NY Times Editor Dean Baquet Describes Forcing Harvey Weinstein to Give Comment on Bombshell Report
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet recounted to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour how he forced Harvey Weinstein into giving the paper a comment for its bombshell report on him.
Amanpour was asking Baquet to recall a story described in She Said, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s account of reporting out their expose on Weinstein’s pattern of alleged sexual misconduct and abuse spanning years. The book describes how Weinstein berated and threatened the reporters in an attempt to stop the story and how Baquet intervened to shut down Weinstein’s stonewalling.
“I do not like when powerful people come to the editor of The New York Times and say ‘let’s talk powerful person to powerful person’ … he was on the phone screaming at them, I got upset,” Baquet said.
“I stopped him and said if he didn’t give us his comment now, we were going to close the paper,” Baquet said.
“Go to press without his comment?” Amanpour asked to clarify.
“That’s right,” Baquet replied. “He gave us his comment.”
On conference calls, in person and in writing, Weinstein and his team threaten, delay and obfuscate. The producer lectures Times editors and reporters on journalism ethics and shifts between exculpating himself — “I’m not a saint, but I’m not the sinner you think I am” — and painting himself as a rogue. He isn’t that bad, he tells Kantor in a tense encounter in the Times lobby, as he stands outside the security turnstiles. Then he smiles. “I’m worse.”
But the tactics wear thin, and the Times’ executive editor — whom the reporters say was “savoring” the combat with Weinstein — loses patience. “Hey, Harvey,” he says over the phone. “This is Dean Baquet. Here’s the deal. You need to give us your statement now. I’m about to push the button.”
And at 2:05 p.m. on Oct. 5 . . . click.
Weinstein currently faces rape and sexual assault charges, and recently lost a bid to move his case out of New York. He has pleaded not guilty.
Watch above, via CNN.
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