Why Did NBC Pass on ‘the Biggest Story of the Year’?

Shortly after the New York Times broke the Harvey Weinstein story, Ronan Farrow published an in-depth piece with 10 months of research into horrifying allegations about the film mogul and how he treated women.

But why did Farrow’s devastating interviews with 13 women who say Weinstein harassed or assaulted them end up in The New Yorker when he works for NBC? Sources inside the network told the Huffington Post that Farrow was working on the Weinstein story on behalf of NBC as recently as August, but NBC had “concerns” and instead let him take it to The New Yorker.

Glenn and Stu talked about this bizarre facet of the Weinstein case on today’s show. (Skip to 3:53 in the Soundcloud clip embedded above to get straight to the NBC story.)

“This is a huge story,” Stu said. “[Farrow] took on everybody. And it’s interesting that a guy being paid by NBC News winds up releasing the biggest story of the year for The New Yorker.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: So I want to talk to you a little bit what MSNBC and NBC News has done. They have just released a story about President Trump.

Now, listen to this. President Donald Trump said he wanted to what amounted to a nearly ten-fold increase in the US nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation's highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

Trump's comments, the officials say, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of US nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on the downward sloping curve.

According to the officials, President Trump's advisers, among them joint chiefs of staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were surprised.

Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to the nuclear build-up and how the currently military posture is stronger now than it was at the height of the buildup.

Did Trump's call to expand nuclear arsenal lead to Tillerson's moron remark? Revelation of Trump's comments that day come as the US is locked in high-stakes standoff with North Korea over its nuclear ambition, and it is poised to set off fresh confrontation with Iran, by not certifying to Congress that Tehran is in compliance.

Trump convened a meeting Tuesday with his national security team, which they discussed a range of options, to respond to any form of North Korean aggression. Or if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the US and its Allies with nuclear weapons.

The president's comments during the Pentagon meeting in July came in response to a charge showing that in the meeting, on the history of the US in Russia's nuclear capabilities, that showed America's stockpiled had its peak in the 1960s. But his comments raised questions about his familiarity with the nuclear posture and other issues.

Two officials present said multiple points in the discussion, the president expressed a desire, not just for more nuclear weapons, but additional US troops and military equipment.

Any increase in America's nuclear arsenal would not only break with decades of nuclear doctrine. But it would also violate international disarmament treatments -- treaties signed by every president since Ronald Reagan. Non-proliferation experts warn that such a move could set off a global arms race. If you were to increase the numbers, the Russians were match him, and the Chinese. There hasn't been a military mission that required a nuclear weapon in 71 years.

Details of the meeting have not been previously reported. They shed additional light on the tensions among the commander-in-chief, members of his cabinet, and the uniformed leadership of the Pentagon, stemming from vastly different worldviews. Moreover, the president's comments reveal that Trump who suggested before his inauguration that the US must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability, voiced desire as commander-in-chief, directly to the military leadership in the heart of the Pentagon this summer.

Some officials in the Pentagon were rattled by the president's desire for more nuclear weapons. And his understanding of the other national security issues from the Korean peninsula to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, why am I reading this to you? Why am I giving you this story?

Well, what do you think that story does over in China? What does that story do in -- in Russia? What does that story mean to the North Koreans?

NBC has taken a position now to run a story about how the president said he wanted -- later came back and said, "No, they were right."

He can't do that. If he did, it would kick off an arms race. And if that happened, it would greatly destabilize the entire world.

If he was looking for additional nuclear weapons and you're Chinese, what do you think you do?

If you are in a country where everything is run by the state, what do you think their advisers are saying this story means?

As we found out after the fall of the Berlin wall, Russia took all of our -- our newspaper stories, and they believed that we're all CIA plants. They believed that we were planting that information in the news, to send them messages.

Now, has that made our life more secure or less secure? Has this helped us with national security, or hurt us with national security?

The story goes on to say, this is why the president's advisers are calling him a moron.

So not only did they put the rest of the world on alert, that the president may be doing things that are illegal, which there is no evidence of that. In fact, the story later points out exactly the opposite.

But he -- he wants to do this. He wants a big military buildup on the week that he said to North Korea, there's only one thing that's going to solve.

Well, what is that? That's war.

So NBC decides to release a story that puts us all in grave danger. They're willing to go out, and they're willing to blast President Trump for political reasons. And they're willing to possibly destabilize the entire world.

In a completely unrelated story, Stu, can you give me the update from Ronan Farrow

STU: Yeah, Ronan Farrow, of course, was reporting on the Weinstein case. He was working on it for ten months. Ten months of research.

GLENN: This is Mia Farrow, Woody Allen's son.

STU: Yes. So another thing you might know about Ronan Farrow is he's an employee of NBC News.

GLENN: Hang on just a second. He's a respected journalist. I don't know for what for.

STU: He has won awards.

GLENN: But, yes, he's won huge news awards. He's a respected journalist at NBC.

STU: And by and far, the most accomplished thing he's ever done is the story about Harvey Weinstein. This is going to upset his career for -- I mean, this is a huge story. By all accounts, he did a great job reporting it. Was diligent. Was threatened personally by Harvey Weinstein with a lawsuit during this process. Really, did -- he took on everybody. And it's interesting that a guy being paid by NBC News winds up releasing the biggest story of the year for the New Yorker.

GLENN: Now, hang on just a second. It's not that he just went out. NBC told him to go find another outlet to publish this.

STU: Yep.

GLENN: Now, this on the heels of Saturday Night Live, on Saturday, having whole bunches of Weinstein jokes. And shockingly, cutting all of them and not making any reference to Harvey Weinstein at all.

STU: And there's an interesting -- I guess a side-by-side there. Because you might say -- and I have no problem with them reporting the NBC thing. Or the nuclear arsenal thing.

You could argue it's just a leak. But if it's a news organization, I think they have a legitimate stance to say, "You know what, damn the consequences. Damn the torpedoes. If we have a big news story that's important to the people, we're going to bring it. We're going to bring it out." You just can't make that point when you just gave the biggest story of the year to the New Yorker because you were afraid of the consequences from Harvey Weinstein. You can make the point about the nuclear story being legitimate. But it is obviously an actual danger to our national security.

Now, that doesn't mean you don't print it. I mean, if it's a real story, and it's really important, you could still do it.

But, I mean, they were not worried about the consequences of actual nuclear world war. But they were worried about the consequences of Harvey Weinstein.

That is an incredible statement. And, I mean, you want to talk about priorities. I don't mind you saying damn the torpedoes. But if you're going to take one of these things into account to not report a news story, maybe the one about the ten times nuclear arsenal increase is the one you skip.

GLENN: See, I didn't see those two stories connected at all.

STU: Oh.

GLENN: And I'm sure neither do the people at NBC.

(laughter)

STU: Really? Because I thought there was a pretty direct --

GLENN: I think -- it's just happenstance that I brought them up side by side.

STU: Oh.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

RELATED: Time to reverse course: America is being corrupted by its own power

Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?