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Ronan Farrow’s New Book Reveals Power Structure That Protects Predators

Ronan Farrow
Ronan Farrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work exposing Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood's history of sexual assault and predatory behavior, has more to reveal on abusive power structures in his new book To Catch and Kill. (Photo: Fuzheado)

“I think [the Weinstein accusations] are the tip of the iceberg in what we are going to see and what will be revealed in the future.”

Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow’s new book To Catch And Kill details his 2017 investigation into Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, while shedding new light about the power structures that enable sexual predators like Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein to thrive despite open knowledge of their behavior.

Farrow, who worked at NBC until 2017, alleges that the network’s leadership repeatedly tried to kill his investigation into Weinstein. Two months after leaving NBC, Farrow published the Pulitzer Prize-winning Weinstein story with the New Yorker and helped spark the #MeToo Movement. Farrow’s book recounts the tremendous efforts Weinstein made to suppress Farrow, including the use of private Israeli intelligence company Black Cube.

“You start to realize that if you are wealthy enough and connected enough, you can hire secret agents with false identities, and honeypots to go after and try to seduce people, and engage in cyber hacking to try to track someone’s location,” Farrow said. “This is a whole underbelly of what the wealthy and powerful do if they are in a corner.”

As the Guardian’s Emma Brocke writes, Farrow was attacked by Weinstein’s numerous connections among the liberal elite:

“One of Weinstein’s fixers, Jack Palladino, hired to gather potentially harmful information on Farrow, had once worked for the Clintons; Weinstein’s lawyer, David Boies, had deep connections in the liberal media; as did Lisa Bloom, the former champion of women’s rights who represented Weinstein in the early stages of the investigation.”

Ronan Farrow is the son of actress Mia Farrow and director Woody Allen (although both believe Frank Sinatra may be his actual father). Farrow explains how his sister Dylan Farrow’s sexual abuse accusations against Allen informed his view of sexual violence. Farrow alleges that Weinstein called Allen, who was also close with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, for advice on how to deal with Farrow. After refusing, Allen allegedly told Weinstein, “Jeez, I’m so sorry. Good luck.”

Weinstein is currently on bail “awaiting a January trial for predatory sexual assault, criminal sexual act in the first degree, first-degree rape and third-degree rape. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex raised against him by more than 80 women.”

‘To Catch and Kill’ Has More to Reveal About Weinstein

One of Farrow’s biggest revelations in the book is that Weinstein used former NBC anchor Matt Lauer’s history of sexual abuse as blackmail to keep the network from publishing Farrow’s work. Farrow alleges that Lauer, his former colleague at NBC, raped a young production assistant at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim has defended the company against Farrow’s accusations:

“Matt Lauer’s actions were abhorrent, and the anger and sadness he caused continue to this day.  As we’ve said since the moment he was fired, his abuses should never have happened. Ronan Farrow’s book takes that undeniable fact and twists it into a lie — alleging we were a ‘company with a lot of secrets.’ We have no secrets and nothing to hide.”

“This book is an extraordinarily meticulously fact-checked work of investigative journalism. We’re very confident in it,” Farrow said in response to NBC’s denial. “On the NBC side, there are fantastic journalists at that company. The book is a tribute to them. Many of them are sources in this story. And they are anguished over what’s happening right now and some of the lies that are being put out by their own corporate leadership and some of the executive interference in coverage.”

The book reveals the late Anthony Bourdain was among those who stood up against Weinstein, urging the New Yorker’s editor David Remnick to publish the story in a phone call. Bourdain told the editor “everyone” had known about Weinstein’s behavior for too long, saying, “I am not a religious man. But I pray you have the strength to run this story,” according to Farrow.

Journalists have widely praised Farrow’s work, including MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who appeared to criticize his parent network NBC for suppressing Farrow’s story on Monday night.

“Ronan Farrow walked out and within 2 months published an incredible article at the New Yorker that not only won a Pulitzer, but helped trigger a massive social and cultural reckoning that continues to this day,” said Hayes. “It’s the kind of journalism that you want to do as a journalist, that everyone who works in this business should want to facilitate.”

The System That Protects Men Like Weinstein And Epstein

Just as Weinstein was able to leverage his wealth and power to suppress reporting about his sexual predation, the abuses of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein were scarcely covered until journalist Julie K. Brown’s investigation for the Miami Herald was published last November. Epstein allegedly committed suicide in August, leaving many observers confused and skeptical because of the strange circumstances surrounding his death and his status as the most high-profile prisoner in the world with compromising information on scores of rich and powerful figures.

One of those figures is President Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by 26 women and bragged about being able to grab women “by the pussy” because of his fame and power. Farrow’s book alleges that the National Enquirer shredded compromising documents about Trump shortly before the 2016 election.

Another figure with ties to Epstein and Weinstein is Bill Clinton, who rode on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” 26 times. Farrow’s book alleges that Hilary Clinton’s publicist Nick Merrill pressured him to drop the story.

“I knew that Hillary Clinton’s people, were protecting the Monster,” said Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan. “I can’t believe I used to support her. I guess predators are her style.”

Investigations into Epstein’s international ring of enablers continue, with the New York Times most recently reporting that the child sex trafficker had a closer relationship to Bill Gates than previously known. Top Epstein associates Ghislaine Maxwell and Jean Luc-Brunel, who have evaded public attention since his arrest, were most recently traced to Brazil.

Actress Rosanna Arquette, who has alleged that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in the early nineties, told the Guardian on Monday that while the #MeToo movement has made an important impact, what has been revealed so far is just the “tip of the iceberg.”

“I think [the Weinstein accusations] are the tip of the iceberg in what we are going to see and what will be revealed in the future – as we’ve just seen from Jeffrey Epstein and his horrible network that’s connected to so many powerful men worldwide,” said Arquette.

“[Men like Weinstein] are everywhere and ultimately my call has not been so much about punishing these individuals – there are always going to be these individuals,” she said. “The real issue is that society and the system needs to change because currently the systems all work in favor of the powerful.”

Peter Castagno

Peter Castagno is a co-owner Citizen Truth.

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