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Ronan Farrow Speaks Out After Matt Lauer Pens Essay Accusing Him of Not Fact-Checking Claims Against Him

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Ronan Farrow says Matt Lauer is "just wrong." 

The journalist took to Twitter on Tuesday to speak out about Lauer's accusations that Farrow failed to properly fact-check claims made in his book, Catch and Kill. "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," Farrow wrote

In an essay published by Mediaite earlier Tuesday, Lauer took aim at Farrow for his reporting on the former Today anchor's alleged sexual misconduct. Lauer was fired by NBC in 2017 after an employee accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. That employee, Brooke Nevils, later alleged in Catch and Kill that Lauer had raped her when they were both working for NBC at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Nevils characterized her sexual encounters with Lauer after Sochi as as "transactional," saying she consented only out of fear that Lauer had control over her career. (Lauer has admitted to having a consensual yet inappropriate relationship with a fellow employee, but denied Nevils' allegation of rape.) 

In his piece, Lauer goes into detail, fact-checking Farrow's book himself. He calls Farrow's stories "salacious" and says the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter is "hardly an unbiased journalist," especially considering matters relating to NBC. Farrow's MSNBC show was canceled after one season in 2015, and he has alleged that the network sabotaged his reporting on the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

"I had originally intended to release this piece in November of 2019, but personal considerations at that time, and later news events impacting us all, delayed those plans," Lauer wrote. "On October 9, 2019, I was falsely accused of rape. ... This accusation was one of the worst and most consequential things to ever happen in my life, it was devastating for my family, and outrageously it was used to sell books."

"The rush to judgment was swift. In fact, on the morning I was falsely accused of rape, and before I could even issue a statement, some journalists were already calling my accuser 'brave' and 'courageous,'" he continued. "I was also disappointed, but not surprised, that Ronan Farrow's overall reporting faced so little scrutiny. Until this week’s critical reporting by The New York Times, many in the media perceived his work as inherently beyond basic questioning."

The New York Times' media columnist Ben Smith questioned Farrow's reporting in a piece published Monday, claiming the 32-year-old reporter's work had "shakiness at its foundations."

Lauer claims Farrow "betrayed the truth" by failing to confirm stories told to him by sources, failing to provide evidence of important communications, and manipulating readers with misleading language. The former broadcast journalist also scrutinizes Nevils' rape allegation, alleging it was part of a "promotional rollout" for Farrow's book. 

Nevils did not directly address Lauer's essay, but tweeted Tuesday afternoon: "DARVO: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender." 

"Will anyone hold Ronan Farrow thoroughly accountable? I doubt it," Lauer wrote in his piece. "I ask people to consider how they would react if someone they loved were accused of something horrific and basic journalistic standards were ignored because of a desire to sell books. I also urge people to remember that there are two sides to all stories."

"In the meantime, I will continue to ask questions and seek answers, because ironically, I can thank Ronan for at least one thing. He has reminded me how it feels to do the work I love."

See more on Lauer in the video below. 

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