ABC News faced questions Tuesday about its reluctance to air a sensitive story of alleged sexual misconduct after a leaked video emerged of reporter Amy Robach complaining about how her bosses handled an interview with a Jeffrey Epstein accuser.
The conservative web site Project Veritas released video of Robach venting that "every day I get more and more pissed" that her 2015 interview with Virginia Giuffre never made the air. Robach made her remarks late in August while sitting in a Times Square studio with a microphone but not on the air.
ABC said Tuesday that the interview didn't meet its standards because it lacked sufficient corroborating evidence. Robach, co-anchor of ABC's "20/20" newsmagazine, said the leaked video caught her "in a private moment of frustration."
The episode was remindful of Ronan Farrow's accusations that NBC News discouraged his reporting on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's misconduct. Farrow then took his Pulitzer Prize-winning story to the New Yorker magazine.
ABC sought to minimize the comparison, saying it has pursued and aired other stories about Epstein, the New York financier who died Aug. 10 while in police custody on sex trafficking charges.
Project Veritas is known for its efforts embarrass mainstream media outlets, often sending undercover reporters to catch employees making statements that display an anti-conservative bent. But it needed no such help with the Robach video, which Project Veritas said came from an "ABC insider" it would not identify.
The correspondent was visibly exasperated as she complained that "I tried for three years to get (the interview) on to no avail and now it's coming out and it's like these 'new revelations' and I freaking had all of it."
Giuffre, whose maiden name is Roberts, alleged that as a teen, she was forced by Epstein to have sex with prominent men, including Prince Andrew. The prince and Epstein both denied the charges.
In the video, Robach said she was told "who's Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story."
Robach also complained in the video that lawyer Alan Dershowitz and the British Royal Palace applied pressure to ABC not to air the interview with Giuffre. She suggested that the network feared that airing the interview would hurt its ability to get interviews with Prince William and Kate Middleton.
ABC denied that outside pressure had anything to do with its decision.
"At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story," ABC News said in a statement Tuesday.
Giuffre first outlined her allegations against Epstein anonymously in a lawsuit filed in 2009, and she did her first on-the-record interviews about them with the Daily Mail in 2011. At the time of ABC's interview, Giuffre's lawyers were battling with Dershowitz, who was fighting back against her claim that he was among the men who had sex with her when she was a minor.
While her allegations received widespread attention, some news organizations have treated elements of her story with caution because the list of prominent men she accused was long and her allegations difficult to independently confirm.
The Associated Press doesn't generally identify people who say they're victims of sex assault, unless they come forward publicly as Giuffre has done.
Robach said in her statement Tuesday that she had been referring in the video to what Giuffre had said in the interview, not what ABC News had verified through its own reporting. Corroborating evidence of the type the network sought could include interviews with people familiar with Giuffre's allegations or records that would verify she was at the places the alleged sex acts took place.
"The interview itself, while I was disappointed it didn't air, didn't meet our standards," Robach said Tuesday. "In the years since no one has ever told me or the team to stop reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, and we have continued to aggressively pursue this important story."
ABC says it plans to air a two-hour documentary and six-part podcast on the Epstein case next year.
It's still unclear whether Robach's Giuffre interview will be part of it. Now that it is four years old, it would likely need to be updated.
Bruce Springsteen will be presenting a lifetime achievement award next spring to Richard Ford, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Independence Day" centers on a real estate agent from Springsteen's native New Jersey.
But not everyone is happy about Ford's receiving the Hadada Award, bestowed by the Paris Review at the magazine's annual spring Revel.
Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen was among those on Twitter who noted that the Hadada has only been given to white writers. Others, including author Roxane Gay, cited Ford's history of hostile behavior toward writers who criticized his work. In 2004, he spat on Colson Whitehead after Whitehead wrote a negative review of Ford's "A Multitude of Sins." In a 2017 column that ran in Esquire, Ford expressed little regret.
"I can tell you that, as of today, I don't feel any different about Mr. Whitehead, or his review, or my response," he wrote.
The Paris Review didn't have an immediate comment Tuesday and Ford did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Whitehead declined comment.
The 75-year-old Ford is known to many for his works about the New Jersey sports writer-turned real estate agent Frank Bascombe: "The Sportswriter," ''Independence Day," ''The Lay of the Land" and "Let Me Be Frank With You," a Pulitzer finalist in 2015.
Ford has also written book reviews, including one for The New York Times about Springsteen's memoir, "Born to Run," which came out in 2016. (Springsteen has cited Ford as a favorite writer).
"It helps that Springsteen can write — not just life-imprinting song lyrics but good, solid prose that travels all the way to the right margin," Ford wrote. "Oh, there are a few gassy bits here and there, a jot too much couch-inspired hooey about the 'terrain inside my own head.' A tad more rock 'n' roll highfalutin than this reader really needs — though the Bruce enthusiasts down in Sea-Clift won't agree with me. No way.
"But nothing in 'Born to Run' rings to me as unmeant or punch-pulling."
Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett has commended the importance of forums like Dhaka Lit Fest that give space for people, genres and communities to meet, interact, exchange ideas and intellectually engage each other.
She noted that it is in such spaces that creativity can flourish, and ideas can grow.
High Commissioner Niblett hosted a reception at the Australian High
Commission for the Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF) 2019 on Sunday evening 3 to promote Australia’s support for and commitment to diverse arts and culture in Bangladesh.
The High Commission said partnerships such as these offer unique opportunities to foster mutual understanding and strengthen people-to-people
relationships between Australia and Bangladesh.
The reception was attended by representatives of the diplomatic community, members of Bangladesh’s cultural community and Directors of the Dhaka Lit Fest.
The Australian High Commission is proud to continue its partnership with the Dhaka Lit Fest, said the High Commission on Monday.
As an event that showcases the works of Bangladeshis from diverse backgrounds, and brings writers and thinkers from all around the world to Bangladesh, the Dhaka Lit Fest embodies the values of respect for cultural diversity that Australia holds dear, it said.
Niblett welcomed Australian Zohab Zee Khan, a participant in this year’s
Dhaka Lit Fest.
Khan is an educator, spoken word poet, and hip-hop artist, who was
Australian Poetry Slam Champion in 2014.
He has performed around the world including throughout South Asia.
Drawing on his personal experiences as a fourth generation Australian of South Asian heritage, Khan performed a number of works of poetry promoting the values of tolerance and inclusion.
Award-winning French guitarist Thibault Cauvin, widely acclaimed for his passion and creativity, will perform at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Tuesday evening.
The classical guitar concert will begin at 6:30pmat the National Theater Hall of the Academy while gate will remain open from 5:50pm, organizers said on Monday.
Alliance Française de Dhaka with the support of the Embassy of France to Bangladesh, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Oryx Bangladesh and Gandharbpur Water Treatment SNC will host the event.
Ambassador of France to Bangladesh Jean-Marin Schuh will attend the event as the chief guest.
Thibault Cauvin was born with a guitar in his hands, given by his father, himself a musician and he followed the natural path from then on.
He first studied at the Bordeaux Conservatoire and later at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur, graduating with honors.
Quite playful, he became passionate about international competitions, the only springboard for an artist who wants to make a career.
Widely acclaimed for his youth, he would not stop winning prizes and aged 20, he had won a total of 36 prizes (13 first prizes) – more than any guitar player.
He got more and more concert engagements.
Cauvin — whom Telerama described as “the champion of classical guitar” and Los Angeles Times described as “just incredible, don’t miss him” — is the only guitarist in the world to win 13 international first prizes.
His brilliant, inspired and eloquent playing puts up a feast to the ears breaking boundaries and admixing audiences from different places.
With his latest stop being Dhaka, Cauvin has been touring extensively for 15 years now, playing in the most prestigious halls in the world — virtually 120 countries, 1000 solo concerts with his guitar stirring the New York Carnegie Hall, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Hall, the Shanghai Concert Hall, the London Queen Elizabeth Hall, to name a few.
Dhaka, Nov 2 (UNB) - A photography exhibition titled ‘Humans of ICPD: Faces of Bangladesh’ by photographer Naymuzzaman Prince began at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD) on Saturday.
Planning Minister MA Mannan attended the opening ceremony as the chief guest while UNFPA Bangladesh representative Asa Torkelsson as a special guest.
Nairobi Summit 2019 marks 25 years of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) since its first organisation in 1994 in Cairo.
As a developing country, Bangladesh has achieved a lot of success in different areas, especially on human rights, population, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, and sustainable development.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is playing an important role in achieving those improvements. They are working closely together with different stakeholders where the rights of women and girls are key to development.
This photo exhibition puts a human face to the ICPD agenda in Bangladesh, which is expected to generate momentum ahead of the Nairobi Summit to accelerate the progress of the ICPD agenda. Through powerful portraits and vignettes of people from Bangladesh, the exhibition is not only informing key stakeholders about the ICPD Programme of Action’s principles but also highlighting why ICPD is so important if Bangladesh is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Naymuzzaman Khan Prince is a social photographer and visual storyteller, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His main areas of interest are socio-cultural subjects such as women and women rights, culture and identity, worker, health, population and development, environment and climate change, politics and political violence, religion etc.
The exhibition will remain open from 3pm to 9pm (Monday to Thursday) and 9am to 12pm and 5pm to 8pm (Friday and Saturday) till November 12 with Sunday being closed.