Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow is a book about the Harvey Weinstein case and the systematic coverups of the sexual predator cases that have been rampant in Hollywood and the media in general. He doesn’t get hyperbolic, he doesn’t approach the story like the tabloids. Farrow instead, provides solid investigative reporting and does a good job of telling the story.
Lest you think this is just a he-said story of what a pig Weinstein is, that is just the tip. Farrow is the perfect person to tell this story for a couple reasons. First, Farrow, the son of Mia Farrow, is brother to Dylan Farrow who was molested by their father, Woody Allen and clearly still feels guilty for not seeing and/or stopping Allen’s predation. Second, his position as an investigative reporter with NBC’s Today Show gave him access to Weinstein’s accusers and tools needed to gather the story.
As an arguably naive white male, I was often offended when hearing new stories about how evil we white males are. I would hear a story about a predator like Weinstein and the commentary surrounding it was how all men are evil and all men are sexually harassing women all the time. When reports would blow things out of proportion with the hyperbolic sound bites, I would write the accuser off as a gold-digger.
Sure, I was not so naive as to think it never happened, but would take umbrage at being told we were all sexual predators. The whole #metoo movement rubbed me the wrong way because of those “all men are evil” comments that seemed to accompany every conversation. For writing off the entire movement as just another attack on men, I apologize. I just wish news media would approach reporting like Farrow does in this book – like news used to do.
This book is as much an indictment of media companies like NBC an Disney as it is of folks like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. The fact that NBC worked to kill the story is damning to them – heck, even Saturday Night Live totally ignored the issue when it finally broke via the New York Times.
Farrow does a good job of showing that in media circles, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. He even-handed approach to the facts made it clear that this network of people protected each other like a cabal – albeit not just men. Hats off to Ronan Farrow for his level-headed approach and telling of this story with integrity.
by Chris Doelle