Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale write: Yesterday we tuned in to watch Rachel Maddow’s nightly one-hour show on the US cable news network, MSNBC. Something extraordinary happened. Twenty minutes into the show Maddow began to talk about the Harvey Weinstein case. Over the next forty minutes she set forth, in powerful and coherent detail, how her bosses had attempted to protect Weinstein from the exposure of his sexual harassment and rapes on NBC News.
Maddow attacked the management of her cable network MSNBC, their parent organisation NBC News, and their parent organisation NBC. She named managers – one of them, Noah Oppenheim, the head of NBC News, three times.
She based her coverage on the wonderful, and gripping, new book by Ronan Farrow, Catch and Kill. In that book Farrow lays out in forensic detail how he originally covered the Weinstein story as a reporter at NBC, how his management first slow walked his coverage, then refused to broadcast it, and then forbade him to do any more research. He eventually had to take his material to the New Yorker, which published it a few weeks later.
Farrow documents extensive phone calls and threats from Weinstein to several executives at NBC. Of equal importance, he documents how NBC News was firing abused female staff and paying out settlements in return for them signing gag orders. They knew that exposure of Weinstein could open the flood gates and expose what NBC had been doing too. As indeed it has.
In the second half of Maddow’s forty minutes, she had Farrow on the show. That interview was a powerful one-two assault on management.
Maddow accused her bosses, her bosses’ bosses, and her bosses’ bosses’ bosses, of lying, and of actions that were illegal and immoral. On live TV. Continue reading