In 2017, Ronan Farrow began his investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against the now infamous Harvey Weinstein. At the time, it was just a routine assignment that I believe his network felt obliged to follow up and expected it wouldn’t go anywhere. However, Farrow isn’t that kind of journalist, the one that forms an opinion before doing the work. As he began to do his research, Farrow found more and more reason to keep digging as revelations about Weinstein fit a long term pattern of abusive behavior over decades, apparently well known inside and outside of the Hollywood community. But, the closer he came to airing the results of his groundbreaking work, the more resistance Farrow experienced from his network and those close or connected to Weinstein.
I thought I knew most of what there was to know about what happened to Ronan Farrow and his story covering the Harvey Weinstein investigation. Well before this investigation put his name in the headlines, Farrow had gotten my attention as I routinely watch NBC’s Today show and his segments were outstanding. Anytime I discovered he’d be airing a piece I made certain to watch it as the topics were relevant and the research was amazing. So, when I saw the Weinstein story show up in my The New Yorker magazine feed, I was confused. I’d just seen him on NBC two months earlier. It slowly dawned on me what had probably happened…they refused to air the story. Later when the network stated that it “wasn’t ready” when it was presented to them, I knew it for the lie it was. That’s not a biased opinion…it’s an informed one. It’s impossible for the story he filed with The New Yorker to have progressed that significantly in two months, the last time I’d seen Farrow on the network. It made me angry and for a long time, Farrow remained silent about the network’s role.
Sharing my perspective above is important for context. Yes, I had a bias and it was based on what I’d rooted out myself. However, what really happened was much, much worse than I’d concluded. It’s so bad that I’m struggling to continue watching the Today show, which falls under the leadership of those with the dirty hands in this story. However, Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, was forced to resign two days ago and major changes in the network leadership were made, long overdue. I’ll give them a short time to implement change because now more than ever, integrity in news reporting is paramount.
I’d expected someone as powerful as Weinstein to exert his will in thwarting Farrow’s investigation and he indeed pulled out all the stops. But what was more astounding were the identity of lots of his enablers and the sinister tactics used to intimidate Farrow. I promise you’ll be let down in some instances (there’s significant coverage of Matt Lauer’s downfall, too). Farrow narrates his own story, which makes a difference as he adds the inflections and heightened emotions where he experienced them. At times, parts of the story sounds like inside baseball information but I was able to keep up as he does provide clarity. This is an important story as it gives background, raw and seemingly unfiltered, to one of the most important stories of our time. Farrow doesn’t pull any punches about himself and his motives either, which further deepens the story’s authenticity. I believe him.
- Release Date: October 15, 2019
- Narrator: Ronan Farrow
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 43 minutes
- Publisher: Hachette Audio