Ronan Farrow Warns Powerful in Media: ‘Truth Will Keep Coming’

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Hot off the presses is the highly anticipated Ronan Farrow book, Catch and Kill, detailing the dubious actions on the part of NBC in an effort to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct within its own walls. Farrow granted an interview with Fox’s Special Report Wednesday to discuss the need for accountability on the part of the network and the media as a whole.

Baier took a moment to question Farrow’s initial reaction to NBC refusing to run his explosive Harvey Weinstein piece in 2017. Farrow responded by lifting the lid off of the scandal-riddled environment of network television

 

 

The fundamental fact here is that I took reporting that this network had looked at… And I think that it tells an important story about the circles of mutual protection and power in our business and the media and the need to hold ourselves accountable. That's true of CBS, where I did reporting on allegations of misconduct there and secret settlements there. It's true of Fox, your own network, which has done a great job of confronting some of the issues here, including the use of secret settlements, and now there's a tough conversation happening at NBC. Where after I've unveiled that there were- in years where they claimed no secret settlements, in fact many of them, including ones with Matt Lauer's accusers…

Consequences for one’s actions seem to be a foreign concept in the world of the liberal media. Thus, Baier pressed to uncover whether NBC will feel the pressure to confront the issue head on: “But do you think the executives at NBC have sort of gotten a pass having to deal with this controversy about how it's being covered in the press?”

Farrow held an optimistic viewpoint regarding the administration of justice in the press:

I do not see a pass happening right now… So, while yes, this is about crimes and cover ups and circles of power that protect each other, it's also about the fact that I think the truth will keep coming. And right now, we are seeing a really tough conversation about the need for accountability in the media.

To close out the colloquy, an elephant in the room needed to be addressed. Baier did just that as he asked Farrow about the erroneous Kavanaugh piece he helped author as well as what affect it may have on his credibility going forward:

You know, there are some media critics who looked at some of the reporting about Brett Kavanaugh accusers and came to the conclusion that it wasn't up to your usual standards and may have been rushed a bit, because you didn't like Kavanaugh or something. That's what the critics have said. I just want you to address some of that from a media perspective.

Farrow retorted with an analysis of the frenzied state in the press during the time of the contentious Kavanaugh hearings that led to mischaracterizations and shoddy reporting:

When I report a story, it is about ferreting out the truth… Now that said, I want to note something about the media climate around this. There were dubious claims that I declined to report on and that were out there in the context of that frenzied political flight over that confirmation. That is deeply disturbing to me. I was as troubled as all of the people who came to question the full body of reporting about Brett Kavanaugh. But the complicated case there was that there were allegations worth reporting on. And I did so carefully along with colleagues of mine as well a frenzied political climate where I think there were spurious allegations quite possibly.

It's always refreshing when a member of the media has the courage to call out the corruption running rampant within it.

Transcript below: 

Special Report With Bret Baier

10/16/19

6:36:29 PM

BRET BAIER: When NBC kills your story, are you demoralized? Do you think it's going to see the light of day?

RONAN FARROW: The fundamental fact here is that I took reporting that this network had looked at. You can read the book for yourself and see whether you agree with their judgement that it shouldn't have aired and took it across the street to the New Yorker and in just a matter of weeks, it became a Pulitzer Prize winning, significant body of reporting. And I owe that to the bravery of sources, I owe it to incredible editors there. And I think that it tells an important story about the circles of mutual protection and power in our business and the media and the need to hold ourselves accountable. That's true of CBS, where I did reporting on allegations of misconduct there and secret settlements there. It's true of Fox, your own network, which has done a great job of confronting some of the issues here, including the use of secret settlements, and now there's a tough conversation happening at NBC. Where after I've unveiled that there were- in years where they claimed no secret settlements, in fact many of them, including ones with Matt Lauer's accusers. And the journalist there who are excellent journalists, in many cases, are asking tough questions about why.

(...)

BAIER: A lot of organizations go through this, have to deal with this, you mentioned and trust us, we know here at Fox. We've had to deal with it as well. But do you think the executives at NBC have sort of gotten a pass having to deal with this controversy about how it's being covered in the press?

FARROW: I do not see a pass happening right now. I think the hopeful part of this story and the hopeful part of this book, Catch and Kill is that it is about the continuing unstoppable bravery of women speaking out about this issue at many important institutions. It is about the bravery of reporters who refuse to stop, and many of their stories, not just my own, run through Catch and Kill. So, while yes, this is about crimes and cover ups and circles of power that protect each other, it's also about the fact that I think the truth will keep coming. And right now, we are seeing a really tough conversation about the need for accountability in the media.

(...)

BAIER: You know, there are some media critics who looked at some of the reporting about Brett Kavanaugh accusers and came to the conclusion that it wasn't up to your usual standards and may have been rushed a bit, because you didn't like Kavanaugh or something. That's what the critics have said. I just want you to address some of that from a media perspective.

FARROW: Quite the contrary. You know, the coverage of Brett Kavanaugh is something that I'm very proud of. And that follows a body of reporting that mostly has focused on flattering information about Democrats. When I report a story, it is about ferreting out the truth. In this case, subsequent analysis by other publications including two New York Times reporters' who just dug into this for a year and found Deborah Ramirez credible, one of the alleged victims of Brett Kavanaugh that I wrote about. The consensus has, I think, come to understand that the individual careful pieces of reporting that I put out were there. Because it was newsworthy and there was a high level of corroboration. Now that said, I want to note something about the media climate around this. There were dubious claims that I declined to report on and that were out there in the context of that frenzied political flight over that confirmation. That is deeply disturbing to me. I was as troubled as all of the people who came to question the full body of reporting about Brett Kavanaugh. But the complicated case there was that there were allegations worth reporting on. And I did so carefully along with colleagues of mine as well a frenzied political climate where I think there were spurious allegations quite possibly.

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