Stories get held at all news organizations, but ‘NBC doesn’t look good here’

You might have heard: NBC News held on to the story of Donald Trump having an “extremely lewd conversation about women” with Billy Bush in 2005 for four days because of lawsuit fears, and ultimately got scooped by The Washington Post

But did you know: It’s not uncommon for stories to get held at news organizations for a variety of reasons. But Jack Shafer writes that “NBC doesn’t look good here, and no amount of finessing will make it look any prettier.” On some levels, holding on to the tape makes sense, Shafer writes, because there was little fear that it would leak elsewhere since it had never been aired. But to the reasoning that NBC held on to the story for legal fears, Shafer writes: “When the Washington Post, no libel and invasion-of-privacy mill, can turn around the same story in five hours indicates that NBC’s frets of legal problems were more imagined than real.”

+ Billy Bush reportedly bragged to the NBC staff in August that he had a “tape of Trump being a real dog,” which prompted the “Access Hollywood” staffers to track down the video (Page Six)

+ How The New York Times chose to print the “most vile language” spoken by Trump in the video: “The argument against using the words was driven by a concern that it would be jolting to readers, especially given that the story would be played so prominently on page one, and that there were other ways we could signal what Trump said without relying on the actual vulgar words. Ultimately we decided that the words themselves were newsworthy, and that omitting them or merely describing them or slyly hinting at them would not have been forthright with our readers,” political editor Carolyn Ryan says (New York Times)