Chris Hayes Addresses NBC News Scandal and Praises Ronan Farrow’s Reporting on Harvey Weinstein

By A.J. Katz Comment

Media observers have been waiting to see if any NBC or MSNBC talent would address the Ronan Farrow situation at their network. Many weren’t particularly optimistic.

Chris Hayes proved them wrong during yesterday’s edition of his MSNBC show, All In.

Before launching into the Farrow-NBC News drama, Hayes, a big NBA fan, reflected on how upset he was about the league appearing to succumb to pressure from China before saying, “The insidious destructive force of the path of least resistance is everywhere you look. Heck, I feel the tug of it myself as my own news organization is embroiled in a very public controversy over its conduct.”

Hayes then detailed the allegations in Farrow’s book, including the allegation that NBC News killed his Harvey Weinstein investigative reporting.

“In Farrow’s view, he was unable to break through what was effectively a conspiracy of silence from NBC News management,” Hayes said. “NBC News vigorously denies this account. The president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim, called Farrow’s book a conspiracy theory in a memo sent out today, citing an internal NBC News investigation that concluded that the extremely upsetting allegations against Lauer were not known internally.”

Hayes added: “Ronan Farrow walked out of NBC News after working on the Weinstein story, and within two months published an incredible article at the New Yorker that not only won a Pulitzer, but helped trigger a massive social and cultural reckoning that continues to this day. It is the kind of journalism that you want to do as a journalist, that everyone who works in this business should want to facilitate. Of course, there’s a reason it took so long for the true story about Weinstein to be told, for the many allegations of him to stay locked in a vault. And that’s because time and again the path of least resistance for those in power was not to cross Weinstein or his army of friends and lawyers. Same goes for the many, many, many other powerful predators that we’ve come to know about. The path of least resistance is always there. Beckoning seductively, with an entirely plausible cover story, you’ve got bigger fish to fry, this isn’t the hill to die on, the story isn’t ready. But, of course, it’s the very ease of that path that makes it the enemy to the kind of work we, as journalists, are supposed to do.”

Hayes and Farrow were colleagues at MSNBC when Farrow hosted the daytime MSNBC program, Ronan Farrow Daily. That show ran from Feb. 2014 through Feb. 2015, before being cancelled. NBC News kept Farrow on board as an investigative reporter primarily reporting for the Today show, while Hayes remained at MSNBC.

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