A groundbreaking #MeToo journalist finds his own news organization to be the greatest obstacle to the truth in this vivid, labyrinthine memoir. New Yorker scribe and ex-NBC News correspondent Farrow (War on Peace) revisits his 2017 reporting on sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein by actresses and employees, an investigation begun but then killed by NBC and eventually published in the New Yorker. Farrow then probes sexual misconduct complaints at NBC itself, including an explosive new claim that Today host Matt Lauer raped NBC news staffer Brooke Nevils. He describes coaxing frightened women to break nondisclosure agreements and go public with their traumas, as well as more sinister currents of intrigue and betrayal. He unearths Weinstein's use of secret agents from the Israeli firm Black Cube to spy on sources—and on Farrow himself. Worse, he contends, NBC executives, some with personal and business ties to Weinstein and pressured by his lobbying and legal threats, started unaccountably turning against Farrow's story as the evidence supporting it mounted. Though a bit baggy, the narrative combines the intricate reporting of All the President's Men with Kafkaesque atmosphere to reveal troubling collusion between the media and the powerful interests they cover. This is a crackerjack journalistic thriller. (Oct.)
The term catch and kill refers to media organizations buying the rights to a controversial story, and then burying it to protect those accused. In this exposé, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Farrow (War on Peace) examines this practice and profiles women whose careers and lives were ruined by sexual predators who flourished in Hollywood. More than 200 interviews inform this grim assessment that focuses mostly on Harvey Weinstein, the powerful cofounder of Miramax Films, whose assaults went largely unchallenged because his victims had little choice but to sign lucrative nondisclosure agreements, knowing their careers were over. Farrow shows that Weinstein was not the only predator; he details Today show cohost Matt Lauer's brutal assaults that were well known for years by management. Included are gripping stories of Farrow's firing from NBC, how The New Yorker published the author's research as a lengthy article, and how several women victims—the real heroes here—came forward to Farrow with their harrowing stories. VERDICT This chilling narrative reveals the unequal power dynamic between aspiring actors (and women in the media) and the dominant powerbrokers in Hollywood. For true crime fans, and a complement to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey's She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.—Karl Helicher, formerly with Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
The award-winning journalist sharply illuminates how he exposed Harvey Weinstein as a serial sexual predator.
Along the way, Farrow (War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence, 2018)—a New Yorker contributing writer who has won the Pulitzer Prize, National Magazine Award, and George Polk Award—offers a primer on investigative journalism, a profession that he is well on the way to mastering. For this book, he writes, he drew "on interviews with more than two hundred sources, as well as hundreds of pages of contracts, emails, and texts, and dozens of hours of audio." As the son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, the author has wrestled for years with allegations of sexual assault in his own family, leveled by his sister Dylan against their father. During his investigation of Weinstein—and later, multiple high-level sexual predators within NBC—Farrow had to fend off complaints that he was too close to the story. Along the investigative path, the author sought insight from his sister and relied on the steadfast support of his partner. Though Farrow and his producer believed their pursuit of Weinstein had the blessing of the top brass at NBC, they gradually learned that Weinstein was using his massive influence to sabotage the investigation. Consequently, the author took his work to the New Yorker, where editor David Remnick provided a venue for him to present his story. Ultimately, Weinstein was arrested. In addition to chronicling his work on the Weinstein project, Farrow also discusses the transgressions of Donald Trump and Matt Lauer. At times, the book is difficult to read, mainly because Weinstein, Trump, Lauer, and other powerful men victimized so many women while those who knew about the assaults stayed quiet. Nonetheless, this is an urgent, significant book that pairs well with She Said by New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Both books are top-notch accounts filled with timeless insights about investigative journalism, on a par with classics from Seymour Hersh and Bob Woodward.
A meticulously documented, essential work.
" Catch and Kill" is, in many ways, horrifyingly grim - a nightmare confirmation of the worst in human nature and the entangled upper echelons of the media and political worlds. But, as Farrow has noted in interviews, it also admits some rays of hope." Julia M. Klein, Forward
"Ronan is the kind of journalist that activists like myself rely on...His care and compassion for the stories survivors' entrusted him with shows in how diligently he investigated each claim. After all of the work he has done to carry their stories forward, I am excited for the world to read this book." Tarana Burke
"Ronan Farrow has entered the pantheon of great investigative reporters.
With meticulous research and endless revelations, he exposes a system of abuses and cover ups-a system that for too long has been protected. This is an invaluable book ." David Grann, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon
" Catch and Kill is proof that Ronan Farrow is the best kind of reporter: thorough,
honest, and compassionate...it digs deep and Farrow is never afraid to tell the truth no matter where the sparks may fly." James Patterson
" Catch and Kill is literally jaw-dropping-a shocking, meticulous record of the vast machinery with which moral bankruptcy protects itself, and of the arsenal of weapons available to colossally powerful men whose careers depend on silencing those seeking accountability and truth...This book reveals damningly widespread corruption, complacency, and cowardice, and against it, the blazing courage of the women who spoke out-it's a blueprint of a hideous world, and a foundational building block of a new one." Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror
"We've been reading about sex scandals beginning with Harvey Weinstein, but only Ronan
Farrow, who reported them, tells us how women's voices were discredited and suppressed for so long. Catch and Kill reads like a great detective novel, and could lead to a safer and more just future." Gloria Steinem