NBC News aired a “Dateline” special Sunday night detailing the USA Gymnastics pedophilia scandal involving team doctor Larry Nassar, who has been sentenced to 40-175 years in prison.
Former Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was interviewed for the special, “Silent No More” — but after the episode aired she was not happy. Raisman took to Twitter to slam NBC for omitting a key component to her interview, claiming she’d be silenced to protect one of the accused.
In her “Dateline” interview, Raisman claimed that USA Gymnastics and Steve Penny, chief executive of sports federation, had no interest in addressing the allegations raised against Nassar. Raisman suggested there was more to the story… but NBC edited out her full comments. Critics speculated the network’s move was intended to protect their expensive Olympic coverage rights.
“Hour prime time for investigative piece, no interview/scrutiny of current/recent execs of USAG, the org responsible for the sport & much of this mess! Why? I named someone currently in power at USAG that I reported Nassar to, it was omitted. Why? Still many unanswered questions,” she tweeted.
Hour prime time for investigative piece, no interview/scrutiny of current/recent execs of USAG, the org responsible for the sport & much of this mess! Why? I named someone currently in power at USAG that I reported Nassar to, it was omitted. Why? Still many unanswered questions.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) April 23, 2018
It is still unclear which executives Raisman was referring to in her tweet.
Many Twitter users replied to Raisman’s tweet with outrage of NBC News’ inaccurate reporting. Some users even speculated if they did not air the full interview out of their own personal interests —
Starting to wonder if @NBCNews has their own interests to protect. Such as Olympic coverage and ratings.
— Erin (@ealexisbird) April 23, 2018
Do you now understand #FAKENEWS? They protect their own.
— pdSWFL (@pmd2500) April 24, 2018
Oh, I forgot, NBC has the broadcast rights to the Olympics….
— John Nichols (@nicho047_john) April 23, 2018
“We kept following up with Steve Penny,” Raisman told NBC News. “And he would just say, you know, ‘I’m handling it. … Please be quiet. Remember, the most important thing is to keep this quiet.'”
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According to Fox News, “A representative for Penny, who resigned from USA Gymnastics last year, told the news station in a statement that he didn’t ‘intend to discourage’ any Nassar victim from speaking with police. In fact, he claims the FBI was contacted twice about the abuse.”
“There was no attempted cover-up,” Penny added in the statement.
Raisman filed a lawsuit in February against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics claiming that they “knew or should have known” about Nassar’s sexual abuse.
“After all this time, they remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation, and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented,” Raisman told NBC News in a statement at the time. “I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.”
NBC News seems to have an agenda for all their interviews — and this time, it was not to be an advocate for the victims of Nassar’s abuse. It was to protect their investment, critics say.
The broadcast rights to the Olympics coverage was far more important to this liberal news station than being a voice for victims that were silenced for many years.
–Kylie Handler is a news editor for The Horn News