Ronan Farrow on Monday stood by his highly anticipated book, “Catch and Kill,” after troubled NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said it was an “effort to defame” the Peacock Network – but said his former boss simply has “the most to lose from the truth.”
Earlier on Monday Fox News obtained a lengthy memo that Oppenheim sent to NBC News colleagues ahead of Tuesday’s release of the book that suggests NBC wasn’t truthful regarding knowledge of alleged sexual misconduct by former “Today” co-host Matt Lauer.
The book also alleges that NBC refused to expose Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator because he leveraged information regarding Lauer.
Oppenheim blasted Farrow as “clearly motivated not by a pursuit of truth, but an ax to grind,” but the award-winning reporter is standing by his work.
“These are now repeated claims made specifically by those with the most to lose from the truth. We stand by the reporting in the book, 100 percent, and believe that it discredits this attempt by NBC to rewrite the facts,” a spokesperson for Farrow told Fox News.
Oppenheim and NBC News Chairman Andy Lack have been accused of a “massive breach of journalistic integrity” by Farrow’s former NBC News producer Rich McHugh. Farrow has long claimed that NBC News stopped his reporting in an attempt to essentially cover for Weinstein, and his book has already caused NBC executives to release statements and hold sit-downs with concerned employees.
Oppenheim famously told Farrow that his reporting wasn’t fit to print, so he took it to The New Yorker where it won the Pulitzer Prize and helped launch the #MeToo movement.
In a copy of the book obtained early by Fox News, Farrow describes Oppenheim as a “doe-eyed stoner whose mellow seemed impossible to harsh” and said they “laughed about his stories of getting high.” Farrow also says he and Oppenheim “planned to spend a night in with some edibles” before their eventual fallout over the Weinstein reporting.
Farrow was on “CBS This Morning” to promote the book on Monday when he was informed about Oppenheim’s memo to staffers.
“This book is an extraordinary, meticulously fact-checked work of investigative journalism. It's two years of reporting; one of the senior fact-checkers at The New Yorker checked it; I’ll let the reporting in the book stand on its own. We’re very confident in it,” Farrow said.