If you can't beat 'em, hire 'em?
That appears to be the case at NBC News and MSNBC — which have signed reporter David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post as a paid political contributor. Fahrenthold made his first paid appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday, discussing the Trump family’s alleged conflicts of interest.
The hire comes with a bit of irony, as Fahrenthold is the reporter who just before the 2016 vote exposed the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women. The leak of the tape deeply embarrassed NBC Universal, which scrambled to explain why it sat for months on such an explosive piece of news, and why it had to be leaked to The Washington Post to go public. For his part, Fahrenthold, who also looked at Trump's charitable foundation, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize.
Fahrenthold’s ties to NBC News management run deep. He’s good friends with NBC News President Noah Oppenheim. The two men worked together as editors on The Harvard Crimson newspaper at the storied Ivy League university.
NBC News did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
More than a year after the “Access Hollywood” tape was leaked, NBC News is still struggling to explain why it sat for so long on the tape, and — also on the topic of sexual harassment of women — why NBC News executives spiked Ronan Farrow’s expose on Hollywood sex pest Harvey Weinstein. And NBC’s human resources department is looking at sex harassment within NBC News and who knew what about pervy star Matt Lauer’s behavior before his shock firing in November.
NBC News’ treatment of women was further called into question when the network fired beloved liberal contributor Joan Walsh, who was quickly scooped up by CNN. Fahrenthold may be moving into the gig previously occupied by Walsh, whose firing was denounced by various MSNBC stars, including Chris Hayes and Joy Anne Reid.