Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

Catch-and-Kill-by-Ronan-Farrow-min

Catch and Kill – Probably the biggest news story of this decade was the downfall of Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the meteoric rise of the Me Too movement, and the snowballing effect towards increased awareness of sexual harassment and sexual assault in today’s society.

But another part of this story was how it got to the public, which was basically thanks to the diligent, old school journalistic efforts of Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the New York Times, and Ronan Farrow of NBC.

Catch and Kill author Ronan Farrow

If this story sounds like it took a page from All the President’s Men, at first glance, you would be right about that assessment. The only difference is – especially when it came to Ronan Farrow’s case – was that while Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were facing plenty of skepticism and doubt from other major newspapers and the editors of the Washington Post, it was the faith of the Post’s editor in chief, the late Ben Bradlee, to pursue the story no matter what obstacles were thrown in front of them; for their efforts, their collaborative articles broke open the Watergate scandal and led to the resignation of then-U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Ronan Farrow broke the story about Harvey Weinstein

Regarding Farrow, as he was gathering more and more damaging information about Harvey Weinstein from many of his sexual assault victims and other anonymous sources, a number of his bosses at NBC and MSNBC became reluctant to air the story, caving into fear and intimidation of what kind of wrath Weinstein could bring about if the story became public; to make a long story short, NBC killed the story and didn’t renew Farrow’s contract.

This could have been the end of the story as such. However, like Ben Bradlee, it took the faith of David Remnick, the editor in chief of The New Yorker magazine, to publish Farrow’s story without fear of consequence. The after effects of his story spread like wildfire, not only for Harvey Weinstein, but also for other visible personalities like Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Louis C.K. and to an extent, Donald Trump.

To find out how Ronan Farrow used journalism to such a devastating effect to break years of silence and shame – and the feverish efforts employed to quash the story and cover-up Weinstein’s indiscretions — definitely check out his hard-hitting account Catch and Kill.

Just like All The President’s MenCatch and Kill(which is a phrase that refers to the actions the National Enquirer used to quell controversial stories that involved close friends of publisher David Pecker, in which the whistle blower would be paid a substantial amount of money, and subsequently, the story in question would never appear in the paper) chronicles Farrow’s step-by-step journalistic methodology on how he exposed a long hidden secret; in this case, it’s Harvey Weinstein being exposed as a sexual predator throughout his most successful period as a Hollywood movie producer, and how he used young female models and actresses as the bait, promising career advances if they acquiesced, or ruination if they resisted.

As well, he reveals the difficulties he had to try and convince many of Weinstein’s victims to go on the record and tell their respective stories of sexual abuse at the hands of Weinstein; the psychological wounds and the fear of reprisals still too fresh on their minds.

Farrow also recounts the consequences and the pressures he faced if he went ahead with this story, especially with the cabal-like methods Weinstein employed to try and suppress the story and discredit Farrow, which was exemplified in Weinstein’s relationship with the Black Cube, a secret black ops-type organization that specialized in dirty tricks that were similar to what the plumbers did during the height of the Watergate scandal.

And as an added bonus, the book describes in detail the sexual indiscretions of Matt Lauer (who believed in Farrow’s quest for truth in pursuing Weinstein), which eventually led to his abrupt termination as host of the Today Show in November of 2017. In another fine exercise of journalistic diligence, Farrow finally names Lauer’s accuser and describes in harrowing detail the blatant abuse of power Lauer used for his sexual satisfaction, regardless of the psychological trauma that continues to plague that NBC employee who had no choice but to cave into Lauer’s advances. It makes for rather shocking reading.

Catch and Killis a vivid argument for why Ronan Farrow earned his Pulitzer Prize, and how his nonstop determination to seek the truth in a rather sordid affair ended up as a quest for justice for those who were terribly wronged and were silenced out of a sense of fear and retribution. It’s a stark example of journalism as more than a means of giving the people the right to know, but also provide a social conscience. This is required reading for aspiring journalists and anyone who really wants to know what was so wrong with this decade. (Little, Brown, $36.50)

By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

Other book reviews:

Mobituaries by Mo Rocca

Makeup Tips From Auschwitz by Tommy Schnurmacher

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles


Beverly Hills Cop

Official sneak peek of Netflix New Beverly Hills Cop

Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is back on the beat in Beverly Hills. After his daughter’s life is threatened, she (Taylour Paige) and Foley team up with a new partner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and old pals Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) to turn up the heat and uncover a conspiracy. Cast: Eddie Murphy,

getting out of debt

How Canadians can get help getting out of debt

The cost of living crisis in Canada has resulted in unprecedented personal debt. There seem to be culprits everywhere: the cost of housing, rising grocery prices, student loans, gas and utilities, and out-of-control telecommunications bills. As of 2024, roughly a quarter of Canadians are only financially able to make minimum payments on their credit cards,

Montreal Fringe Festival

A Night at the St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, 2024 Edition 

For Americans, summer officially began with Memorial Day weekend, in which the actual holiday fell on May 27 this year. For Montrealers, summer — especially summer festival season — began on that same day. That’s when the St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival kicked off its 2024 edition with its annual Fringe-For-All launch event. A packed

solar

Top factors to consider when choosing a ground solar mounting system

The rise in renewable energy use has made ground solar mounting systems a favored option for both homeowners and businesses. With many choices on the market, picking the best system may seem like a daunting task. We have put together a list of key factors to help you make an informed decision. Keep these in

Montreal MURAL Festival

2024 MURAL Festival Block Parties

MURAL Festival has announced the headliners for the Block Parties of its 12th edition, to be held in Montreal from June 6 to 16! The MURAL Block Parties that have become synonymous with the Festival and that have previously been held in the parking lot on Boulevard Saint-Laurent are moving to the Bassin Peel this

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox