Issuing a harsh rebuke to his own employers for taking “the path of least resistance” by declining to report on allegations of sexual assault against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes on Monday night was widely applauded for taking a different path.
In his closing monologue on his show “All In with Chris Hayes,” Hayes compared NBC News executives with hundreds of Republican lawmakers and government officials who refuse to speak out publicly against President Donald Trump amid reports that they privately express grave concerns about his policies and decision-making.
“The insidious destructive force of the path of least resistance is everywhere you look,” Hayes said. “Heck, I feel the tug of it myself as my own news organization is embroiled in a very public controversy over its conduct.”
Hayes’s former NBC colleague, journalist Ronan Farrow, spent months reporting on allegations against Weinstein in 2017—allegations which would help spark the worldwide #MeToo social justice movement.
But, Farrow suggests in his new book, Catch & Kill, the network refused to air the reporting out, correctly predicting that the Weinstein story would lead to scrutiny of one of its own longtime anchors—former “Today Show” host Matt Lauer.
“In Farrow’s view, he was unable to break through what was effectively a conspiracy of silence from NBC News management,” Hayes said.
Please watch this excellent closing statement by @chrislhayes
To stand up this way against his bosses at NBC News is remarkable
I should note what makes this even more remarkable is Andy Lack (NBC News Chairman) isn't a big fan of Chris/his show
Chris is stepping out here pic.twitter.com/vXnQkJd4eq
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 15, 2019
While NBC has claimed Farrow’s reporting was not adequately sourced to air, the reporter went on to publish an explosive article in The New Yorker about the Weinstein allegations just two months later.
After leaving NBC News, Hayes said, Farrow was able to do “the kind of journalism that you want to do as a journalist, that everyone who works in this business should want to facilitate.”
On social media, Hayes won applause for taking what many media critics called a brave stance against his powerful employer.
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) October 15, 2019
— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) October 15, 2019
Chris Hayes reminding us all why we need an unfettered free press https://t.co/XIBoyzg4CV
— Will Bunch Sign Up For My Newsletter (@Will_Bunch) October 15, 2019
.@chrislhayes is modeling exactly where our journalism should be in 2019. Too many outlets bend to the powerful when the very institutions they represent are supposed to operate as a check on that power.
When I had dreams of being a journalist it was to uplift Truth like this: https://t.co/UDgEa8SR4c
— Matt Deitsch (@MattxRed) October 15, 2019
Journalism professor and media critic Jay Rosen wrote that Hayes’s statement could mark the beginning of a reckoning at NBC—through a possible change in leadership or an independent investigation into Farrow’s departure from the network.
After Hayes’s monologue, Rosen wrote, “status quo won’t hold.”
Georgia GOP secretary of state: Trump ‘threw my family under the bus’ even though we voted for him
Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, has written an angry editorial for USA Today in which he details the harassment he and his family have been subjected to because he followed the law and certified President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Raffensperger starts out his editorial by praising the Peach State for holding a free and fair election under difficult circumstances stemming from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
‘The election wasn’t stolen — he blew it’: Michigan Republican says Trump ‘did everything possible to lose’
President Donald Trump insists the election was stolen from him in Michigan, but Republicans there haven't been willing to indulge his fantasy.
The president has zeroed in on the state, which he narrowly won in 2016, in his effort to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden by claiming widespread fraud and pressuring legislators to overrule the will of the voters, but few Republicans are buying in, reported Politico.
“We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” said Aaron Van Langevelde, who sits on Michigan’s board of state canvassers, which was statutorily obligated to certify the election win by Joe Biden. “As John Adams once said, 'We are a government of laws, not men.' This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.”
‘Dangerous’: Mitch McConnell just engineered a lifetime judgeship for an ‘unqualified’ 33-year-old
On Wednesday, The Daily Beast examined the "dangerous" record of 33-year-old Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, one of the final judicial nominees to be forced through by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans — and her complete lack of qualifications for the job, beyond her high-powered conservative connections.
"One of five judicial nominees waved through by the lame duck Senate in a final vote before lawmakers left town for Thanksgiving, Mizelle’s confirmation is the most galling," wrote Eleanor Clift. "Mizelle is only eight years out of law school (University of Florida), and the ABA’s standard for a lifetime seat is 12 years of legal experience. She has had four distinguished clerkships, including one for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, but her only trial experience is as an intern before she graduated from law school. She will take her seat on the Eleventh Circuit for the Middle District of Florida having never tried a case — civil or criminal — as a lead attorney or co-counsel."