The leaked footage of Donald Trump laughing about groping women is perhaps the story that will create the most impact in this entire campaign cycle. Yet one question that lingers is if this was NBC’s footage, why was David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post able to scoop them on it? It turns out, the answer might have been a lawsuit.
After the Associated Press published a story last week about sexist comments Trump made during the filming of his reality show, Access Hollywood dug through their raw footage to see if they had any such footage. They found a doozy.
NBC and Access Hollywood both agreed the clip was newsworthy, with the latter outlet being told they could break the story. They finished the story, and all it needed to air was approval from network lawyers, as is policy.
From The Washington Post:
But the tape languished, unseen by the public, for several days after it first came to light.
Although NBC and “Access” both recognized the newsworthiness of the tape and intended to air it, it first had to undergo a review by the company’s lawyers, the executive said. The executive was unaware of any specific legal issue raised by airing an 11-year-old recording of a presidential candidate who was apparently aware at the time that he was being recorded by a TV program.
As the second debate grew closer, the story was still not scheduled to air as of Friday. It appears that someone with access to the footage grew frustrated with the delay, and leaked the footage to Fahrenthold. He and The Post took only five hours to vet the story before publishing it.
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