Michael Gaynor
Sharon Waxman and Bill O'Reilly are both right. New York Times spikes legitimate exposes when they don't fit its business and/or political agendas
By Michael Gaynor
October 22, 2017

Waxman should call the spiking of her Weinstein expose in 2004 "media corruption" too.

On October 19, 2017, former New York Times correspondent Sharon Waxman appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to lament that the New York Times had protected now disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein by dropping her discussion of Weinstein sexual misconduct from one of her 2004 articles.

Waxman made a very persuasive case.

Waxman describes herself at www.thewrap.com/author/sharon-waxman/ as follows:

"Sharon Waxman, CEO and Editor in Chief, is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, a former Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times and a leading authority on the entertainment business and media. Before the Times, she was a correspondent for eight years for The Washington Post. She started out as a foreign correspondent, covering Europe and the Middle East for a decade. She is the founder and CEO of The Wrap, and the author of two books, including, "Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System." She can be reached at sharon@thewrap.com."

Available at The Wrap is an October 8, 2017 Waxman article titled "'Harvey Weinstein's Media Enablers'? The New York Times Is One of Them" and subtitled it "The paper had a story on mogul's sexual misconduct back in 2004 – but gutted it under pressure" (www.thewrap.com/media-enablers-harvey-weinstein-new-york-times/).

In that article Waxman skillfully lambasted the New York Times by explaining what it chose not to print.


"I applaud The New York Times and writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey for getting the [Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct] story in print. I'm sure it was a long and difficult road.

"But I simply gagged when I read Jim Rutenberg's sanctimonious piece on Saturday about the 'media enablers' who kept this story from the public for decades.

"'Until now,' he puffed, 'no journalistic outfit had been able, or perhaps willing, to nail the details and hit publish.'

"That's right, Jim. No one – including The New York Times.

"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...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?"

It seems obvious that persons "higher up" at the New York Times cared very much about something, but it was not the truth, or protecting women from sexual misconduct.

On October 18, 2017, in "That Time Harvey Weinstein Visited New York Times' Top Editor to Kill My 2004 Expose" (www.thewrap.com/harvey-weinstein-new-york-times-bill-keller-editor-fabrizio-lombardo-2004-expose/), Waxman rebutted the New York Times assertion that it was her fault that the sexual misconduct of Weinstein was not exposed for more than a decade.

"[Former New Yortk Times executive editor Bill Keller wrote in a follow-up email that my writing about this issue now amounts to sour grapes: 'Ten-plus years later, the NYT and the New Yorker scooped you, and I'm sure that feels awful. But don't blame editors or Harvey's bullying for the fact that you failed to nail the story.'

"Sadly, it's not about being 'scooped.' It's about whether the Times did the best job it could to serve its readers and the women who were being preyed upon in the years subsequent to the fate of my story. Certainly I would not have raised such a fuss if I did not believe that I had valid reporting that should have appeared in print at the time."

Waxman should commiserate with Stephanie Strom about how the New York Times spiked her expose on ACORN and then presidential candidate Barack Obama in October 2008 on which Anita MonCrief was Strom's key source.

See hotair.com/archives/2009/04/02/video-smoking-gun-on-nyt-spiked-acorn-story/:

"Two days ago, I wrote about allegations that the New York Times spiked a story that linked ACORN corruption to Barack Obama's campaign. Last night, Bill O'Reilly played what appears to be smoking-gun evidence – an answering machine message from NYT reporter Stephanie Strom explaining how the editors shut down the story."

That answering machine message is available at www.foxnews.com/story/2009/05/19/it-war-between-factor-and-new-york-times.html, in a Bill O'Reilly memo attacking the New York Times, which states in part as follows:

"Is The Times crazy? No, it has a plan.

"The New York Times simply wants another trumped-up scandal it can blame on Bush in order to further damage the Republican Party. The crazy paper could not care less about the safety of American forces.


"'And then there's the Obama-ACORN connection. There are allegations that The Times killed a story last fall connecting the Obama campaign to ACORN, which is currently under investigation in 14 states for various campaign illegalities.

"On April 1, we reported this:


O'REILLY: Last fall before Election Day, The New York Times was investigating ACORN's ties to the Obama campaign. The Times reporter on the story, Stephanie Strom, called one of her sources and said this:


"STEPHANIE STROM, NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER: Hi, Anita, it's Stephanie. I have just been asked by my bosses to stand down. They want me to hold off on coming to Washington. Sorry, I take my orders from higher up sometimes. Anyway, I'm sorry about this, and we'll still be in touch. Take care. And let me know if there's anything I can do to help you. Take care. Bye-bye.


"Well, that greatly embarrassed The Times, causing its ombudsman to swing into action.

"Clark Hoyt began his investigation. He called us. We gave him the information he asked for and then on Sunday, Hoyt wrote this: 'O'Reilly played part of a voicemail message from (Stephanie) Strom to (Anita) MonCrief canceling their appointment but did not tell his viewers that he had deleted the reason: the article running the next day spelling out ACORN's partisanship problems."

"Hoyt is implying that I misled 'Factor' viewers. Of course, that's a blatant lie.

"Immediately after playing the audio tape, I told you this:


"O'REILLY: To be fair, The Times did run a story before the election about ACORN's partisan approach, but stopped there.


"So Hoyt writes I didn't tell you about the article I told you about. Am I in "The Twilight Zone"?

"As far as what we edited for time, here it is:


"STROM: We're running a story tonight for tomorrow that pretty well lays out the partisanship problems that Project Vote may have based on a report that I got. So they think that that's going to – that's going to be the story about the partisanship issue.


"Which, of course, again, is exactly what I said on camera in front of millions.

Now, we asked Hoyt to come on the program, but of course he's hiding under his desk. How could he possibly defend his deceit?

Still don't believe me? Well, there is an e-mail from Times reporter Strom to Ms. MonCrief that says: "Am also onto Obama connection, sadly. Would love to have the donor lists. As for helping the Republicans, they're already onto this like white on rice. SIGH!"

"That sounds like an objective reporter, does it not?

"And here's what Clark Hoyt, the ombudsman, wrote about that: 'Was Strom betraying her own political leanings or was she expressing sympathy for MonCrief, who was unhappy about possibly hurting her own candidate? Strom said she does not know what was on her mind eight months ago.'

"Yeah, sure.

"The New York Times is a dishonest publication in business to promote a far-left point of view. Strong evidence suggests the paper killed a story linking ACORN to some Obama people. Instead they ran a general piece stating ACORN has a left-wing bias, knowing that story would be largely ignored while the Obama connection would not be.

"This, ladies and gentlemen, is media corruption.

"And that's 'The Memo.'

Like Waxman, Bill O'Reilly was right!

Waxman should call the spiking of her Weinstein expose in 2004 "media corruption" too.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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