A veteran NBC Information producer who labored with Ronan Farrow on Farrow’s explosive story on disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has left the community and is talking out, calling the community’s resolution to not make the story public “a large breach of journalistic integrity.”
Wealthy McHugh, who left NBC Information’ investigative unit not too long ago, mentioned in an announcement offered to CNN that the orders to not run the story got here from “the very best ranges of NBC. That was unethical.”
“At a essential juncture in our reporting on Harvey Weinstein, as we had been about to interview a girl with a reputable allegation of rape in opposition to him, I used to be informed to not do the interview and ordered to face down, thus successfully killing the story,” McHugh mentioned within the assertion.
An NBC Information spokesperson mentioned in an announcement that “the assertion that NBC Information tried to kill the Weinstein story whereas Ronan Farrow was at NBC Information, or much more ludicrously, after he left NBC Information, is an outright lie.”
“In August of 2017, after NBC Information assigned Ronan Farrow to research Weinstein and supported his reporting efforts for eight months, Farrow believed his reporting was prepared for air. NBC disagreed as a result of, sadly, he didn’t but have a single sufferer of — or witness to — misconduct by Weinstein who was keen to be recognized,” the assertion mentioned. “Dissatisfied with that call, Farrow selected to go away for a print outlet that he mentioned was keen to publish instantly. NBC Information informed him ‘we won’t stand in your means,’ and allowed him to take his reporting to The New Yorker, the place, two months later, he printed a robust piece that cited the next victims by identify: Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Lucia Evans, Emma de Caunes, Jessica Barth, and Sophie Dix. Not considered one of these seven girls was included within the reporting Farrow offered whereas at NBC Information.”
McHugh spoke on the report with The New York Times for a story published Thursday night, shortly after The Daily Beast published an article with different accusations relating to NBC’s resolution to not run Farrow’s story.
“Three days earlier than Ronan and I had been going to move to L.A. to interview a girl with a reputable rape allegation in opposition to Harvey Weinstein, I used to be ordered to cease, to not interview this girl,” McHugh informed the Occasions. “And to face down on the story altogether.”
NBC Information President Noah Oppenheim informed the Occasions that McHugh “was by no means informed to cease in the way in which he is implying.” He informed the Occasions that Farrow had requested to take the story elsewhere the day earlier than the interview, so there was no purpose for him to make use of a requested NBC crew.
Oppenheim and NBC Information Chairman Andy Lack had been each concerned within the resolution to not run Farrow’s story, sources informed CNN in October 2017, and each have come underneath hearth over it. The community and its executives have additionally been underneath scrutiny within the wake of sexual harassment allegations in opposition to former “Immediately” present co-host Matt Lauer. Lauer, who was fired, has denied allegations in opposition to him.
Farrow finally took the story to The New Yorker, which printed it in October 2017, just some days after The New York Occasions printed its personal investigation into Weinstein. Weinstein was charged in May with first- and third-degree rape and committing a prison sexual act within the first diploma stemming from incidents with two separate girls in 2013 and 2004. Weinstein has denied all accusations of non-consensual intercourse made in opposition to him.
The 2 publications received the Pulitzer Prize for public service in recognition of the reporting.
In an announcement to CNN, McHugh mentioned he’s talking out now as a result of he disagrees with NBC’s management.
McHugh additionally questioned why the community let the story get away.
“One thing else should have been happening,” he mentioned. “As a journalist for 16 years I do know that when you’ve got an explosive story you by no means let it stroll out the door.”
Farrow is writing a e book, “Catch and Kill,” about his reporting into Weinstein and different males. A supply with information of the e book deal informed CNN earlier this yr that it’ll comprise details about his interactions with NBC executives.
Farrow didn’t reply to a request for remark.
CNNMoney (New York) First printed August 30, 2018: 11:42 PM ET