Megyn Kelly, Tucker Carlson Rip NBC’s Dishonesty, Defending Lauer, Weinstein

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Before focusing on liberal media bias and their disdain for those in flyover country and not within their bubbles, Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson and former FNC host Megyn Kelly dove, Wednesday night, into the ongoing train wreck that was Kelly’s other former employer (NBC News) with their alleged coverups of sexual misconduct. 

This served as Kelly’s first interview since being cut by the scandal-ridden NBC in October 2018 and, needless to say, she was locked and loaded. When asked by Carlson about the findings against NBC from Ronan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill, Kelly immediately asserted that “nothing surprises me anymore, Tucker, in this industry.”

 

 

Kelly explained that she’s long wanted to know “what did [NBC News] know and when did they know it” regarding both the Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein sagas in addition to what steps (if any) they took to squash Farrow’s attempts to investigate both men.

She then eviscerated NBC’s legalese seeking to spin its way out of allegations about what they knew before Lauer’s firing (click “expand”):

If they had no settlements of any kind and no complaints about Matt Lauer prior to Brooke Nevils coming forward, sure, it might be. But is it true? Here’s what they are saying. No settlements of any kind. No settlements. Well, that’s a legal sleight-of-hand. You can get paid out as a sexual-harassment victim in something other than a settlement. You can get what's called enhanced severance. That's the situation where the receptionist is suddenly getting a seven-figure goodbye. She was, like, an amazing typist. She did so well, right? And it’s severance. It's not a settlement. It’s like, “hey, and by the way, if you could be really quiet about NBC forever more, we would really appreciate it.” That's what we need to know. They haven't gotten specific about what monies were paid out to whom. Show us the money.

In addition to being more transparent about who’s been paid what and when, Kelly demanded that they “release any and all Matt Lauer accusers from their confidentiality agreements” seeing as how “NBC says it has nothing to hide.”

After Carlson played a clip from when Kelly said on NBC that there should be a fully independent investigation and then Chris Hayes blasting his own company Monday night for their alleged cover-up, Kelly slammed NBC by pointing out how other media organizations like CBS, Fox News, and NPR had independent investigators when things went south.

Arguably the strongest portion of the entire interview came next when the topic shifted to NBC’s shameful behavior during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. Here’s that portion in full and all its glory (click “expand”):

CARLSON: But it’s also there's this striking irony. Even as the management of NBC clearly ignored sexual misconduct and abuse within their own building, they — they seemed to pump up and abet wild and unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against people in politics they don't like. So, for example, I watched you on a panel at NBC when you work there last year on Kavanaugh, it was the last story, I think you covered before you left. It was Savannah Guthrie and Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, they were all on this panel. You are the only person on the panel who held out the possibility that maybe Brett Kavanaugh was not rapist. Did you feel like the only person who was capable of being objective on that question? 

KELLY: Well, I mean, there's no question that the reporting that was done on NBC on someone like, let’s take Julie Swetnick —

CARLSON: Right.

KELLY: — who was completely discredited, alleged third accuser against Kavanaugh. This was the woman whose story had, I mean, tons of holes in it. Jeez, you know, there was a date rape and then everybody saw it and then nobody side. She basically imploded on the air. She was an Avenatti client, remember her? 

CARLSON: Yes, vividly.

KELLY: They went to air with that story with far less trepidation then they showed going to air on the Harvey Weinstein story for which they had tapes. They had tapes. They had witnesses. They had women on the record. Rose McGowan was just one of them and there is a question of why, right? Was it political, as you suggest here? Was it something else? Was it to protect somebody internally? Someone who wasn't the women of the company, right? Because here what Ronan is suggesting is they covered up for one sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, in order to protect another, Matt Lauer. They deny all of this and NBC has put out several statement saying that Ronan is a conspiracy theorist and this is all nonsense and he's got an ax to grind, but if that's true and there's nothing to hide, then get an outside investigator. 

And after a commercial break, they wrapped up the NBC portion of the interview with Kelly noting how the outcry would be far more deafening for NBC to lose the right to host the next 2020 Democratic presidential debate if it were Fox News instead, given the establishment media’s hate for Fox.

Kelly told Carlson that “I take it seriously because...people are not screwing around anymore when it comes to the treatment of women and what used to be tolerated will not be tolerated anymore.” Further, she reemphasized that NBC says they’ve come up with, in her words, “real solutions” even though “Ronan has given us about 400 reasons to doubt” them.

And on the concerns that Lauer’s philandering was an “open secret,” Kelly said: “So the question is if they didn't know, why didn't they know? Why didn’t they?”

To see the relevant transcript from FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight on October 16, click “expand.”

FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight
October 16, 2019
8:30 p.m. Eastern

TUCKER CARLSON: For a decade, Megyn Kelly was a fixture here at Fox. In early 2017, she moved NBC where among many other things she anchored the third hour of the Today show. It turned out to be a very turbulent year for NBC. NBC executives were caught covering up for accused sex criminal Harvey Weinstein. Meanwhile, the network's most famous anchor, Matt Lauer, fled the building after he was implicated in a laundry list of misdeeds. An awful lot of drama for one network. Megyn Kelly was right there to see all of it. She left her show last October. She has not done a single televised interview since. We are happy to have her on the set tonight. Megyn, good to see you. 

KELLY: Hi, good to be with you. 

CARLSON: So, this Ronan Farrow book adds details to what we essentially knew which is that NBC executives, Andy Lack, particularly Noah Oppenheimer, I think the head of NBC news, covered up for Harvey Weinstein. So, here's what Ronan farrow's book says. I want your reaction to this quote. Farrow brings a recording by the NYPD to NBC and in it, Harvey Weinstein admits that he abused an Italian model. On tape. Noah Oppenheim, head of the news division, responds this way: “My view is that the tape and Harvey Weinstein grabbing a lady’s breast a couple years ago, that's not national news.” Does that surprise you, having worked there? 

KELLY: You know, nothing surprises me anymore, Tucker, in this industry. I — as I watched the Ronan story unfold, this Ronan Farrow book, Catch and Kill, the number one thing I wanted to know is what did they know and when did they know it. 

CARLSON: Right.

KELLY: Because I've been reporting on this story even while I was at NBC. I talked to Ronan. I talked to his producer, Rich McHugh. I talked to Rose McGowan. I talked to many Harvey Weinstein victims and accusers and was getting to the bottom of what NBC knew while I was there and then just independently and the question is what did they know about Matt Lauer prior to the time the woman came forward who was ultimately his downfall? She came forward. Her name is Brooke Nevils. Made an allegation against Matt Lauer and the companies whole defense to Ronan's book essentially has been that's the first we ever knew about Matt Lauer. There was no deal between us and Harvey Weinstein to cover up for Harvey Weinstein so that he wouldn't report on Matt Lauer because we didn't know that Matt Lauer was doing this. We had no notice of it whatsoever. 

CARLSON: Is that — is that a plausible claim? 

KELLY: If they had no settlements of any kind and no complaints about Matt Lauer prior to Brooke Nevils coming forward, sure, it might be. But is it true? Here’s what they are saying. No settlements of any kind. No settlements. Well, that’s a legal sleight-of-hand. You can get paid out as a sexual-harassment victim in something other than a settlement. You can get what's called enhanced severance. That's the situation where the receptionist is suddenly getting a seven-figure goodbye. She was, like, an amazing typist. She did so well, right? And it’s severance. It's not a settlement. It’s like, “hey, and by the way, if you could be really quiet about NBC forever more, we would really appreciate it.” That's what we need to know. They haven't gotten specific about what monies were paid out to whom. Show us the money. The number one thing that needs to happen now is they need to release any and all Matt Lauer accusers from their confidentiality agreements. NBC says it has nothing to hide. Great. Let's not hide anything. Show us all of the agreements, the enhanced severance agreements that were reached or at least the number so we can see which ones pop out and which ones are super high. And are they all women? And do they all have a connection with Matt Lauer? And number two, release the women from their confidentiality obligations. 

CARLSON: So, this probably would be known right now if the network had conducted an independent investigation. Last September, early September, you on your show on the air and NBC called for an independent investigation into these allegations. I think we have the tape of you doing it. 

KELLY [on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today, 09/04/18]: But there is a question about whether there should be an outside investigator to take a hard look at this. You know, between the investigation NBC did internally on Matt Lauer to now this, there's a question of the faith and confidence of the public and the reporting of NBC on matters involving itself. And it’s — to me as a lawyer, it's just always better if you send it outside. Then people can have more faith in it and if there's nothing to hide, you have no worries about it. You have nothing to worry about. 

CARLSON: So, people's jaws hung open when he said that. There have been a couple published accounts that say you were fired from NBC a little more than a month later for saying that. With that in mind, without having you comment on it, I want to get your response on something that an anchor at MSNBC did two nights ago. Chris Hayes addressed the credibility of the president of NBC News directly in his show. He said this. 

CHRIS HAYES [on MSNBC’s All In, 10/14/19]: Oppenheimer and others have also maintained since Farrow’s departure two years ago, the Weinstein story was never broadcast because it lacked sufficient, on the record sourcing even after NBC supported Farrow's assignment for seven months. One thing, though, is indisputable. Ronan Farrow walked out of NBC news after working on the Weinstein story and within two months published an incredible article at The New Yorker. [SCREEN WIPE] The path of least resistance is always there, beckoning seductively with an entirely plausible cover story. “You’ve bigger fish to fry.” “This isn’t the hill to die on.” “The story isn't ready.” But of course, it's the very ease of that path that makes it the enemy to the kind of work it we as journalists are supposed to do. 

CARLSON: He is saying essentially what you said, which is he doesn't trust the management NBC News. Given your experience, do you think he’s in jeopardy of being fired? 

KELLY: No comment on that. But I will say the question is open as to whether they put dollars ahead of decency, about whether they were more interested in protecting their star anchor then protecting the women of the company. There needs to be an outside investigation into this company. They investigated themselves. That doesn't work. Fox News had an outside investigator. CBS News had an outside investigator. NPR, the NFL. This is how it's done. You get somebody on the outside who can be trusted. What happened here is you’ve got Noah Oppenheimer who now they’re pulling his college writings were he said women love to be preyed on. Apparently he thinks women love to be preyed upon. Okay, now, Noah has said that I deeply regret it and I’m sorry for what I wrote in college and people do write dumb ass things in college. 

CARLSON: Of course.

KELLY: And they say dumb things. Trust me. But that's the person who was investigating himself. Andy Lack — I'm sorry, the reporting that Ronan has put out is that there is an accuser, a woman named Jane Wallace who said she was bullied out of a job when working for Andy years ago. She had a consensual affair with him but then she says she was retaliated against and she says he relentlessly preyed on female underlings. If these are the people overseeing the investigation into NBC, right, they had Kim Harris, the general counsel to the investigation. 

CARLSON: Yes.

KELLY: How are people supposed to trust it? That's why he got to get somebody on the outside. 

CARLSON: But it’s also there's this striking irony. Even as the management of NBC clearly ignored sexual misconduct and abuse within their own building, they — they seemed to pump up and abet wild and unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against people in politics they don't like. So, for example, I watched you on a panel at NBC when you work there last year on Kavanaugh, it was the last story, I think you covered before you left. It was Savannah Guthrie and Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, they were all on this panel. You are the only person on the panel who held out the possibility that maybe Brett Kavanaugh was not rapist. Did you feel like the only person who was capable of being objective on that question? 

KELLY: Well, I mean, there's no question that the reporting that was done on NBC on someone like, let’s take Julie Swetnick —

CARLSON: Right.

KELLY: — who was completely discredited, alleged third accuser against Kavanaugh. This was the woman whose story had, I mean, tons of holes in it. Jeez, you know, there was a date rape and then everybody saw it and then nobody side. She basically imploded on the air. She was an Avenatti client, remember her? 

CARLSON: Yes, vividly.

KELLY: They went to air with that story with far less trepidation then they showed going to air on the Harvey Weinstein story for which they had tapes. They had tapes. They had witnesses. They had women on the record. Rose McGowan was just one of them and there is a question of why, right? Was it political, as you suggest here? Was it something else? Was it to protect somebody internally? Someone who wasn't the women of the company, right? Because here what Ronan is suggesting is they covered up for one sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, in order to protect another, Matt Lauer. They deny all of this and NBC has put out several statement saying that Ronan is a conspiracy theorist and this is all nonsense and he's got an ax to grind, but if that's true and there's nothing to hide, then get an outside investigator. 

CARLSON: Yeah, if there's nothing to hide. There's more to talk about. We’re going to take a quick break. 

KELLY: Okay.

CARLSON: We are not finished. Up next, we’ll ask about what appears to be really an epidemic of political journalism in this country and whether the DNC ought to cancel its next debate on MSNBC. Some on the left are calling for that. We'll be right back. 

(....)

8:43 p.m. Eastern

CARLSON: Welcome back. Megyn Kelly hasn't been on TV for years. She’s got a lot to say. We are happy to have her here in our studio tonight. Thanks to Ronan Farrow in the last week, we've learned about the links some NBC executives went in order to cover up sexual abuse. The details are stunning. Even some on the left, presumably NBC viewers themselves, have expressed outrage. Earlier today, the feminist group Ultra Violet issued this statement: “The DNC needs to make it clear they support survivors of sexual abuse and cancel the upcoming 2020 Democratic president primary debate on MSNBC until Comcast and NBC News take clear steps to clean up the toxic culture that exist across their networks.” Megyn Kelly, do you think there's any chance the DNC will act on it? 

KELLY: I do think there's a chance. I do. I mean, I think if this were Fox News and Fox News were hosting a Democratic debate in conjunction with The Washington Post —

CARLSON: Yes.

KELLY: — they’d be putting on the full-court press to make sure Fox was out or made some sort of a promise to clean up its act. So I do — I take it seriously because once — you know, people are not screwing around anymore —

CARLSON: Right.

KELLY: — when it comes to the treatment of women. 

CARLSON: Right.

KELLY: And what used to be tolerated will not be tolerated anymore and it's not that we have a perfect culture like that when we recognize there's a problem. Is that companies are given the opportunity to come clean, investigate with the problems are, and come up with real resolutions. NBC says it's done that. They say you can trust Kim Harris, the internal GC and Ronan has given us about 400 reasons to doubt that, right?

CARLSON: Yes.

KELLY: It's really up to the public. Are they going to put the pressure on them to do something, to get an outside investigator, or aren't they? 

CARLSON: So, one of the most amazing, I think, details in the book, maybe not so surprising, is that Hillary Clinton applied pressure to farrow, he says, not to pursue the Harvey Weinstein story. And so I wonder and of course I don't know the truth. That's his claim. Why has no one asked Hillary Clinton about it? 

KELLY: Maybe, eventually they will. There's a lot of fish to fry there and I think Hillary spokesperson has come out and said it was nothing and it's been misrepresented. Right, so —

CARLSON: Huh.

KELLY: — so they’re — they’re kind of denying it. Look, more needs to happen in order for us to get to the bottom of this. You’ve got — NBC says there is no way for them to know any of this, right? Because they didn't know anything until Brooke Nevils came in and only at that point did a couple more women come forward and say, you know, me too. The truth is we've seen already there was Addie Zinone. She came on my show. I had her on my show while I was at NBC. She had a consensual affair with flour. She was 24 years old. He plucked her out of being a PA and started an affair with her. Then there was Brooke Nevils, 30 years old, assistant to Meredith Vieira, who — same thing and, you know, all the multiple ways of — you know, she says she was raped by him. He’s denied that and said it was consensual. There was Melissa Lonner who said he exposed himself to her after an NBC party and that she ultimately left the company. There's a woman who claimed she had sex with him in his office and she fainted it was so traumatic.

CARLSON: Oh, I remember.

KELLY: There was Ann Curry who says it was an open secret, so the question is if they didn't know, why didn't they know? 

CARLSON: Well, they’re lying.

KELLY: Why didn’t they?

CARLSON: They’re lying, but it doesn't diminish the self-righteousness with which they approach other people’s sins. I noticed.

NB Daily Kavanaugh Nomination Media Bias Debate Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Sex Scandals NBC Fox News Channel Tucker Carlson Tonight Video Michael Avenatti Harvey Weinstein Megyn Kelly Tucker Carlson Matt Lauer Brett Kavanaugh
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