Democratic candidates demand investigation into NBC’s “toxic culture” ahead of MSNBC debate – By Igor Derysh (Salon) / Nov 20 2019
Given the dozens of “credible” allegations against Trump, Dems want party to take a stand on misconduct cover-ups
Four Democratic candidates called on NBC’s parent company Comcast to launch an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at the network ahead of Wednesday’s presidential debate to be broadcast by MSNBC.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey signed a letter calling the allegations of “sexual assault and harassment” by employees and “a cover-up by NBC’s management” deeply “troubling.” Instead of addressing the company, the senators issued their letter to Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez.
The candidates told Perez that they are “very concerned about the message it would send to sexual assault survivors if our next debate is sponsored by MSNBC without clear commitments from Comcast … to conduct an independent investigation into the toxic culture that enabled abusers and silenced survivors.”
The letter comes after journalist Ronan Farrow’s reporting found that NBC News executives covered up allegations of sexual assault against former “Today” host Matt Lauer and killed his investigation into sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. NBC News has disputed Farrow’s reporting and his claims about the Weinstein story.
The candidates cited NBC’s 2018 internal investigation into the matter, which they wrote “concluded that because there were no formal complaints, NBC News executives were not at fault.”
“Yet, there is clearly something wrong with a work environment reluctant to hold management accountable,” the letter said. “That’s what allowed the behavior of powerful abusers inside the company to go unchecked. The troubling reports about management’s role to cover up the abuse demonstrate that Comcast should have and needs to do more to shift the work culture and pursue significant structural changes in order to prevent future harassment and abuse.”
“Until that happens,” the letter said, “employees are at risk.”