Why didn’t NBC News air the Trump sexual assault recording? Did they deliberately cover it up? How long have they known?
In 2016, the Donald Trump sexual assault recording—where he described how he would sexually harass women by “grabbing them by the pussy”—surfaced in the media. The story dominated all major headlines, except that of NBC News.
Read about why NBC News hid the Trump sexual assault recording.
Trump Sexual Assault Recording: “Grab Them by the Pussy”
On October 7, 2016, the Washington Post broke the story that Donald Trump, businessman, television star, and current Republican nominee for President of the United States, had been caught on video back in 2015 bragging about committing sexual assault. The audio captured Trump’s now-infamous boast about how he committed sexual offenses against women with impunity, “Grab[bing] them by the pussy” and claiming, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” The story of Trump sexual assault recording dominated headlines and even prompted calls from some Republican Party officials for Trump to step off the ticket.
Yet NBC’s coverage of the incident was strangely muted. Why? Because Trump, at the time of the video recording, had been an NBC employee, as the host of the popular reality television contest show The Apprentice. To make matters worse, Billy Bush, a current NBC host, was seen on the video laughing at and encouraging Trump’s comments, piping in with, “Yes! The Donald has scored!” To make matters worse still, Billy Bush was being promoted as a new Today host in the fall of 2016. Questions immediately arose about NBC’s prior knowledge of the Trump sexual assault recording: how long had they known about it and did they deliberately cover it up?
The fallout from the Trump video sparked an immediate national conversation about sexual violence toward women in particular. How frequently was it happening? Why aren’t more assaults reported to the authorities? And how many women were survivors?
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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Ronan Farrow's "Catch and Kill" at Shortform.
Here's what you'll find in our full Catch and Kill summary:
- How Ronan Farrow uncovered rampant sexual abuse and assault by Harvey Weinstein
- How NBC tried to intimidate Farrow into killing the Weinstein story
- How the media and legal systems let Weinstein's abuse continue for decades