The most talked-about book in America has caught the attention of officials at NBC News, and they’re not too happy about it.
In a memo to his network’s staff, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim slammed Ronan Farrow’s new Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, the Washington Post reports.
In the book, Farrow writes about what he claims was NBC’s attempts to kill his reporting into sexual assault allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, and to cover up claims of rape and sexual misconduct against former Today show co-host Matt Lauer.
Oppenheim said in the memo to NBC staffers, “We have no secrets and nothing to hide. There is no evidence of any reports of Lauer’s misconduct before his firing, no settlements, no ‘hush money’—no way we have found that NBC’s current leadership could have been aware of his misdeeds in the past.”
He went on to call Farrow’s book a “smear.” Farrow’s publisher, Little, Brown, stood by the author’s reporting, responding to Oppenheim, “If NBC is so certain of their facts, why not release the women [from nondisclosure agreements] and let them speak for themselves?”
MSNBC host Chris Hayes defended Farrow on his show on Monday, adding, “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.”
Catch and Kill was published on Tuesday. It’s currently ranked No. 2 on Amazon’s list of bestselling books.
Michael Schaub is an Austin, Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.