An NBC spokesperson says the network is not investigating the matter, despite new revelations that Oppenheim sat at small table with Weinstein at an exclusive New York gala in April, when Oppenheim reportedly already knew that his reporter, Ronan Farrow, had obtained damning audio recordings in which Weinstein admitted groping the breasts of an Italian model.
University of North Carolina Associate Professor Lois Boynton teaches ethics at UNC's School of Media and Journalism. She feels that Oppenheim sitting with Weinstein “certainly raises ethical concerns,” and while attending an event with a “Hollywood peer” may seem innocuous, the head of NBC News should have known better. Boynton pointed to the Radio Television Digital News Association and Society of Professional Journalists ethics codes, which are both clear about the need for journalists to work independently, be transparent and avoid conflicts of interest.
The revelation — which came from Hollywood mega producer Gavin Polone, who fingered Oppenheim as one of Weinstein’s “accomplices” — has been confirmed by Fox News and increased skepticism about NBC’s insistence that Oppenheim had no relationship with Weinstein prior to the screenwriting executive killing Farrow’s investigation, which Farrow would later take to the prestigious New Yorker magazine.
Oppenheim moonlights as a Hollywood screenwriter, and has screen writing credits on three produced films, including “Jackie”, which was nominated for three Academy Awards (Oppenheim himself was not nominated). He is currently writing a screenplay about the escape artist Harry Houdini, to be produced by Lionsgate.
Some NBC insiders who spoke to Fox News on condition of anonymity, for fear of retribution by Oppenheim, say he had a clear conflict of interest and should have recused himself from the Weinstein investigation.
Oppenheim and NBC News have also been accused by Farrow and many others of lying when Oppenheim claimed that Farrow’s piece did not meet NBC's reporting standards at the time they spiked it.
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