NBC’s new senior media editor Claire Atkinson penned a piece today updating readers on the ever-growing story of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.
Her article featured shocking stories from former starlets about sexual harassment in the Golden Age of Hollywood, the new total number of women who have came forward against Weinstein, and a list of notable figures who have used their platform to condemn the Hollywood mogul’s actions — and yet, there was no mention of NBC’s controversial role in this story.
Atkinson left the NY Post to come to NBC News to much fanfare last month, where she is heading up a new team of media reporter all stars. She is reporting to NBC News Digital Executive Editor Catherine Kim, who explained Atkinson hire and new media coverage last month by saying “We’re in a time where the media industry is facing incredible change due to technology, social platforms, the marketplace, consumer tastes and behaviors.” She then described Atkinson’s new unit as telling “this epic story of the people, power and players that will fundamentally transform media in the decade ahead and what it means for you.”
After journalist Ronan Farrow broke open the Weinstein scandal with an explosive piece last week, eyebrow-raising questions about The Peacock Network started to pop up — mainly, why did an NBC investigative contributor break the story of a lifetime for The New Yorker instead of his own outlet? The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Vanity Fair all asked nearly this exact question in respective pieces, The Daily Beast and HuffPost published powerful stories attempting to answer it, and Fox News trotted out Tomi Lahren, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity to bash NBC News over the Weinstein story.
And yet, in her nearly 1,000 word piece on (almost) all-things Weinstein scandal related, NBC’s senior media editor somehow managed to completely ignore the media aspect. In fairness, her an article focuses on changing social norms and harassers are more likely to be exposed today than they were long ago. Though this is not an article about media coverage of the Weinstein case, there does appear to be a tactical lack of self awareness in this piece.
Mediaite reached out to Atkinson for comment on why she chose to omit these media-related details, but she failed to respond to multiple requests for comment. However, others at NBC have spoken about their involvement in the controversy.
Despite Farrow stating he had “an explosive, reportable piece” ready for NBC, the network turned it down. While appearing on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow, Farrow added that — despite claims from NBC that his bombshell story on Weinstein was not fit to be published — there were “multiple determinations” that his story was in-fact reportable.
In response to these stunning accusations, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim essentially suggested that Farrow is a liar. “The notion that we would try to cover for a powerful person is deeply offensive to all of us. Suffice to say, the stunning story, the incredible story that we all read yesterday, was not the story that we were looking at when we made our judgment several months ago,” said Oppenheim in a statement to NBC News staffers.
Atkinson didn’t stoop to calling BS on Farrow’s side of the story — rather, she just ignored it. From the Times and Post questions, to the Fox News rants — Atkinson ignored all of it.
In a nearly 1,000 word article, she managed to completely disregard NBC’s unconcealed role in the broader story of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct — leaving many to wonder why exactly one of America’s leading networks would choose to spike a story this big.
Perhaps Atkinson, who is known for her tenacious reporting and independence, obeyed NBC News’ corporate pecking orders, whereas freelance journalist Farrow did not.
[featured image via screengrab]
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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.