

Farrow's report, along with a blockbuster New York Times report published a few days earlier, blew open the story of megaproducer and Democratic megadonor Harvey Weinstein's alleged decades-long record of sexual abuse that triggered the #MeToo movement.

McHugh said that when he and Farrow were headed to Los Angeles to tape an interview with a victim of Weinstein, he was told by executives to cancel the trip.

An NBC News spokesperson said in a statement that "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".

The former investigative unit producer described how unnamed executives specifically instructed him to cancel an interview with a woman with a rape allegation against the Hollywood mogul.

McHugh today said NBC was "resistant" during the entire reporting process.

NBC has maintained that it passed on Farrow's story initially because the story wasn't ready yet - none of the women was willing to be named, NBC said in a statement.

McHugh did not name which executives exerted pressure on the story.

"He was never told to stop in the way he's implying", Oppenheim told the Times.

"We repeatedly made clear to Ronan and Rich McHugh the standard for publication is we needed at least one credible on-the-record victim or witness of misconduct", Oppenheim said.

In a statement to the Times responding to McHugh's claims, Farrow praised his former producer and offered words of support. "And we granted him permission to do so". Who knows how many stories have been killed to protect wealthy power players like Weinstein? He said he actually assigned the Weinstein story to Farrow when rumors circulated that actress Rose McGowan might have had an experience she'd be willing to talk about.

Farrow appeared to dispute Oppenheim's characterization of the report in an interview with MSNBC past year in which he claimed that the piece was "reportable" and should have been aired earlier.

Auletta, a mediawriter for the New Yorker, helped Farrow find a home for the reporting after he parted with NBC.

The president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim, denied McHugh's accusation. Weiner, sources told the website, threatened to smear Farrow. "We were told to put the story on the back burner".

Oppenheim reportedly said, "Mark Kornblau and Andy Lack are trying to throw me under the bus when it was Andy's decision".

But that's exactly what happened at NBC News, where Farrow started his work on it. Weinstein, through a spokesperson, has consistently denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.



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