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  • Welcome back to the show.

  • Thanks for having me back.

  • Before we jump into the book, let's jump into news

  • that is just, like, breaking and we're learning about now.

  • Um, it's funny. The last time you were on the show,

  • you were... you had written about diplomacy,

  • specifically in and around Iran.

  • We spoke about the topic

  • and how Donald Trump didn't seem to have a plan,

  • and his plan could backfire.

  • Are we at that point right now?

  • Seems like I was wrong. It went great, right?

  • -Totally the opposite. -It... You know, look,

  • that-that book, War on Peace-- little plug there--

  • was about the collapse of diplomacy.

  • We are strip-mining our diplomatic apparatus.

  • The State Department is not what it once was.

  • Diplomats aren't in the room making the decisions.

  • We're seeing the consequences of that.

  • We threw out the Iran deal.

  • It was not perfect, but it was a shot,

  • a narrow window at preventing what's happening now.

  • When you look at the strategy

  • that the administration is taking now--

  • one that is undiplomatic--

  • it feels like everyone is hawkish in their approach,

  • it feels like everyone sees only one way

  • to resolve this issue.

  • Do you see a way back from this?

  • Because many people feel like

  • Iran has no vested interest in now talking to America,

  • and America-- because of its commander in chief--

  • doesn't seem to have a path forward

  • to negotiating with Iran again.

  • Look, we're not gonna solve

  • the confrontation with Iran in this segment, sadly.

  • If anyone can do it, it's you, but...

  • -(laughter) -What I can say is,

  • from a structural standpoint,

  • we have got to re-empower our diplomats.

  • These are brave men and women,

  • the rank and file who keep our embassies running,

  • and too often, they are not being allowed

  • to influence these decisions.

  • And if they were, I think

  • we'd have a fighting chance of not fighting.

  • -Mm, it's what diplomats are for. -Yeah.

  • (applause)

  • You have been at the center

  • of one of the largest movements in America.

  • You know? You've never claimed to spearhead it,

  • but you have been writing about some of the most powerful men

  • who have abused power to, in some way, shape or form,

  • abuse women in and around their lives.

  • Harvey Weinstein, as fate would have it,

  • started his trial today.

  • You've written this book Catch and Kill:

  • Lies, Spies and Conspiracies to Protect...

  • to Protect Predators.

  • Do you think the Harvey Weinstein trial

  • is going to go in the direction that the public hopes,

  • or is he powerful enough to somehow escape again?

  • Look, I wind up saying this a lot:

  • I am a reporter, not an activist.

  • I hope that Harvey Weinstein receives a fair trial.

  • That means a prosecution being tough,

  • the process being organized and respected and not manipulated,

  • in the way that powerful people so often are able

  • to manipulate those processes.

  • A large part of the reporting in this book

  • is about how Harvey Weinstein narrowly evaded

  • -previous attempts to charge him, -Right.

  • because he was able to hire armies of private investigators

  • to dig up dirt on his accusers and smear them

  • and influence the D.A.'s office.

  • This very D.A., who's advancing this case in Manhattan,

  • right now is one of the people

  • who dropped charges against him previously,

  • after Harvey Weinstein's lawyers made donations to his campaign.

  • So, you know, they are trying now--

  • there's a lot of public pressure.

  • I hope they do a good job,

  • but this has been a long time coming,

  • and the track record doesn't make one optimistic.

  • It's interesting, because this book is really a story,

  • not just about what happened,

  • but how it was allowed to continuously happen.

  • You know, you write in the book about how Harvey Weinstein

  • was "on a wiretap," you know,

  • how the police heard him confessing to groping a woman.

  • You know, you-you-you read in the book

  • about-about how Harvey Weinstein set up a campaign

  • to protect himself and to threaten people

  • who were coming after him, including yourself,

  • which is a scary place to be in.

  • Did you learn if there is any way

  • to hold people that powerful accountable?

  • You know, the small sliver

  • of accountability that we have now

  • is because the women that you just mentioned were so brave.

  • I mean, yes, I was in the crosshairs of, frankly,

  • a... an insane international espionage operation.

  • You know, there were people with false identities following me,

  • and two Russian guys hanging out outside of my apartment,

  • and they became sources in some cases eventually,

  • 'cause they objected to it.

  • But the only reason we know any of this

  • is because people came forward, and they said, "Enough."

  • And, overwhelmingly, that's the women

  • who had gone through these terrible experiences

  • -and decided to risk everything to speak. -Right.

  • We actually have here tonight two of the sources

  • in that very first Weinstein story.

  • Uh, and, you know, I think it's a bittersweet moment

  • where this is dredging up a lot of complicated feelings,

  • -but we're seeing this happen because of them. -Mm-hmm.

  • One of them is that woman that you mentioned

  • who wore the wire and got a confession from Harvey

  • a couple years ago, Ambra Gutierrez.

  • -Right. -Another is Rosanna Arquette.

  • These are heroic people

  • who helped us understand terrible crimes.

  • (cheering and applause)

  • And we wouldn't be having the conversation without them.

  • NOAH: The...

  • You know, one of the scary parts of-of these stories,

  • one of... one of the scariest things

  • about-about reading, you know, about the story

  • is-is not just the predators themselves,

  • but it's about the systems that helped enable them

  • to keep on being predators.

  • You know, you-you write in the book

  • about how you went to your bosses at NBC,

  • and you said, "Guys, I have this story on Harvey."

  • And that story was shut down,

  • and they said, "Oh, you don't have enough.

  • It's-it's not a good enough story."

  • Why did you keep on

  • even though many of your bosses told you in the news world,

  • "Oh, there is no story here"?

  • You know, we've seen a lot of people

  • go up against their bosses to expose the truth now,

  • including, after this body of reporting about NBC,

  • which revealed a lot of misconduct at that company,

  • people on NBC's airs.

  • Jour-Journalists like Rachel Maddow

  • getting up and saying, "There needs to be

  • an independent investigation there,"

  • -which still hasn't happened. -Mm-hmm.

  • Look, this was a company

  • with a lot of secrets of its own.

  • -Right. -It was a company with a lot of alliances

  • with Harvey Weinstein, and I lay out,

  • you know, reams of transcripts of calls

  • -that they were secretly having with Harvey Weinstein. -Right.

  • But the point is not about NBC.

  • The point is this happens all the time.

  • And I think the moral of the story

  • is you have to keep going.

  • And when sources are as brave

  • as the sources were in this story,

  • there was no room for me to be cowardly.

  • I mean, I-I...

  • They set the bar really high, and I knew I wouldn't be able

  • to sleep at night if I failed them.

  • Do you-do you think there's been a certain element of the

  • liberal media being protected by being liberal in a way?

  • And I say that because, like, you-you look at the stories

  • that have come out now about Fox News, you know,

  • with Bombshell the movie, you know, Loudest Voice, etcetera.

  • The one thing that we see there is that at some point,

  • Fox said, "Hey, we're gonna bring in these independent

  • "investigators to investigate what has happened here

  • and get to the bottom of it all."

  • As you said, though, it feels like the NBCs of the world

  • haven't been as transparent.

  • They've said, "Oh, we'll, we'll figure it out,"

  • but it hasn't become a real investigation.

  • They haven't gone after everybody who's been involved.

  • And it feels like the accountability

  • hasn't been at as high a level, you know, that, I mean,

  • you're one of the few isolated people writing about this.

  • Do you think that has something to do with it?

  • It-it's interesting.

  • I break stories about Democrats

  • and I get people howling at me on Twitter.

  • -You know, "You're a, you're a plant for the right!" -Right.

  • And I break stories about Republicans,

  • and I get the opposite.

  • We live in these siloed worlds where we're only seeing news

  • we agree with, and people aren't conscious of the fact

  • that sometimes you're just reporting on crimes.

  • And those don't have a partisan nature to them.

  • And I truly believe these stories that I've been

  • fortunate enough to do reporting on about sexual abuse,

  • know no party-- this is about corruption.

  • This is about the abuse of power.

  • When you, when you look at these stories,

  • they must have a common thread beyond just the person.

  • What are the, what are the steps that we could take?

  • What are the moments that people missed where somebody

  • could be held accountable, where something could've been stopped,

  • where somebody could've been listened to?

  • Is there anything where you notice in your reporting

  • that that's where society, we're dropping the ball?

  • The story is full of moments

  • where it could've been stopped earlier.

  • You know, where people had taped confessions

  • of crimes, and whether they were in law enforcement

  • or they were in the media,

  • they decided it wasn't worth the fight.

  • You know, it doesn't always look like someone, uh,

  • twirling their mustache in a dark backroom and saying,

  • you know, "I'm gonna cover up a crime."

  • Usually, it's people saying,

  • "Is it really worth a confrontation?"

  • And all these TV executives, you know, Noah Oppenheim,

  • the head of NBC News just says point blank to me

  • at one point, you know, "Is this worth the fight?

  • -We got to decide if it's worth it." -Right.

  • And they decided it wasn't, so I think the moral

  • of the story is it's worth the fight.

  • -Powerful, man. -(applause, cheering)

  • It's an insane story.

  • If we weren't living it, I wouldn't believe it was true.

  • Thank you so much for coming back on the show.

  • -Always a pleasure, Trevor. -I hope everyone reads this.

  • Catch and Kill, a fascinating book is available now.

  • And the new episode of the Catch and Kill podcast

  • will be available next week-- Ronan Farrow, everybody.

Welcome back to the show.

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Ronan Farrow - “Catch and Kill” and Accountability for Harvey Weinstein | The Daily Show

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/27
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