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Ronan Farrow Claims NBC Paid Out Sex Harassment Settlements for Matt Lauer Before Rape Allegation Emerged

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By: Carmen Luego

NBC went easy on Matt Lauer, according to author Ronan Farrow’s reporting partner.

The partner, Rich McHugh, has come out with his own version of events. Top executives at NBC allegedly wound down their probe into the doings Harvey Weinstein after he said he would go public with less claims involving Lauer.

“They not only personally intervened to shut down our investigation of Weinstein, they even refused to allow me to follow up on our work after Weinstein’s history of sexual assault became front-page news,” McHugh has written in Vanity Fair magazine.

He continued that NBC’s news chairman Andy Lack and president of news Noah Oppenheim also shoulder some of the blame. “As the record shows, they behaved more like members of Weinstein’s PR team than the journalists they claim to be. Thanks to them, a leading national news organization, in broad daylight and with zero remorse, abdicated its single greatest responsibility—to relentlessly pursue and tell the truth.”

“Their investigations into Weinstein — McHugh was an employee of NBC, and Farrow was a freelancer at the time — were repeatedly derailed by the network, and all to protect Lauer, the network’s star anchor, McHugh wrote in the piece, which elaborates on similar descriptions in Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill,” reported the New York Post.

Farrow “eventually took their reporting to the New Yorker, scoring a Pulitzer Prize. Lack has fired back against the claims in Catch and Kill. Oppenheim has insisted that complaints against Lauer were handled appropriately,” the Post added.

“The reveal in Catch and Kill is not that there are corrupt people; it’s that corrupt people are in control of our media, politics, and entertainment and that, in fact, many of them remain in control — two years after the mass eruption of stories of harassment and assault that Farrow played a big part in precipitating,” reported thecut.com. “In his detailed laying out of systemic dread, Farrow does much to vividly describe the kind of horror story we still live in, when it comes to harassment and assault and, more broadly, to power imbalances and abuses.”

“No journalist who looked at this had any doubt that it was newsworthy,” Farrow told NPR in an interview. “It kept me up at night that I was sitting on criminal evidence that suggested people were getting hurt in an ongoing way, and that maybe if I wasn’t able to get this on air more people would get hurt.”

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