10/11/2017 05:40 AM EDT
ON THE EVE OF TWO CAREER-DESTROYING STORIES, Harvey Weinstein called "Page Six" vowing to make a comeback. Weinstein is known for courting influential media outlets, and the New York Post's gossip column is the city's most feared. It's also where Weinstein turned last week to respond to The New York Times investigation by threatening to confront the paper's editor in court. But all the behind-the-scenes bluster couldn't save Weinstein from what would come Tuesday.
-- The New Yorker published Ronan Farrow's deep investigation into disturbing new allegations against Weinstein, ranging from sexual harassment to rape. Farrow also obtained a chilling recording from a 2015 NYPD sting operation in which Weinstein admitted to groping an Italian model -- and yet faced no charges. Hours later, the Times published more allegations against Weinstein, some coming from Hollywood megastars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Both former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton condemned the longtime Democratic donor.
-- The media's coverage of Weinstein came under continued scrutiny just a day after a dispute between former New York Times journalists over whether the paper yielded to pressure from the mogul more than a decade ago. Farrow wrote that Weinstein "frequently bragged about planting items in media outlets about those who spoke against him," and Mika Brzezinski recalled him tipping off "Page Six" for an item about her. Tina Brown -- who launched Talk magazine with Weinstein -- said "many hacks writing gossip columns or entertainment coverage were on the Miramax payroll" via deals from the film company.
-- NBC is facing questions now as to why Farrow, who still serves as an investigative correspondent for the network, would instead publish his 10-month investigation in The New Yorker. The network declined to comment. But an NBC source told me Farrow, who doesn't have an exclusive relationship with them, was permitted to go to a print outlet if the network passed on the story. The NBC source said Farrow's early reporting on the allegations against Weinstein didn't meet the bar for a story, as none of the accusers were yet willing to be named or speak on the record.
-- Farrow suggested otherwise Tuesday night on MSNBC, telling Rachel Maddow that he "walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier and immediately, obviously, The New Yorker recognized that and it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable." It's unclear what piece, specifically, Farrow is referring to, but HuffPost reported he already had the NYPD tape -- arguably a story unto itself -- while reporting for NBC. Farrow, who will appear this morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and NBC's "Today" show, said there "were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC." When asked why NBC passed, he told Maddow to ask network executives.
-- NBC News chief Andy Lack will likely get asked today when he participates in a scheduled staff town hall. This is the second major scoop NBC lost to a competitor over the past year, with The Washington Post breaking the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape that the network had in its possession just before the 2016 election.
-- While Farrow's work stands on its own, it's hard to forget that he's also the son of actress Mia Farrow and the notorious writer and director Woody Allen. Notably, Farrow wrote last year that allegations against his father and other powerful men, like Bill Cosby, need to be investigated by the press even when there isn't a criminal conviction behind them. "It makes our role more important when the legal system so often fails the vulnerable as they face off against the powerful," he wrote.
** A paid message from Nicole Malliotakis for NYC Mayor: As the the New York Times editorial page highlighted earlier this year: Bill de Blasio has problems with the press, and he doesn't want you asking about them. It is time for a change in New York City. Meet Nicole Malliotakis. **
Good morning and welcome to Morning Media. I'll be watching Ronan Farrow and curious what Andy Lack has to say. You can reach me here at email@example.com and @mlcalderone. Morning Media is edited by Alex Weprin (@alexweprin), with contributions from Daniel Lippman (@dlippman). Archives. Subscribe.
TURKEY SENTENCES WSJ REPORTER FOR COMMITTING JOURNALISM: Turkey, the world's leading jailer of journalists, sentenced Wall Street Journal reporter Ayla Albayrak to two years and one month in prison for spreading terrorist propaganda in support of Kurdish separatists. What Albayrak, a dual Finnish and Turkish citizen, was doing was reporting. Her work, editor Gerry Baker wrote in a memo, is "a model of Journal reporting: thorough, balanced, objective."
-- We are appealing this decision and will continue to defend Ayla with everything we have at our disposal," Baker wrote. "But let me be clear: Ayla was convicted for doing her job as a journalist. This conviction should send shudders through everyone around the world who values a free press. Ayla of course is not alone. The Turkish authorities have imprisoned dozens of journalists in the last two years. No news organization should be intimidated by this sort of repression and we will not be."
-- One of the fears of press advocates heading into the election was that President Trump's demonization of the media at home would make it harder to call out autocrats jailing journalists abroad. Since November, Trump has only ratcheted up the attacks and, like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, characterizes the work of journalists as being against the state and its people. The White House and State Dept. did not respond to requests for comment.
SENATOR RON WYDEN WANTS DOJ DOCS pertaining to its "use of its surveillance powers to target journalists and news organizations as part of leak investigations." Read his letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions here.
GOP SENATORS ARE STILL AVOIDING the camera over likely questions about colleague Bob Corker's criticism of President Trump and the concern that he risks leading the country into World War III. CNN's Wolf Blitzer noted Monday that none of the 52 Senators approached agreed to come on his show. Last night, Anderson Cooper said the same.
TIME INC SCALING BACK: The New York Post's Keith Kelly reports: "Facing what some insiders are predicting will be a dismal fourth quarter, Time Inc., in its latest cost-cutting move, said it will slash the circulation of Time and People en Español and reduce the frequency of Sports Illustrated, Fortune and four other titles in the company."
SOUND BITES (WEINSTEIN EDITION)
-- "Very proud of my sisters in spirit who had the courage to break the silence. Very hard for me-more so for others. We took our power back!!" [Mira Sorvino]
-- "Ride or die, sister, I got you forever @AsiaArgento I love you [Rose McGowan]
-- "@rosemcgowan love you, I am grateful for your strength and courage sister." [Asia Argento]
-- "Fired Weinsteins because they were irresponsible, and Harvey was an incorrigible bully. Had no idea he was capable of these horrible actions." [Michael Eisner]
-- "Reminder that the "liberal" media took down Harvey Weinstein. Conservative media is trying to bring back Bill O'Reilly." [Marlow Stern]
-- "Kinda wonder if Hollywood is staring down the beginning of a Catholic Church-style explosion of buried secrets...." [Chris Hayes]
DACA RECIPIENTS IN THE "MEDIA STORM" -- by Splinter News' David Uberti: "Numerous DACA recipients have become vocal media activists, sharing their stories in interviews, op-eds, and other press appearances. Advocacy groups have, in turn, helped connect them to national and local press outlets craving ways to humanize our immigration system. The ensuing relationship between journalist and subject can sometimes feel transactional..."
AS PUERTO RICO RECEDES FROM THE HEADLINES: A reminder from journalist Garrett Graff: "The extent the US media (and politics) has moved past Puerto Rico astounds me. If Iowa was 85% without power, would still be 24/7 news."
CORRECTION: Yesterday, I wrote that Benjamin Wallace-Wells was investigating allegations against Harvey Weinstein last year for New York magazine. It was actually Benjamin Wallace. I regret the error.
Ben Pershing, who had been managing editor of National Journal, has been promoted to editor. Stephen G. Smith is stepping down as editor-in-chief to become a senior editor for parent company Atlantic Media, focused on special editorial projects.
Molly Ball, who spent the past six years at The Atlantic, has been named national political correspondent for Time, where she'll write columns and features and contribute to the magazine's video journalism.
Jessica Bennett will be the New York Times' first-ever gender editor. She talked to Teen Vogue about the move.
Abby Phillip is joining CNN as a White House reporter. She spent the past three-and-a-half years at the Washington Post and said in a tweet that she'd miss her hometown paper.
Geoff Bennett, who covered the White House and Capitol Hill for NPR, is joining NBC News as a White House correspondent.
Ashley Feinberg, most recently at Wired and previously at Deadspin and Gawker, is joining HuffPost as a senior reporter. HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen wrote that she'll cover what is probably best described as the Ashley Feinberg beat: grotesques of the Trump era, weird stuff on the internet, questioning the athletic prowess of elected officials.
-- Quartz's new management edition, Quartz at Work, will launch today.
-- The Atlantic drops its 160th anniversary issue.
-- CJR goes behind Rembert Browne's 10,000-word piece on Colin Kaepernick.
-- Dow Jones accidentally sent out a bogus headline that Google was buying Apple.
-- London Playbook writer Jack Blanchard talks to CJR.
-- How should the alt-right be covered?
"The iconic Annie Leibovitz portraits on the walls--Mick Jagger, David Bowie, the naked Yoko and John! The hip-looking staff dressed in all manner of weird and fashionable get-out. After six years pulling an oar on the buttoned-up corporate galleon that was The Washington Post, it still felt like I was visiting a combination museum and theme park, the Six Flags of rock and roll journalism. You could even buy drugs downstairs in the press room," -- Esquire's Mike Sager recalling the good old days at Rolling Stone.
** A paid message from Nicole Malliotakis for NYC Mayor: We have a problem in the five boroughs: New York City reporters and voters can't seem to get the Mayor's attention. So we figured we would go where Bill de Blasio and his staff tend to be focused: The DC Beltway press. It is time for a change in New York City. Meet Nicole Malliotakis. **
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