Former Producer Accuses NBC of Trying to Stop Weinstein Reporting

Yolanda Curtis
September 1, 2018

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".

A former NBC News producer who worked with Ronan Farrow has claimed that the broadcaster attempted to impede Ronan Farrow from finishing his reporting on disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual predations.

In order to tell his Weinstein story, Farrow was eventually forced to take his reporting to the New Yorker, where it was published two months later and won a Pulitzer Prize.

In an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, Rich McHugh called out NBC, saying that the broadcaster was "resistant" to Farrow's reporting on Weinstein from an early stage.

In addition to the alleged "threats" by Weiner and damning suggestions about Oppenheim's motives, the DB reports that sources say Weinstein's lawyer Charles Harder claimed in legal threats to Farrow that NBC had given Weinstein's legal team "written assurances that Farrow would not use any reporting he obtained about Weinstein during his time at the network".

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An NBC spokesperson who spoke to the Beast on condition of anonymity said the allegations are "absolutely false".

"He was never told to stop in the way he's implying", Oppenheim told the Times. Oppenheim said he even encouraged Farrow to pursue the story, and offered tips.

In a statement to the Times responding to McHugh's claims, Farrow praised his former producer and offered words of support.

Farrow had begun to suspect that Oppenheim-who moonlighted as a Hollywood screenwriter-was potentially communicating with Weinstein directly about the story, according to the sources.

"We said: 'You've asked for permission to go elsewhere".

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Farrow ultimately left NBC because of its continued reluctance to air the story. 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. HuffPost reported previous year that Oppenheim told Farrow that Weinstein's lawyers claimed Farrow had a conflict of interest because Weinstein had worked with Farrow's estranged father, Woody Allen. The current accusations against NBC News, the accusation NBC News covered up a credible rape allegation, come from two left-wing media outlets and a producer who now works for Al Gore. Weiner, sources told the website, threatened to smear Farrow. "Not one of these seven women was included in the reporting Farrow presented while at NBC News".

Once the story broke, NBC News employees were confused as to why their bosses had willingly let go of such an explosive story.

Oppenheim reportedly said, "Mark Kornblau and Andy Lack are trying to throw me under the bus when it was Andy's decision". "We were told to put the story on the back burner".

But that's exactly what happened at NBC News, where Farrow started his work on it.

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