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NBC attacks Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book as a ‘smear’

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NBC is responding to Ronan Farrow’s new book — which claims that the network quashed his reporting on rape accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein to protect Matt Lauer, who faced similar accusations — by dismissing it as a “smear.”

This article first appeared in Salon.

In a memo sent to NBC employees on Monday and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim argues that Farrow’s upcoming book “Catch and Kill” is a “smear” and “rests on the allegation that NBC’s management knew about and took steps to hide Matt Lauer’s misconduct before his firing in November of 2017.” It also dismisses the accusation that the network “squashed” Farrow’s reporting into the rape accusations against Weinstein in order to protect Lauer as a “conspiracy theory.”

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The memo adds, “Farrow alleges there were employees who reported Lauer’s behavior prior to November of 2017 and were paid settlements to silence them. Not only is this false, the so-called evidence Farrow uses in his book to support the charge collapses under the slightest scrutiny.”

The memo also claims that the network’s legal team had only found three examples of accusations against Lauer before 2017 and that all of them “involve employees who by their own admission made no complaint to management, and whose departure agreements were unrelated to Lauer and completely routine.”

Oppenheim concludes by writing that “Farrow’s effort to defame NBC News is clearly motivated not by a pursuit of truth, but an axe to grind. It is built on a series of distortions, confused timelines, and outright inaccuracies.”

In Farrow’s new book, he claims that Oppenheim was dismissive of his reporting about Weinstein and characterized a recording of Weinstein admitting to having groped an Italian model as “not national news,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Farrow also writes that in September 2017 Weinstein met with Dylan Howard, chief content officer of American Media Inc., to go over material gathered by the supermarket tabloid about Lauer’s behavior. According to Farrow, Weinstein knew about Lauer’s alleged behavior and said that he could reveal it.

NBC executives claim that Farrow had already taken his reporting to the New Yorker when the Weinstein-Howard meeting supposedly took place. Farrow’s series of stories about Weinstein for that publication eventually won the Pulitzer Prize.

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While Oppenheim continues to deny attempting to thwart Farrow’s story, former NBC News producer Rich McHugh backed Farrow’s assertions in a piece for Vanity Fair which confirmed that Farrow had been told to “stand down” when he tried to interview one of Weinstein’s victims. McHugh wrote that the network “behaved more like members of Weinstein’s PR team than the journalists they claim to be.”

Oppenheim himself has come under scrutiny after The Daily Beast learned about a 1997 editorial he wrote for The Harvard Crimson in which he denounced NBC’s decision to fire sportcaster Marv Albert after he pleaded guilty in a sexual assault case.

“His accuser, a woman who previously had been convicted of harassing and threatening to kill an ex-boyfriend, was permitted to remain shielded in anonymity while the intimate details of Marv’s personal life were plastered across the headlines,” Oppenheim wrote at the time. “It is certainly a noble goal to protect the victims of sexual assault from mistreatment in the courtroom, but why should Marv’s past conduct have been subject to the closest scrutiny, while Perhach’s character history have remained off-limits?”

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Oppenheim responded to scrutiny for his column by saying he was “mortified” by what he wrote “couldn’t be more sorry” for having done so.

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House Republicans have 3 key defenses of Trump’s Ukraine extortion campaign — and they’re all terrible

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To any halfway objective observer, the first day of public hearings in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which are ongoing as of this writing, have not gone well for Trump’s defenders.

Bill Taylor, the top US ambassador in Kyiv, and veteran State Department official George Kent came off as principled and non-partisan as they delivered damning testimony about the Trump regime’s multifaceted campaign to coerce the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation into fringe right-wing conspiracy theories designed to deflect blame for interfering in the 2016 election from Russia and onto Ukraine.

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Progressives hilariously ridicule Donald Trump Jr.’s new book with their own Trump triggers #TriggerDonaldTrumpJr

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President Donald Trump's eldest child and namesake has published a book about liberals he says are "triggered" by conservatives. Ironically, it seems Donald Trump Jr. is the one who seems to be triggered by the reception he's getting from some on his book tour.

The hashtag, #TriggerDonaldTrumpJr has nothing to do with Jr's new book, rather it's progressives using his book title to mock the Trump child. Internet users were torn between mocking the young Trump for desperately trying to get his father's attention, scrambling to seem relevant, trying to launch his own political career, trying to make his own money and so much more.

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‘Blather and hysteria’: Conservative columnist explains why GOP anti-impeachment ‘antics’ just crashed and burned

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devin nunes defeat

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Devin Nunes of California and other House Republicans were clearly trying to rally the Trumpian base on Wednesday, when the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump offered its first public testimony. Jordan and Nunes aggressively tried to discredit the inquiry and the two witnesses who testified: diplomat William B. Taylor (U.S. ambassador to Ukraine) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent. But conservative Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin, in a Wednesday column, stressed that House Republicans — for all their “antics and conspiracy theories” — failed to show why Trump shouldn’t be impeached, while House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and other House Democrats showed why he should.

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