NBC News will likely catch even more flack over the Tom Brokaw scandal after The New York Post reported female staffers have come forward and claimed the network forced them to sign a letter that defends the famed broadcaster.

Two former NBC employees and a freelance journalist have accused Brokaw of sexual harassment since last Thursday.

On Saturday, a letter came out in defense of Brokaw and had signatures from 60 NBC employees. These names included Mika Brzezinski, Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, and Maria Shriver. Deadline published the letter:

We are current and former colleagues of Tom’s, who have worked with him over a period spanning four decades. We are producers, correspondents, anchors, directors, executives, researchers, personal assistants, editors and technical staff.

Tom has treated each of us with fairness and respect. He has given each of us opportunities for advancement and championed our successes throughout our careers. As we have advanced across industries — news, publishing, law, business and government — Tom has been a valued source of counsel and support. We know him to be a man of tremendous decency and integrity.

Looks like not all the signees did so willingly, according to The New York Post:

One NBC News staffer said, “We felt forced to sign the letter supporting Brokaw. We had no choice, particularly the lower level staffers. The letter was being handed around the office and the unspoken threat was that if your name was not on it, there would be some repercussion down the road. Execs are watching to see who signed and who didn’t. This was all about coming out in force to protect NBC’s golden boy; the network’s reputation is tied to Brokaw . . . If more women come forward, that’s a big problem.”

Another insider said the powerful names on the letter could intimidate other victims. “When you have over 100 women like Andrea Mitchell signing a letter of support without knowing the facts, it’s pretty scary . . . The letter will have a chilling effect on other women coming forward.”

NBC News insisted the letter came about through “a purely grass-roots effort” and that “[M]anagement has played absolutely no role whatsoever.”

Yeah, well, The New York Post pointed out that “the letter was led by Goldman exec Liz Bowyer – who also happens to be a producer for Brokaw’s NBC doc unit and has worked on two of his books.”

Megyn Kelly has become one voice of reason at NBC on this subject. As these many females have defended Brokaw, she stressed that they remember “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Kelly accused late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment and not everyone believed her. From The New York Post:

“It’s basically a character reference,” Kelly said. “And they’re saying, ‘For what it’s worth, my experience with him has always been honorable, and he’s always treated me well.’ And I understand that because when you love the person being under attack, you want to say, ‘This has been my experience.’”

“I will say that the same thing did happen at Fox,” Kelly said, referring to how there were those who defended Ailes, who resigned from his post in July 2016 amid a sexual harassment probe.

“And the truth is, you don’t know what you don’t know. And that’s not in any way to impugn Tom, who I love and who’s been so good to me. Just saying, you don’t know what you don’t know,” said Kelly.

Kelly continued, “What happens behind closed doors … we saw it at Fox News. We saw these women come out [in support] and I remember thinking, ‘You’re wrong. It happened to me, your statements are wrong and you’re gonna be proven wrong.’”

However, Kelly did note, “I don’t feel that here … I love Tom,” as she added, “I think [support] letters like that can be dicey.”

By the way, NBC News will not launch an investigation into the harassment allegations against Brokaw.

You know, I really thought NBC would change its course after the backlash it received when journalist Ronan Farrow revealed that those in power squashed his major expose on Harvey Weinstein.

Farrow wrote his explosive article at The New Yorker instead of NBC News, which left many wondering why. Farrow told Maddow:

“You would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details of that story,” Farrow said. “I’m not going to comment on any news organization’s story that they did or didn’t run.” He added, “I will say that over many years, many news organizations have circled this story and faced a great deal of pressure in doing so. And there are now reports emerging publicly about the kinds of pressure that news organizations face in this. And that is real.”

So Maddow got more specific: “NBC says that the story wasn’t publishable, that it wasn’t ready to go at the time that you brought it to them.”

With such a direct assertion, Farrow said “I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier. And immediately, obviously, The New Yorker recognized that.” He added “And it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable. In fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC.”


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