Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow is about a journalist’s quest to shed light on the truth.
Despite the fact I’m a news junkie, I tend to stay away from nonfiction stories. I think it’s because I feel somewhat inundated with nonstop news. So when it comes to books, I crave fiction. But I want to expand my genres in 2020 and that includes reading nonfiction.
That said, I’ve read a ton about the Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and other horrible #metoo cases. So I was unsure if Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow would really tell me anything new. Well, I was wrong—it’s absolutely worth a read. I had no idea just how much corruption, abuse, stalking, etc., took place that tried to halt Ronan’s reporting. This is so relevant to our times and especially now with the start of the Weinstein trial.
First, the synopsis:
In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family.
All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance they could not explain — until now. And a trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood to Washington and beyond.
This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it’s the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.
Both a spy thriller and a meticulous work of investigative journalism, Catch and Kill breaks devastating new stories about the rampant abuse of power and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook our culture.
Harvey Weinstein’s abuse was well known throughout Hollywood and beyond. But because of money, people remained silent. It’s crazy how much power these people gave Weinstein. He’s such a bully that people didn’t try to oppose him and if they did—he destroyed their reputations, job prospects, what have you. In the book, Ronan talks about how other reporters tried to uncover all of the abuse but they got shut down each time. And shockingly, NBC execs tried everything in their power to stop Ronan from covering the story.
I knew that NBC did not run the piece but I had no idea how much they completely tried to halt it even after Ronan had interviewed women on-camera about Weinstein’s abuse. But he never gave up and eventually took the story to The New Yorker. The rest is history.
I didn’t expect the story to include a personal element from Ronan. He comes from a famous family. His sister is a victim of sexual abuse that is widely known. Ronan seems to feel he wasn’t there for his sister and maybe this was a bit of atonement for that. He does consult on his sister throughout his work on this story and she gives plenty of important feedback for him to consider.
At a time when journalists are accused of “fake news,” and all that BS, this is an inspiring tale of never giving up on a story no matter the obstacle. This one is very much worth your time. Also, Ronan has a podcast now so be sure to check it out as well.
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