NEW YORK ― Ronan Farrow's investigation into Harvey Weinstein's long history of alleged sexual misconduct was in NBC's hands as recently as August, according to multiple sources both inside and outside the network.
Instead, Farrow's story - and the audio, from a 2015 New York Police Department sting - appeared Tuesday on the website of The New Yorker. Weinstein personally threatened to sue him while he was working on the report, Farrow said, adding that his story was clearly "reportable" when NBC had it. He was sacked from the production company he helped create over the weekend and has admitted he needs to seek counseling, even as he has threatened to sue the New York Times and media companies allege huge pressure from him and his lawyers to kill the stories. In The New Yorker story, several women spoke on the record about their encounters with Weinstein.
What's clear is that Farrow and NBC have distinctly different takes on why the network choose to pass on his Weinstein story.
Maddow had said to Farrow: "NBC says that the story wasn't publishable, that it wasn't ready to go at the time that you brought it to them".
"I walked into the door at the New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece, that should've been public earlier", Farrow said. By then, Farrow, an NBC contributor and investigative reporter, had already obtained damning audio of an encounter Weinstein had with a woman, in which Weinstein admits to having groped her, sources told HuffPost. He stayed on at the network, however, under a nonexclusive deal that allowed him to also work for other news outlets. In case she missed his point, he later said, "there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC". Sallie Hofmeister, Weinstein's representative, did not immediately return a request for comment. Multiple sources say that Farrow had convinced several victims, a lot of them former employees, to tell their stories. "We are going to keep pursuing these stories".
At the previously scheduled staff meeting, Oppenhiem took a moment to address what he called " the noise that has been circulating regarding" Farrow's piece, without saying some of the noise came from Farrow. And that it was "nowhere close to what ultimately ran in the New York Times of The New Yorker - for example, at the time he didn't have one accuser willing to go on the record of identify themselves". For NBC, the swirling media controversy was immediately reminiscent of another missed opportunity for its news division - the internal leak of its infamous Access Hollywood Donald Trump tape to the Washington Post nearly exactly one year ago.