October 11, 2017

HOW TOP NBC EXECUTIVES QUASHED THE BOMBSHELL HARVEY WEINSTEIN STORY:

NBC had initially been reticent about reporting on other news outlets’ stories on Weinstein as well. Last Thursday, when The New York Times first broke the story of Weinstein’s long history of alleged sexual abuse, both CBS and ABC carried the Weinstein story on their evening broadcasts. But NBC was conspicuously absent among its competitors and didn’t air a Weinstein piece that evening on “NBC Nightly News,” despite having had seven hours to put together a story (the Times article was published at 11 a.m. EDT).

Some NBC sources said that the broadcast was jam-packed with breaking news, including reporting on the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting and the NBC News report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called President Donald Trump a “moron.” But the broadcast also had room for a segment on NFL player Cam Newton’s sexist remarks to a female reporter and a segment about Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees.

Two sources familiar with the production told HuffPost that Oppenheim made the final decision not to include a Weinstein story in the broadcast, telling staff that Weinstein wasn’t a nationally recognizable figure. That weekend, when “Saturday Night Live” executive producer Lorne Michaels was criticized for not including any Weinstein jokes, he told The Daily Mail that “it’s a New York thing,” suggesting something similar. NBC insiders have told HuffPost that this has led some employees to wonder if this was an internal talking point that NBC executives were using to justify the lack of coverage.

Weinstein produced Pulp Fiction and most or all of Quentin Tarantino’s other movies, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, at least one Lord of the Rings movie, the Spy Kids franchise, multiple Woody Allen movies, Shakespeare in Love, Good Will Hunting, and the Project Runway TV series, in addition to about to about 320(!) other titles for both the movies and TV according to IMDB. He was a major contributor to the Clinton and Obama campaigns. There’s no way the public would be interested in knowing that somebody this powerful was accused of sexually assaulting or harassing Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Heather Graham, Rosanna Arquette, and numerous other actresses. No story there that the public would be interested in.

According to the HuffPost:

By July, Farrow was ready with a bombshell story about Weinstein that included on-camera interviews with accusers and interviews with four female and male former Miramax and Weinstein Co. executives…One of the people Farrow had interviewed on camera for the story was veteran media reporter Ken Auletta. Earlier in his career, Auletta had tried to break the story of Weinstein’s predations. According to two sources familiar with the interview, and as reported in slightly different form by the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, Auletta, after having reviewed Farrow’s reporting, said on camera something along the lines of, “If NBC News sits on this evidence Ronan has, it is a black eye for the organization and a huge scandal.”

Perhaps it’s less of a scandal for those of us who’ve long known it’s business as usual for the DNC-MSM.

In addition to the politics, there are also all those NBC drama and variety producers who might want a film or TV project with Weinstein. Don’t want to cut that gravy train off either, sexual assaults be damned.

UPDATE: “Awkward: Lauer Congrats Farrow for Weinstein Bombshell He Worked on ‘For NBC News.’”

The one that, according to the HuffPo, NBC brass eventually told Farrow that “he didn’t have enough reporting done to go to air but that he should also stop reporting on Weinstein’s story, putting him in an untenable position,” and thus his going to the New Yorker first. “Throw in the CNN Money story published by Brian Stelter and you have NBC with yet another scandal involving questionable news judgement (e.g. GM trucks, George Zimmerman 9/11 call, Brian Williams to name a few others),” Curtis Houck writes at NewsBusters. But as with Lorne Michaels, company man Lauer knows who signs his checks.