The Gawker site Jezebel is willing to pay up to find out how much NBC News doled out to get three “exclusive” interviews with Rachel Dolezal. Dolezal first appeared on NBC’s Today show in an interview with Matt Lauer Tuesday morning. She then sat down with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie for an interview that aired on NBC Nightly News, followed by another sit-down with actual African American, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry. So, Jezebel is asking:
Do you know how much NBC paid Rachel Dolezal for her story and exclusivity? Does your information hold up to a more rigorous factcheck than Rachel Dolezal’s past? Email us. We’re offering $1000.
We can help save Nick Denton $1,000. An NBC News spokesperson tells us, “Rachel Dolezal was not paid – period.” Not only was this a cash-free interview, NBC didn’t even pay a licensing fee for photos or videos, which is often used to couch pay-for-play TV news interviews. NBC did pay for her flight, hotel stay and some meals, common in the booking process.
The paid interview hit new heights (or lows) in 2010 when it was revealed ABC News paid $200,000 to Casey Anthony’s family in the hopes of landing an interview. They didn’t. ABC announced it was cutting back on so-called checkbook journalism in 2011.
NBC News stayed in the business of paying for interviews. In 2013 the network paid for stunning video of a skydiving mishap which came with survivor interviews. In 2014, NBC’s Peacock Productions ponied up a licensing fee and landed an interview with Reeva Steenkamp‘s mother.