NBC News was embarrassed yet again on Monday night when its former star reporter Ronan Farrow dropped another bombshell published by the prestigious New Yorker magazine instead of the beleaguered Peacock Network, prompting media watchdogs to slam NBC for losing the investigative journalist.
NBC News famously passed on Farrow’s reporting that helped expose disgraced Hollywood heavy hitter Harvey Weinstein a sexual predator. Farrow took his reporting to the New Yorker, where it won a coveted Pulitzer Prize and helped spark the #MeToo movement. Farrow walked away from NBC and signed with HBO earlier this year. The celebrity scion’s latest scoop, which was co-bylined with Jane Mayer, alleged that now-former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman assaulted several women.
Schneiderman resigned shortly after Farrow and Mayer’s story was published.
Famed Columbia University journalism professor Bill Grueskin took to Twitter to mock NBC News Chairman Andy Lack shortly after Farrow’s latest bombshell was published.
“NBC's Andy Lack has blown so many key personnel issues -- tolerating Matt Lauer, hiring Megyn Kelly,” Grueskin wrote. “But his failure to keep Ronan Farrow on staff ranks near the top. Or the bottom, depending on how you look at it.”
Grueskin isn’t the only journalism professional questioning NBC’s decision making amid Farrow’s latest headline-grabbing report.
Yahoo’s White House correspondent Hunter Walker also chimed in, “You know who’s had an awful few months? The people at NBC who couldn’t make it work with Ronan Farrow.”
“You know who’s had an awful few months? The people at NBC who couldn’t make it work with Ronan Farrow.”
Reporter Yashar Ali said the way NBC executives handled Farrow is “one of the biggest mistakes a news organization has made in the past decade.”
Farrow is on a professional tear, as he is currently promoting his book “War on Peace: The end of diplomacy and the decline of American influence,” while finding time to break news on a regular basis. On Sunday, Farrow wrote another piece in the New Yorker that detailed an Israeli intelligence firm’s attempt to squash the Iran nuclear deal.
NBC News has seen its share of problems in addition to the debacle of losing Farrow. The network fired Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct and has been slammed for a lack of transparency regarding who knew about the former “Today” star’s behavior.
In response to Ali calling out NBC for letting Farrow go, Daily Caller media reporter Joe Simonson tweeted, “I think we know why NBC didn't want Farrow too close to the organization.”
In addition to firing Lauer, NBC News has had a variety of other sexual misconduct-related incidents to contend. Legendary anchor Tom Brokaw has been accused of sexual misconduct, MSNBC admitted that star Chris Matthews had settled with a former producer who accused him of sexual harassment and MSNBC fired “Morning Joe” regular Mark Halperin for sexual misconduct.
Lack has still not explained why they sat on another one of the biggest stories of the decade: the “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women. The tape of Trump caught on a hot mic was leaked from within NBC to The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold, who is NBC News President Noah Oppenheim's friend from Harvard, where they worked as editors together on the student newspaper. Fahrenthold is now an MSNBC contributor.
In various media appearances to promote his Weinstein reporting, Farrow took a series of jabs at NBC News for refusing to air his Weinstein reporting, implying that Lack and Oppenheim had maintained a “veil of silence.”
Farrow's contract with NBC was not renewed and he will develop and front a series of investigative documentary specials for HBO later this year.
In addition to widespread embarrassment for allowing Farrow to leave the network, the decision not to keep the star reporter has also resulted in awkward moments when NBC News and MSNBC hosts are forced to credit their former colleague when reporting his frequent headline-making scoops.