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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes calls out NBC leadership over Ronan Farrow claims

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  • In his Monday night show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes took on the allegations that NBC leadership engaged in a cover-up of Ronan Farrow’ reporting on Harvey Weinstein.

  • Farrow outlines those explosive allegations in his new book “Catch & Kill,” which reveals new details about the allegations of sexual assault against former “Today” host Matt Lauer.
  • Farrow himself left NBC in late 2017 after the network refused to publish his months of reporting on the allegations against Weinstein, claiming it wasn’t substantiated enough to be aired. His reporting was later published in The New Yorker, and helped set off the Me Too movement. 
  • “The insidious, destructive path of the least resistance is everywhere you look. Heck, I feel the tug of it here as my own news organization is engaged in very public controversy over its conduct,” Hayes said.
  • Hayes then not-so-subtly called out NBC leadership, saying, “the path of least resistance is always there, beckoning seductively with an entirely plausible cover story. But of course, it’s the very ease of that path that makes it the enemy of the very work that we as journalists are trying to do.” 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As NBC faces allegations it engaged in a cover-up of alleged sexual abuse by former “Today” host Matt Lauer, MSNBC host Chris Hayes took on the allegations himself in his Monday night show — and sent a powerful message to the executives at his own network. 

Lauer was fired from the network in disgrace in 2017 after being accused of “inappropriate sexual behavior” in the workplace. Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch & Kill” identifies Lauer’s accuser, former MSNBC producer Brooke Nevils, for the first time. 

The book also details what Farrow describes as an extensive cover-up by NBC executives to prevent him, while employed at the network, from reporting on allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, largely because they were intimidated by Weinstein and his entourage.

Farrow further claims in the book that executives were concerned that NBC reporting on the allegations against Lauer would expose Lauer to scrutiny over his own behavior. 

Read more: NBC may have killed Ronan Farrow’s exposé on Harvey Weinstein to protect Matt Lauer

Farrow famously left the network in late 2017 after NBC refused to publish his months of reporting on the allegations against Weinstein, claiming it wasn’t substantiated enough to be aired.

He instead published his bombshell story in the New Yorker, which combined with a separate investigation into Weinstein by The New York Times, led to the downfall of Weinstein’s career and sparked the #MeToo movement. 

NBC News president Noah Oppenheimer came out swinging against the bombshell allegations that NBC tried to cover up Nevils’ allegations against Matt Lauer and pushed accusers into confidential settlements with the network “false and offensive,” and called Farrow’s claim that NBC killed his reporting on Weinstein to protect Lauer a “conspiracy theory” in a lengthy memo to NBC staffers. 

Most anchors on MSNBC have, so far, mostly kept mum on the situation. The Hollywood Reporter has previously reported that Farrow is “blacklisted” from appearing on the network, which NBC denies.

But Hayes took a huge risk in using his platform both to praise Farrow’s intrepid reporting and send a powerful message to his own superiors. 

 

“The insidious, destructive path of the least resistance is everywhere you look. Heck, I feel the tug of it here as my own news organization is engaged in very public controversy over its conduct,” Hayes said about Farrow’s allegations that NBC “slow-walked’ and ultimately quashed the Weinstein story. 

“One thing is indisputable: Ronan Farrow walked out of NBC and within two months he published an incredible article that not only won a Pulitzer but helped trigger a massive social and cultural reckoning that continues to this day. It’s the kind of journalism that you want to do as a journalist, that everyone who works in this business should want to facilitate,” he added. 

Read more: Ronan Farrow says Harvey Weinstein used his relationship with Hillary Clinton to try to kill his exposé about the now-disgraced movie producer

Hayes then not-so-subtly called out NBC itself, saying, “the path of least resistance is always there, beckoning seductively with an entirely plausible cover story. You’ve got bigger fish to fry, this isn’t the hill to die on, the story isn’t ready. But of course, it’s the very ease of that path that makes it the enemy of the very work that we as journalists are trying to do.” 

Read more:

Matt Lauer was fired from the ‘Today’ show after a staffer accused him of raping her at the Sochi Olympics, new book reveals

The woman accusing Matt Lauer of rape said she was terrified of his control over her career. An abuse expert says it happens all the time.

Brooke Nevils slams Matt Lauer’s open letter denying her rape allegations as ‘a case study in victim-blaming’

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