Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Former NBC producer corroborates Ronan Farrow's claims that the network engaged in a massive coverup of sexual assault allegations

Former NBC producer Rich McHugh appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Tuesday where he spoke out against the alleged coverup culture at his former network.
 
McHugh's claims corroborate those laid forth in journalist Ronan Farrow's new book, "Catch and Kill."
The former producer resigned from his position at the network in 2018 after it reportedly demanded he drop the story of embattled film producer Harvey Weinstein and the myriad sexual assault allegations levied against him.

What are the details?

During his discussion with Fox's Tucker Carlson, McHugh recalled his experiences at the network, which McHugh also detailed in a report published in Vanity Fair.
"So you opened the [Vanity Fair] piece with one of the great leads ever," Carlson began. "'One year ago, I resigned from NBC News because they ordered me to stop reporting on Harvey Weinstein,' which they clearly did. In the piece, you unearthed evidence that Weinstein's lawyers, David Boies, being his chief lawyer, had been assured by NBC lawyers that you would not do reporting on Harvey Weinstein."
McHugh, a former supervising producer in the network's investigative unit, responded by pointing out that Farrow wrote about the same instance in his book.
"I think Ronan did an excellent job of connecting the dots that — you know this was A, this was a very powerful person, you know, at the time," he added. "Harvey Weinstein had — was the, you know, still one of the biggest, if not the biggest producers in Hollywood. And had extreme ... ability to shut down stories and had done it for years."
McHugh said that Weinstein was able to exploit NBC over its alleged handling of the allegations against former host Matt Lauer, who was eventually fired from the network for alleged sexual misconduct.
"NBC had a Matt Lauer problem and everybody was aware of it," McHugh insisted. "And I think Weinstein exploited that."
McHugh also said that NBC chief Noah Oppenheim denied that Lauer had a "problem with women."
"Everybody at NBC was aware that Matt Lauer was off, you know, having affairs and what not," he explained. "And the extent of which we've now learned through documents and settlements that have been revealed in the book, it was much more than that. And the executives at the company were aware, were told."
McHugh also admitted that during his eight month investigation Weinstein, he was not sure if NBC would publish any findings related to the allegations. Further, McHugh's phone was also reportedly bugged and his home broken into.
"The suggestion is that it was private investigators, former Mossad hired by Harvey Weinstein," Carlson added "Did you ever get to the bottom of it?"
"I consulted security experts and what not. And it was pretty clear what was going on," he responded. "I mean it still continues though. It's like I — I've people have been trying to break into my e-mails right when I was writing the 'Vanity Fair' story. I wish I could say it's over, but it's not."
McHugh also added that Oppenheim continued to be chummy and friendly with Weinstein after the network killed the investigation into him.
"I was pretty upset to learn a lot of that stuff to be honest. You know, I have no animosity against these people. But it's clear to me that, you know, we were lied to over and over," he shrugged. "And it's just not right, especially coming from a news organization."
 

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