A bombshell report from the Daily Beast on Thursday claimed that NBC News general counsel Susan Weiner made phone calls to Farrow in which she threatened to "smear" him if he continued to report on Weinstein after the network spiked the story.
The DB also reports claims about an ugly internal blame-game at NBC after Farrow's story broke at the New Yorker, reporting that while Oppenheim publicly took the blame for not running Farrow's report, he "privately told at least one colleague that NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack and senior communications vice president Mark Kornblau had made him a scapegoat".
Not one of these seven women was included in the reporting Farrow presented while at NBC News.
"Three days before Ronan and I were going to head to L.A.to interview a woman with a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, I was ordered to stop, not to interview this woman, and to stand down on the story altogether", he said. News told him "we will not stand in your way", and allowed him to take his reporting to The New Yorker, where, two months later, he published a strong piece that cited the following victims by name: Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Lucia Evans, Emma de Canes, Jessica Barth, and Sophie Dix.
Chris Francescani, a reporter at ABC News who worked on NBC's investigative unit, said on Twitter that McHugh and Farrow "are telling the truth", while NBC executives "are not". Weiner reminded Farrow that as he continued his reporting on behalf of a separate news organization he should no longer represent himself as working on behalf of NBC News.
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"I think it's fair to say that there was a point in our reporting where I felt there were obstacles to us reporting this externally, and there were obstacles to us reporting this internally", McHugh told the New York Times. Besides, this wouldn't be the first time that the Powers That Be at NBC News ignored or squashed reports of abusive, powerful men. "Externally, I had Weinstein associates calling me repeatedly".
Farrow took his work to The New Yorker, helped spark a national movement against sexual harassment and won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting. "And immediately the New Yorker recognized that, and it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable".
But Oppenheim told the Times that Weinstein had no influence on the network's decisions.
NBC has vigorously denied these claims, maintaining that the story was not ready for publication.
Sources told The Daily Beast that Farrow suspected that Oppenheim, who is also a screewriter and TV producer, was communicating with Weinstein about Farrow's investigation. Lauer, who was sacked, has denied allegations against him.