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.

Trouble ahead for the housing market

CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images

Our good friend John Rubino over at DollarCollapse.com just released an analysis titled US Housing Bubble Enters Stage Two: Suddenly Motivated Sellers.

He reminds us that housing bubbles follow a predictable progression:

  • Stage One: Mania -- Prices rise at an accelerating rate as factors like excess central bank liquidity/loose credit/hot foreign money drive a virtuous bidding cycle well above sustainably afforable levels.
  • Stage Two: Peak -- Increasingly jittery owners attempt to sell out before the party ends. Supply jumps as prices stagnate.
  • Stage Three: Bust -- As inventory builds, sellers start having to lower prices. This begins a vicious cycle: buyers go on strike not wanting to catch a falling knife, causing sellers to drop prices further.

Rubino cites recent statistics that may indicate the US national housing market is finally entering Stage Two after a rip-roaring decade of recovery since the bursting of the 2007 housing bubble:

  • the supply of homes for sale during the "all important" spring market rose at 3x last year's rate
  • 30 of America's 100 largest cities now have more inventory than they did a year ago, and
  • mortage applications for new homes dropped 9% YoY

Taken together, these suggest that residential housing supply is increasing as sales slow, exactly what you'd expect to see in the transition from Stage One to Stage Two.

If that's indeed what's happening, Rubino warns the following comes next:

Stage Two’s deluge of supply sets the table for US housing bubble Stage Three by soaking up the remaining demand and changing the tenor of the market. Deals get done at the asking price instead of way above, then at a little below, then a lot below. Instead of being snapped up the day they’re listed, houses begin to languish on the market for weeks, then months. Would-be sellers, who have already mentally cashed their monster peak-bubble-price checks, start to panic. They cut their asking prices preemptively, trying to get ahead of the decline, which causes “comps” to plunge, forcing subsequent sellers to cut even further.
Sales volumes contract, mortgage bankers and realtors get laid off. Then the last year’s (in retrospect) really crappy mortgages start defaulting, the mortgage-backed bonds that contain their paper plunge in price, et voila, we’re back in 2008.

Rubino's article is timely, as we've lately been seeing a proliferation of signs that the global boom in housing is suddenly cooling. I've also recently encountered similar evidence that the housing market in my own pocket of northern California is weakening, and I'm curious to learn if other PeakProsperity.com are seeing the same in their hometowns.

The Global Housing Bubble

Housing, as they accurately say, is local. Conditions differ from region to region, making generalizations of the overall market difficult.

That said, the tsunami of $trillions printed by the world's central banking cartel since 2008 clearly found its way into the housing market.

The world real estate market is HUGE, over $200 trillion. That dwarfs the global debt and equity markets. So it's no surprise the central authorities did all they could to reverse the losses the GFC created for property owners.

As a result, many of the most popular locations to live are now clearly in bubble territory when it comes to home prices:

UBS map of global housing bubbles

The chart above displays the most bubblicious major cities around the world in red. But it's important to note that the merely 'overvalued' markets denoted in yellow, and even some of the green 'fair-valued' ones, are still wildly-unaffordable for the average resident.

For example, in "yellow" San Francisco, where the median home now costs $1.6 million, prices are well-above the excesses seen during the previous housing bubble:

And in 'fair-valued' New York City, the median household must spend 65% of its annual income on housing alone.

Is it any wonder that 70% of millennials who don't yet own a home fear they'll never be able to afford one?

Signs Galore Of Topping Markets

At the end of a speculative bubble, it's the assets that are most overvalued that correct first and correct hardest.

So we would expect that as the highest-priced real estate markets fare from here, the general real estate market will follow.

When we take a closer look at what's currently going on with the red-hot real estate markets noted in the chart above, we indeed see evidence supportive of Rubino's claim that the decade-long Stage One mania may now be ending.

Here's a spate of recent headlines about these cities:

Sure looks like Rubino's predicted Stage Two symptoms of rising supply and stagnating prices.

Local Signs, Too

As mentioned, I live in northern California, quite close to Santa Rosa.

Things here aren't as nuts as they are in San Franscico; but it's still a moderately-affluent region with lots of second homes. It's one of the semi-frothy areas I'd expect to see cooling off in first should there be a downwards turn in macroeconomic conditions.

Located less than an hour north of San Francisco, residential housing prices here have roughly increased 2x over the past six years as the Bay Area has boomed. Supply has been in chronic shortage, exacerbated by the loss of thousands of structures burned during last October's destructive Tubbs fire.

But recently, for the first time in many years, realtors here are beginning to talk of a softening they're seeing in the local housing market.

Median sale prices dropped from May to June, which is counter to previous years. And several towns are seeing year-over-year declines in median price -- something unheard of over the past 7 years.

Meanwhile, the days-on-market ratio for properties is beginning to creep up.

Of the greatest concern to the realtors in my area: bidding wars are no longer happening. Houses are selling either at or below asking prices now. That's a *big* development in a market where houses have routinely sold for $50-100K+ above the listing price.

In a similar vein, I'm hearing evidence of the softening rents down in San Franscico and the East Bay (Oakland/Berkeley). Wolf Richter has done a good job chronicalling the substantial volume of newly-constructed units that have recently hit the market threatening to depress rents, and I've heard from a multi-family unit owner down there how landlords in the area are now finding their rents ~$500 too high for the market to bear.

This is all early and anecdotal data. It's too little at this point to claim definitively that my local housing market has entered Stage Two.

But I'm curious to hear from other PeakProsperity.com readers. What are you observing in your local markets? Are you seeing similar signs of concern?

Please share any insights you have in the Comments section below. Collectively, we may be able to add clarity, in one direction or another, to Rubino's hypothesis.

Prepping For Stage Two

Whatever the timing, Stage Two is an inevitability for today's ridiculously-overpriced real estate markets. It's not a matter of if it (as well as Stage Three) arrives, but when.

Given the data above, I think Rubino is correct in his assessment. Or at least, correct enough that prudent action is warranted today.

This makes even greater sense when considered along with the current trends of rising interest rates and quantitative tightening. Remember, home prices and interest rates have a mathematically inverse relationship: as rates go up, home prices must go down (all else being equal). And as central banks start withdrawing in earnest the excess liquidity that inflated property values to their current nose-bleed heights, expect further downward pressure on prices.

To drive the urgeny home even harder, we haven't even yet talked about the damage an economic recession and/or a painful correction in the financial markets would wreak on the real estate market. With the current expansion cycle the second-longest on record and our all-time-high markets looking increasingly vulnerable, it seems very unlikely we'll avoid at least one of those crises in the near to mid-future.

Here are worthwhile steps we recommend at this point:

  • Consider selling: If you're a homeowner and are not committed to remaining in your property for the next decade+, do some scenario planning. If prices fell 20%, how much of a financial and emotional impact would that have on you? If you have substantial equity gains in your home, Stage Two is the time to protect them. If you have little equity right now, make sure you're fully aware of the repercussions you'll face should you find yourself underwater on your properity. What will your options be should you lose your job in the next recession? Whether to hold, or sell now and rent, is a weighty decision; and the rationale differs for each household -- so we strongly recommend making it with the guidance of your professional financial advisor.
  • Raise cash: The vicious cycle that begins as Stage Two transitions into Stage Three is deflationary. Lower prices beget lower prices. During this period, cash is king. By sitting on it, your purchasing power increases the farther home prices drop. And when the dust settles, you'll be positioned to take advantage of the resulting values in the real estate market. We've written at length about the wisdom of this strategy given current market conditions, as well as how, while waiting for lower prices, you can get 30x the return on your cash savings than your bank is willing to pay you, with lower risk. Our recent report on the topic is a must-read.
  • Educate yourself: Yes, real estate is overpriced in a number of markets. But it has been and will remain one of the best ways available to the non-elites to amass income and tangible wealth. And as mentioned, when the next Stage 3 brings prices down, there will be value to be had -- potentially extreme value. If you aren't already an experienced real estate investor, now is the time to educate yourself; so that you'll be positioned to take informed action when the time to buy arises. Our recent podcast interview on Real Estate Investing 101 is a good place to start.

In Part 2: The Case For Starting To Build A (Small) Short Position, we conduct a similar analysis into the overvaluation and growing vulnerability of the financial markets (which are highly likely to correct much faster, sooner and more violently than the housing market), including the details on a recent short position we've started building.

The tranquil "free ride" the financial and housing markets have had for nearly a decade are ending. The string of easy gains with little effort are over now that the central bank money spigots are turning off at the same time the "greater fools" pocketbooks are tapping out.

For a brief time, prices will waiver, as investors remain in denial and refuse to sell at lower prices. But soon that denial will turn to panic, and prices will plummet.

Make sure you're positioned prudently before then.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

It's a bad day when you've stepped in dog poop.

But it's an even worse day when you're stepping in human poop — especially when underneath the poop is a dirty needle. That's the glory that is San Francisco today.

The city doesn't know what to do. There's more human feces in the street than ever before. This is starting to look like human evolution in reverse. And I want to be a helper in this situation.

RELATED: What the 💩 is going on in San Francisco?

And so, as a helper, I've got an idea for San Francisco. And I'm going to share it with you — free — at absolutely no cost to you. This is a public service.

We made a little sign — "No Human Pooping" — because I think that's clear enough, even for those who may be high on heroin, to understand.

Feel free to download and print as many copies as you'd like, and post them on your property. Or click the buttons below to share on social media.

Something has got to be done about this 💩.

Click here to download your printable copy of the sign.

What the 💩 is going on in San Francisco?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Finally, a beautiful Sunday in your picturesque bayside city. You paid good money to move here. Not cheap. The $150,000 range leaves you just about middle class. In Ohio, that'd buy you a small town. But this is better than Ohio, you tell yourself. Sure, the city isn't as scenic as the postcards, but here you are, at the YMCA fields. You're coaching your kid's soccer team. And today is the co-ed Under-8 soccer final. Really, it's their World Cup. You bought the good oranges and Capri-Sun—the special edition kind with cold-sensitive images on the front. You worked hard for this moment.

RELATED: Illegal Immigrant Hits Jackpot and Is Awarded $190K From San Francisco for Deporting Him

Your job is demanding. Sometimes, you're there 60, 70 hours a week. But somebody needs to coach this soccer team so here you are. And, what. What is that. Your son, he's dribbling past the kid shoving dandelions into the ant hill, and, is he going to score a goal? Yes. Yes, he is, but all of a sudden, right as your son's leg angled back to kick the ball, you hear an animalistic scream behind you. You turn around, and see a man shrieking as he squats over the sidewalk. What is he doing, you ask yourself quickly. Oh, God. You know what he's doing.

Following the death of Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Mayor London Breed inherited quite a mess. San Francisco is in shambles. Despite topping nearly every list of the nation's highest cost-of-living prices, San Francisco has been plagued by homelessness, often with unbelievable negative consequences.

I'd like to add that, the segment begins with footage of Mayor Breed walking around San Francisco, and as she passes a group of homeless people, at least one person is openly injecting themselves with a needle.

I shouldn't even have to say this, but helping disadvantaged people is a good thing. The Bible is very clear on the subject.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." - Proverbs 31:8-9

San Francisco's approach to dealing with the poor is in fact detrimental to the poor.

"Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." - Proverbs 14:31

"Looking at his disciples, [Jesus] said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh." - Luke 6:20-21

San Francisco's approach to dealing with the poor is in fact detrimental to the poor. Walk around the city and you'll see a lot of thousand-dollar tents that function as homes, gifts from good-natured but ultimately misguided people, who function more as enablers than rescuers. The city has set up injection sites, where homeless heroin addicts are provided with clean syringes and allowed to shoot up without punishment. May God bless them. And may we help them in a better way.

Revolutions are started by youth. And the left is desperate for young blood, or, worse, for fresh blood. They're turning on their own.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is more often considered too radical. In a show of force, California Democrats have chosen Feinstein's opponent, Kevin de León, over her.

RELATED: 'I remember thinking liberals were the good guys': Dave Rubin on why he really left the left

Lynne Standard-Nightengale, a member of the Amador County Democratic Central Committee, said she wanted to "send a message."

I just think we need a younger, progressive person there. The Democratic Party in California has moved to the left, and he personifies those values.

Feinstein and de Leon will face each other again in November because California has an open primary system in which the top two finishers face each other, regardless of party.

The left is going hard left. When Dianne Feinstein is not left enough for you—where are the press reports of the extremists taking over? The trend is spreading. A growing number of Trump's base are former Democrats, who voted for Obama.

When Dianne Feinstein is not left enough for you—where are the press reports of the extremists taking over?

So, in response, Democrats are prowling after a new base, a new young base, who's never voted before.

Thankfully, many have predicted that the next generation of voters will be the most conservative generation since pre-WW2. I guess they've watched as their older siblings (or parents) have returned from college with pink hair, atheism, exorbitant debt, and infinite genders, only to decide that personal responsibility, a moral compass, and belief in God are preferable.