MSNBC host Chris Hayes praised Ronan Farrow on his show the day before the release of the investigative reporter’s new book, which is critical of NBC’s handling of Farrow’s reporting on allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Hayes on Monday discussed the claims in the book and warned against taking “the path of least resistance” against powerful figures.
“The insidious, destructive force of the path of least resistance is everywhere you look,” he said and gave the example of Republicans not speaking out against President Trump as an instance.
“I feel the tug of it myself as my own news organization is embroiled in a very public controversy over its conduct,” he said.
Hayes then discussed the allegations Farrow makes in the book, “Catch and Kill,” and describes one particular allegation against NBC as distressing.
“My former colleague Ronan Farrow contends that NBC News slow-walked and then ultimately killed his reporting on Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and assault because it was intimidated by Weinstein,” Hayes said.
“Most distressingly, Farrow suggests that NBC News was worried about the allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Matt Lauer coming out as a result of his reporting on Weinstein,” he added. “In Farrow’s view, he was unable to break through what was effectively a conspiracy of silence from NBC News management.”
He noted NBC’s denial of the claims, but then went on to praise Farrow’s reporting on the allegations against Weinstein as “the kind of journalism that you want to do as a journalist” and that everyone in the industry “should want to facilitate.”
The Hill has reached out to NBC News for comment on Hayes’s monologue. The network has denied the claims in Farrow’s book, which was released Tuesday.
NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said in an internal memo obtained by The Hill that the company has “no secrets and nothing to hide” and called the claim about protecting Lauer a “conspiracy theory.”
The book also contains the allegation that Lauer raped a former colleague and that the woman making the accusation told NBC supervisors. Lauer has denied this, and NBC said he was fired within 24 hours of the network learning of a complaint against him.