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Will His Writings as a Student at Harvard Come Back to Haunt NBC News Boss?

Oct 11, 2019  •  Post A Comment

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim, who’s already on the defensive over allegations in Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book “Catch and Kill,” may have another set of fires to put out after the media began digging up some of his writings from when he was a student at Harvard.

Oppenheim, who has been accused of downplaying a rape accusation against Matt Lauer at NBC, “is catching more flak over columns he wrote at Harvard University that mocked feminists, gushed over busty blondes, and lambasted NBC for firing a sportscaster accused of sexual assault,” The Daily Beast reports.

The report says copies of Oppenheim’s columns from about 20 years ago in the Harvard Crimson have begun circulating at the network.

One column finds Oppenheim “railing against NBC’s decision to fire Marv Albert after the sportscaster pleaded guilty to assault in a sex case. (Albert was later re-hired in 2000.),” The Daily Beast reports.

Oppenheim is quoted writing in the October 1997 column: “The trial was a sham and that the network’s action was an injustice.” The report adds that Oppenheim “lamented how Albert’s accuser, Vanessa Perhach, was ‘permitted to remain shielded in anonymity’ while Albert’s sex life faced public probing. Perhach accused the sportscaster of throwing her on a hotel bed, biting her, and forcing her to perform oral sex on him.”

Oppenheim reportedly wrote: “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?”

The Daily Beast adds: “Although Albert pleaded guilty, Oppenheim concluded it was NBC’s actions that were ‘highly inappropriate.’ After all, the future NBC exec wrote, ‘All that we know for sure is that Marv liked his sex a little kinky.’”

In an excerpt from a 1998 column, “Oppenheim gleefully mocked the feminist criticism of Harvard’s male-only final clubs and their rowdy ‘punch season’ (the equivalent of a fraternity rush) parties,” The Daily Beast reports.

Oppenheim is quoted writing in the piece: “Many women argue that the clubs are objectionable because of their demeaning treatment of female guests — particularly the restriction of movement and the sexually aggressive atmosphere. Women who fell [sic] threatened by the clubs’ environments should seek tamer pastures.”

He concludes: “However, apparently women enjoy being confined, pumped full of alcohol and preyed upon. They feel desired, not demeaned.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to The Daily Beast to see additional excerpts from Oppenheim’s writings and read the full report.

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