A new report disputes NBC News' claim that Ronan Farrow's bombshell New Yorker story describing allegations of rape and assault against Harvey Weinstein was "radically different" than the version NBC canned. Citing 12 people with knowledge of the reporting, the Huffington Post reports Farrow had a woman willing to accuse Weinstein of rape on camera in silhouette, in addition to a March 2015 audio recording of Weinstein admitting to groping a model. At that point, NBC not only rejected the story but told Farrow, an NBC News contributor, to stop reporting it. According to HuffPo, that final decision came after Farrow's reporting was presented to Steve Burke, president and CEO of NBC Universal, an organization Weinstein has worked with for decades.
Three sources told HuffPo it was an odd move since they'd never known Burke to review a story before. Offering a different account, the Daily Beast reports the story wasn't presented to Burke and was under review by NBC Universal's Executive VP Kimberley Harris when NBC canned it without her input. Still, other sources described how "it became difficult to tell where the Weinstein team's attempts to discredit the story left off and NBC News' editorial forbearance began," reports HuffPo. But "the notion that we would try to cover for a powerful person is deeply offensive to all of us," President Noah Oppenheim says in NBC News' defense. The network "chased this thing, tried to nail it, but ... didn't feel that we had all the elements that we needed to air." (Read more Harvey Weinstein stories.)