A prominent women’s rights group with 700,000 members is calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to cancel an upcoming MSNBC presidential debate due to NBC’s “toxic culture,” reports the Hill.
In a statement released Tuesday, Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet Action said of NBC News, “The DNC needs to make it clear that they support survivors of sexual abuse and cancel the upcoming 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate on MSNBC until Comcast and NBC News take clear steps to clean up the toxic culture that exists across their networks.”
Referring to the damning, well-sourced, and firsthand accounts in Ronan Farrow’s just-released book Catch and Kill, Thomas added, “These initial reports demonstrate that NBC’s current leadership is either unable or unwilling to take appropriate steps to combat the culture of sexual abuse at the networks.”
“The DNC must stand with survivors and pull the upcoming democratic presidential primary debate from MSNBC until Comcast takes clear steps to clean house at NBC News. These are problems that can only be solved by significant structural and cultural changes at MSNBC, NBC News, and its parent company, Comcast,” she added.
While NBC News continues to claim it is guilty of absolutely nothing, this just doesn’t pass the smell test.
In his book (which I’m about 70 percent through), Farrow casts a damning spotlight on a supposed news network that had a major story on its hands, a consequential story others had been trying to bring home for more than ten years, and literally told Farrow to shop it elsewhere.
Farrow makes a very convincing and credible claim that two things kept NBC News from running with his Harvey Weinstein bombshell: 1) Weinstein knew about the alleged predations of disgraced former Today Show anchor Matt Lauer, NBC News/MSNBC Chairman Andrew Lack, and others, and threatened to go public; and 2) there were major business conflicts of interest with NBC News President Noah Oppenheim (a sometimes screenwriter) and NBCUniversal, the entertainment wing of the NBC family.
Nothing else makes sense.
And it was not just that NBC sent Farrow down the road with a story that would eventually win a Pulitzer; NBC also ignored and downplayed the bombshell story after it broke wide open.
NBC is currently circling the wagons, hoping this will all go away, but already a local women’s group is calling for Lack to resign from a state board over Catch and Kill’s revelations about his alleged sexual harassment of subordinates.
What’s more, Farrow’s claim that NBC News knew about Lauer’s alleged misbehavior long before he was fired in 2017 just received a boost with Wednesday’s news about NBC forcing an unnamed woman to sign a nondisclosure agreement to cover up her extramarital affair with Lauer, which she says put her in a terrible position due to the imbalance of power between the two.
Lauer denies any wrongdoing. NBC denies any wrongdoing. But unlike Fox News, which brought in an outside law firm to investigate numerous harassment allegations (which resulted in top heads being rolled out the door), NBC has only ever investigated itself and issued denials.