A shakeup at NBC News that includes the replacement of its longtime chairman, Andy Lack, is coinciding with an investigation into the network by New York’s attorney general, according to a former NBC producer who witnessed firsthand an alleged “cover up” scandal at the network.
As reported by the New York Post Monday, NBC’s plan is now for Lack to leave at the end of the month rather than after the 2020 presidential election. Lack “came under fire after Ronan Farrow’s book ‘Catch and Kill’ accused NBC News executives including Lack’s right-hand man Noah Oppenheim of killing his Harvey Weinstein reporting,” the outlet notes.
In an appearance on Tucker Carlson Monday night, former NBC News producer Rich McHugh — who worked with Farrow on his “killed” bombshell exposé on Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct — slammed his former network and made some comments that NBC executives probably do not want to hear on the airwaves.
On his show Monday, Carlson, who slapped Lack for “protecting” disgraced megaproducer and Democrat megadonor Weinstein, asked McHugh about reports that the New York attorney general’s office is investigating the network on its handling of sexual misconduct claims. While “no one’s been charged,” said Carlson “people have come in and been interviewed.”
Asked if he’d heard the same, McHugh said, “Yes, I have, Tucker. That is true.”
“I have been looking into it for a story,” he added, as reported by Mediaite. “It was the New York attorney general’s office civil division. We’re not sure if it could lead to anything criminal, but I do know they have been looking into this and interviewing employees over a number of months.”
“One has to assume that they caught wind of this investigation because it’s been going on for months and they have spoken to dozens of employees,” he added. “I believe that has a role to play in it. There’s new management at the top and so they have decided we’re going to try to get away from this black eye who presided over the Harvey Weinstein story and the Lauer disgrace and all of it. This is a good first step, I should say. I should point out that I’ve spoken spoken to a number of women, victims who worked at NBC, and they say, you know, the fact that Andy Lack gets to walk out of the building on his own accord is a disgrace. Their careers have been ruined. I personally left NBC largely because of things that he and other executives did with our reporting. The fact that he can just kind of walk away is upsetting.”
As for Oppenheim, who has been allowed to remain at NBC, McHugh said, “It looks like this move has taken some of his power away.”
“I think it needs to be said that if they’re really going to clean house and try and restore their credibility, they need to clean house,” he added. “One half of the team that presided over our reporting killing our story is still in power.”
As detailed by the Post, since Lack returned to NBC in 2015, “his division has been riddled with controversy,” including the Brian Williams “embellished” Iraq war story and the network’s much-criticized handling of Megyn Kelly’s contract. But the worst scandals involved sexual misconduct allegations against Matt Lauer in 2017 and the alleged burying of the Weinstein story.
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