Maddow says she has confirmed NBC News told Ronan Farrow to “pause” Weinstein reporting

Rachel Maddow said that she and her staff have “independently confirmed” that NBC News executives told Ronan Farrow to put a “pause in any new reporting” on Harvey Weinstein, backing up a claim he makes in his new book Catch and Kill.

Maddow devoted her monologue on her MSNBC show on Friday to Farrow’s book, before he joined her as one of her guests.

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“We have independently confirmed that NBC News did that,” Maddow told viewers. “That that did happen. He was told to pause his reporting.”

In 2017, Farrow eventually took his story to The New Yorker, which published it. NBC News claimed that the story was not ready for air. But Maddow noted that it was just two months between the time that NBC News declined to air the story and when it was published in The New Yorker.

She also addressed another one of Farrow’s claims — that “there was a pattern at the company in terms of women making allegations against Matt Lauer and of being paid off and signing away their rights to speak about it, all before he was fired.”

She said that while NBC News denies this, “as we can tell, there has never been an independent investigation of that.”

Lauer’s firing as Today host was announced on Dec. 1, 2017.

“I have been through a lot of ups and downs in this company since I’ve been here,” Maddow said. “It would be impossible to overstate the amount of consternation around this issue.”

NBC News Chairman Andy Lack and NBC News President Noah Oppenheim have pushed back against claims made in Farrow’s book. Oppenheim issued a lengthy rebuttal letter the day before it was published, calling the book a “smear.” He also denied that NBC News sidelined Farrow’s reporting on Weinstein after the producer threatened to expose Lauer.

Maddow broke some news from the network’s parent, NBCUniversal. It announced that any former employee who believes they couldn’t discuss their sexual harassment experience can be released from any non-disparagement or non-disclosure agreement.

Maddow quoted a company spokesperson via a statement,  “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.”

In his interview, Farrow said that the move by NBCUniversal was significant and gave some praise to the company.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 13: Journalist Ronan Farrow attends the 2019 Mirror Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: Ronan Farrow poses in the Press Room at the 78th Annual Peabody Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Ronan Farrow attends the 78th Annual Peabody Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage,)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Ronan Farrow attends the 78th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony Sponsored By Mercedes-Benz at Cipriani Wall Street on May 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Peabody)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Journalist Ronan Farrow attends "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" U.S. Premiere at Times Square on May 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Ronan Farrow attends the 2019 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 23: Ronan Farrow, Unjin Lee, and Mia Farrow attend the Time 100 Gala 2019 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Actress Mia Farrow and her son journalist Ronan Farrow arrive on the red carpet for the Time 100 Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York on April 23, 2019. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Ronan Farrow attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Ronan Farrow attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Ronan Farrow speaks onstage at ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Mia Farrow (L) and Ronan Farrow attend ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)
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One of Maddow’s colleagues, Chris Hayes, also devoted time to the Farrow book earlier this month and praised his reporting. That came just as NBC News executives were criticizing Farrow’s book.

One of Farrow’s other claims is that Matt Lauer allegedly raped a producer, who went on the record in the book. Lauer has claimed the encounter was consensual and pointed to an ongoing relationship.

 

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