By Jonathon Van Maren
Ronan Farrow’s explosive account of the reporting that took down Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein reads like a John Grisham novel that is, at times, almost unbelievable. Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators details how Farrow tracked down the “white whale of journalism” and painstakingly secured the sources to expose Weinstein as a serial rapist and sexual abuser, only to find himself stymied at every turn by NBC News, who eventually killed the story. It was a media coverup of the highest order that eventually sent Farrow—and the story–over to the New Yorker, where it was finally published.
The general details of the Weinstein story are now well-known and so I won’t recount them here, but Farrow’s takedown of the media’s complicity in covering up for brutal male super-predators isn’t so much reporting as it is a demolition. He cites the names of NBC executives who helped kill the Weinstein story, and then reveals that many of them had notable workplace affairs or histories of sexual harassment. He exposes the interlocking layers of culpability that enabled an extensive coverup, including blackmail, hired spies, and the leveraging of power of every sort.