Matt Lauer has written an op-ed responding to Ronan Farrow’s book “Catch and Kill,” which detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against him. The former “Today” show co-host’s op-ed was published on Mediaite two days after The New York Times published a column by Ben Smith entitled “Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True?”
Lauer’s op-ed, “Why Ronan Farrow is Indeed Too Good to Be True” echoes the criticism in Smith’s column, which raised questions about Farrow’s reporting practices.
Farrow’s book was released in 2019, two years after Lauer was fired from NBC following what he characterized as “admitting to having a consensual, yet inappropriate relationship with a fellow employee in the workplace.” While Lauer maintains the relationship was consensual, his accuser, Brooke Nevils, later told Farrow that Lauer raped her. The details of her accusations were made public in “Catch and Kill.”
In the lengthy op-ed, Lauer scrutinizes Farrow’s book, which chronicles the author’s journalistic investigation into allegations against Lauer and disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Lauer details a number of instances where he says Farrow and his fact-checker failed to contact witnesses to see if they backed up claims made by his accuser. When Lauer called those witnesses himself, he says they disputed some of the events described in the book.
“From start to finish Ronan is acting as Brooke’s advocate, not as a journalist investigating her claims,” Lauer writes.
He says he wanted to expose “flawed reporting and factual errors that could have easily been avoided with minimal effort on Ronan Farrow’s part, and which bring his version of this narrative into a significantly different light.”
Lauer also claims Farrow had a grievance against NBC because his MSNBC show was canceled and the network chose not to run his reporting on Harvey Weinstein. Farrow “was hardly an unbiased journalist when it came to anything to do with NBC, and he was rarely challenged as he dropped salacious stories in a daily marketing effort designed to create media attention for his book,” Lauer writes.
Farrow issued a short response to the op-ed on Tuesday night, tweeting: “All I’ll say on this is that Matt Lauer is just wrong. Catch and Kill was thoroughly reported and fact-checked, including with Matt Lauer himself.”
Mediaite says after Lauer initially submitted the op-ed last fall, “Mediaite editors independently fact checked the accounts of the four witnesses/subjects Lauer spoke with and cites in this piece. All confirmed in early February that Lauer’s account of their conversations was accurate.”
Lauer’s foray back into the public eye drew instant attention on social media. He was trending on Twitter shortly after the op-ed was published online, and many of the tweets were negative.
His accuser, Brooke Nevils, tweeted a brief but impactful response: “DARVO: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender.”