NBC News Chief Accuses Ronan Farrow of ‘Smear’ and ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Ahead of Bombshell Book Release
NBC fired back at Ronan Farrow’s bombshell new book Catch and Kill — which directly accuses the news network of trying to stop his investigation into sexual assault allegations against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in order to protect Matt Lauer — which is set for a Tuesday release.
In the internal memo sent to NBC and MSNBC employees by NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and obtained by Mediaite, the executive wrote, “Matt Lauer’s actions were abhorrent, and the anger and sadness he caused continue to this day. As we’ve said since the moment he was fired, his abuses should never have happened. Ronan Farrow’s book takes that undeniable fact and twists it into a lie – alleging we were a ‘company with a lot of secrets.’ We have no secrets and nothing to hide.”
“Now that we’ve read Farrow’s book, it’s clear – his smear rests on the allegation that NBC’s management knew about and took steps to hide Matt Lauer’s misconduct before his firing in November of 2017. Without that, he has no basis on which to rest his second conspiracy theory — that his Harvey Weinstein reporting was squashed to protect Lauer,” Oppenheim wrote. “Not only is this false, the so-called evidence Farrow uses in his book to support the charge collapses under the slightest scrutiny.”
Farrow has long accused NBC of thwarting his investigation into Weinstein. He eventually took his reporting to the New Yorker, winning a Pulitzer Prize. His upcoming book Catch and Kill accuses NBC of succumbing to a pressure campaign from Weinstein himself to spike the investigation, which included threatening to expose the allegations against then-Today show star Matt Lauer.
Farrow’s book also alleges that NBC covered up allegations against Lauer before he was fired in 2017, and includes a new allegation that he raped former NBC News staffer Brooke Nevils at the Sochi Olymics in 2014. Lauer has denied the allegation and maintained that his relationship with Nevils was consensual.
“I feel absolutely terrible that these three employees were subjected to Matt Lauer’s horrific behavior, but the facts do not support Farrow’s allegation of a ‘cover-up’, and he offers no further evidence,” he continued.
The memo also noted, “we cannot undo mistakes that may have been made by people who have long since left the company,” and boasted that NBC’s “senior leadership is now 63% women, a 20% improvement in the last 2 years.”
“Farrow’s effort to defame NBC News is clearly motivated not by a pursuit of truth, but an axe to grind,” Oppenheim concluded. “It is built on a series of distortions, confused timelines, and outright inaccuracies.”
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