“It would be impossible for me to overstate the amount of consternation in this building,” the MSNBC host told viewers.
Rachel Maddow, the highest-rated and most influential host on MSNBC, trained her glare on her own employers on Friday night, bashing NBC management for letting Ronan Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein “get away.”
Her comments were the most direct and piercing criticism of NBC’s handling of Farrow’s work from an on-air employee.
Maddow’s decision to book Farrow alone sent a powerful message to her superiors. Farrow has accused the network of blocking his reporting on Weinstein’s alleged misconduct, before taking his story to The New Yorker and winning a Pulitzer Prize, a contention the network strongly denies.
“The allegations about the behavior of Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer are gut-wrenching at baseline, no matter who you are or what your connection is to this story,” Maddow told her viewers. “But accusations that people in positions of authority in this building may have been complicit in some way of shielding those guys from accountability, those accusations are very, very hard to stomach.”
Maddow continued: “The amount of consternation this has caused among the rank and file people who work here would be almost impossible for me to overstate.”
She also broke the news that NBC has decided to release former employees from any legal clause that would prevent them from reporting misconduct.
“Any former NBC News employee who believes that they cannot disclose their experience with sexual harassment as a result of a confidentiality or non-disparagement provision in their separation agreement should contact NBCUniversal and we will release them from that perceived obligation,” an NBC spokesperson is credited with saying in the statement.
Farrow thanked Maddow on Twitter, writing: “Credit where due: @maddow, independently confirming my reporting that Weinstein story was halted by NBC execs and calling her bosses to account on their own air—not an easy thing, for her or her staff— did this.”
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