#Journalism
October 15, 2019

In his closing statement Monday night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes offered a few thoughts on "the path of least resistance," where organizations turn a blind eye to bad behavior — the NBA's efforts to appease China, for example, or Republican lawmakers pleading ignorance of President Trump's "bile, bigotry, and rank corruption, and abuse of power." But then Hayes veered out on a limb: "Heck, I feel the tug of it myself as my own news organization is embroiled in a very public controversy over its conduct."

Hayes ran through NBC News' pushback against a new book by Ronan Farrow, Catch and Kill, in which Farrow alleges, among other things, that NBC News tried to kill his bombshell report on Harvey Weinstein not only because of pressure from Weinstein's lawyers but also because of concerns about similar allegations about Matt Lauer, then a big star at NBC News.

Hayes noted that NBC News denies these allegations. He seemed skeptical: "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 in The New Yorker that not only won a Pulitzer but helped trigger a massive social and cultural reckoning that continues to this day."

"The path of least resistance is always there, beckoning seductively with an entirely plausible cover story — 'You've got bigger fish to fry,' 'This isn't the hill to die on,' 'The story isn't ready,'" Hayes said. "But of course it's the very ease of that path that makes it the enemy of the kind of work we as journalists are supposed to do." Peter Weber

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