After excerpts from Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book “Catch and Kill” painted a troubling portrait of what went on behind the scenes at NBC News, the division’s president, Noah Oppenheim, sent out a lengthy memo to staffers today pushing back against the claims.
The book, whose full title is “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators,” comes out Tuesday. As we reported last week, Oppenheim has been on the defensive about allegations in the book including an alleged rape by Matt Lauer of a co-worker. Lauer circulated an open letter last week denying the claims.
Also at issue is NBC’s alleged mishandling of Farrow’s report on Harvey Weinstein.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Farrow’s book “details alleged secret payouts at NBC News and how ousted ‘Today’ anchor Matt Lauer may have played a role in the network’s decision to kill Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein exposé that ultimately published in the New Yorker in October 2017.”
THR quotes Oppenheim saying in today’s memo: “Matt Lauer’s actions were abhorrent, and the anger and sadness he caused continue to this day. As we’ve said since the moment he was fired, his abuses should never have happened. Ronan Farrow’s book takes that undeniable fact and twists it into a lie — alleging we were a ‘company with a lot of secrets.’ We have no secrets and nothing to hide.”
THR reports that Oppenheim adds in the memo: “Now that we’ve read Farrow’s book, it’s clear — his smear 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. Without that, he has no basis on which to rest his second conspiracy theory — that his Harvey Weinstein reporting was squashed to protect Lauer.”
We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to read the full report.