Reporters attending a benefit at the Princeton Club tonight, where new MSNBC host Ronan Farrow will be presented with the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism, have been warned not to ask about “off-message topics,” i.e., the molestation accusations against his father, Woody Allen, or the identity of Ronan’s real dad. Organizers required journalists to sign a form promising “to stay completely on message given the surrounding circumstances. We will not tolerate press questions about personal or family affairs related to Mr. Farrow in any circumstance at this event.” Violators were told they “will be immediately escorted out of the event.”
While the PR rep for the night said, “Farrow is not doing interviews and the rules come from his team direct to you,” a MSNBC spokesperson denied the “Page Six” report, telling Gawker, “Ronan and his team did not request any restrictions on reporters’ questions.” The obvious subtext here being that it doesn’t look good for a journalist to censor fellow journalists, even if he’s part celebrity.
While Ronan has said his piece about Woody in the past, the filial discord has now officially been deemed a distraction. It’s a safe bet it will come up anyway.