New York Times Covered Up Harvey Weinstein Abuses in '04

All the agendas that are fit to print.

Don't you ever wonder what it takes for big media to pull the trigger on a hit piece on a well known celebrity abuser? Like say, Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein. It's a story that everyone in the know, knows. It's been referenced plenty of times in sly, knowing ways.

But it never gets beyond that until the trigger gets pulled. 

The Times pulled the trigger on Harvey now. But in '04, it covered for him.

In 2004, I was still a fairly new reporter at The New York Times when I got the green light to look into oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. It was believed that many occurred in Europe during festivals and other business trips there.

...

The story I reported never ran.

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted.

I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.

But I had the facts, and this was the Times. Right?

Wrong. The story was stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section, an obscure story about Miramax firing an Italian executive. Who cared?

One difference is the level of power.

Miramax era Harvey had far more clout than Weinstein Co era Harvey. And that included enough power to play hardball and intimidate the New York Times.

Miramax was known for its ambitious Oscar campaigns and it wouldn't surprise me if those proved to be a factor.

Share