Emboldened by a New York Times takedown of celebrity journalist Ronan Farrow’s #MeToo crusade, NBC host Matt Lauer – whom Farrow accused of rape in his book – published a response. Cue one epic ratio and much screaming…
Farrow is universally acknowledged as a major contributor to the fall of Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, sentenced in March to 23 years in prison on multiple sexual assault charges. He has written a best-selling book about his reporting – titled ‘Catch and Kill’ – and even used it to bully the publisher into dropping the memoir by his estranged father, the legendary director Woody Allen.
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All was going his way until New York Times journalist Ben Smith – formerly editor at BuzzFeed – brought up some issues with Farrow’s fact-checking on Sunday, asking if the golden boy of MeToo is “too good to be true.”
Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True? https://t.co/ZvjbcHKr8J
— Ben Smith (@benyt) May 18, 2020
On Tuesday, Mediate published a lengthy article, written by disgraced NBC journalist Matt Lauer, challenging how Farrow’s book depicted him and titled “Why Ronan Farrow Is Indeed Too Good to Be True.”
Matt Lauer: Why Ronan Farrow Is Indeed Too Good to Be True (Opinion) https://t.co/j3Hzdnhz1v
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) May 19, 2020
The liberal journalist types that appear to be Mediaite’s core audience would have absolutely none of it. In less than two hours, the tweet announcing Lauer’s article was ratioed with over 1,600 replies to just 300 likes, with the vast majority savaging the former Today Show host for even daring open his mouth on this subject – or any subject, ever.
More than one person brought up the claim that Lauer “had a remote door lock button on his office so he could have sex in the workplace with people who worked under him.”
MATT LAUER? The Matt Lauer who had a remote door lock button on his office so he could have sex in the workplace with people who worked under him? That Matt Lauer? Is that what passes for a disinterested neutral party here?
— Louisa 🌈👭 (@LouisatheLast) May 19, 2020
Others compared Lauer’s complaint to Star Wars’ Emperor Palpatine commenting on the rebellion, or Harvey Weinstein on rape laws.
Publishing an op-ed from Matt Lauer about Ronan Farrow is like publishing an op-ed from Emperor Sheev Palpatine about why the rebellion was too good to be true. https://t.co/lVhVjFAHKi
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) May 19, 2020
Harvey Weinstein: Why Rape Laws Are Indeed Too Good To Be True (Opinion) https://t.co/7KCOCR5dUu
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) May 19, 2020
There was also an obligatory reference to the villain from Harry Potter books.
Lord Voldemort: Why Harry Potter is Indeed Too Good to Be True (Opinion)
— Mike Flacy (@mikeflacy) May 19, 2020
“This is truly, truly shameful,” said journalist Erin Biba, adding, “This is not journalism, this is blatant and outright support of sexual assault.”
This is truly, truly shameful. This is not journalism, this is blatant and outright support of sexual assault. Why don’t you name the editors involved with approving and publishing this piece? Do they not have the guts to stand up and take public responsibility?
— Erin Biba (@erinbiba) May 19, 2020
Farrow himself commented on the story, calling Lauer “just wrong” and saying that his book was “thoroughly reported and fact-checked, including with Matt Lauer himself.”
All I’ll say on this is that Matt Lauer is just wrong. Catch and Kill was thoroughly reported and fact-checked, including with Matt Lauer himself.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) May 19, 2020
Amid the overwhelming condemnation of Lauer’s piece were a few voices, such as independent journalist Michael Tracey, urging people to actually read the article – setting aside however they felt about Lauer – and asking whether Farrow “exercised even basic journalistic fairness or circumspection before accusing him of rape.”
Put aside whatever else you may think about Matt Lauer, then read this and ask whether you think Ronan Farrow exercised even basic journalistic fairness or circumspection before accusing him of rape: https://t.co/OevsFmWQE1
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) May 19, 2020
Mediaite columnist John Ziegler also drew fire for agreeing with Lauer and calling his piece “a very legitimate story here about journalistic malfeasance on the part of someone to whom the news media has blindly given enormous power.”
Even more importantly, this is a story about Ronan Farrow not being worthy of the position he has been granted as the moral arbiter of sexual abuse allegations. He is an advocate, not a journalist & he needs to be exposed before any more lives of innocent people are destroyed 3/4
— John Ziegler (@Zigmanfreud) May 19, 2020
Lauer used to host the Today Show until he was fired in November 2017 over a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” as NBC News chairman Andy Lack put it at the time. He does not question that his relationship was inappropriate, but denies Farrow’s claim it was rape and cites evidence that contradicts ‘Catch and Kill’ in numerous places.
The liberal media establishment has soured on crusading against sexual assault in recent months, after a former staffer came out with accusations against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. A number of prominent Democrats simply declared they didn’t care and would vote for Biden anyway, while others suddenly argued that no one ever said all women should be believed when it came to these kinds of accusations.
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Even Smith’s criticism of Farrow’s due diligence, however, never brought up a problematic article he co-authored against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, during whose confirmation the very same people told a very different story.
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