In an interview, investigative journalist Ronan Farrow says that the resistance he faced from his former bosses at NBC about his investigations into the sexual abuse allegations against powerful media mogul Harvey Weinstein and their own star Matt Lauer are examples of how ‘power protects power’, even though some of the people proclaim themselves to be liberals and even progressives.
Journalist Ronan Farrow said the lack of support from powerful progressives such as Hillary Clinton during his reporting on sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein felt like a “gut punch.”
“It is an example of how power protects power,” Farrow said in an appearance on BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM on Tuesday to discuss his new book Catch and Killi, in which he says NBC News tried to quash his reporting on Weinstein. Farrow’s story went on to win a Pulitzer Prize after it was published in the New Yorker, and helped launch the #MeToo movement and a public reckoning about sexual misconduct by powerful men.
Farrow recalled that he was due to interview former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for his last book, War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence (published in 2018), when word got around political circles that he was working on a story about Harvey Weinstein.
“There was an apparent effort to cancel that interview after they raised concerns about the reporting on Weinstein,” Farrow said.
Weinstein was a powerful ally of Clinton’s and had helped bundle and raise millions of Hollywood dollars for her.
“It was a personal moment of gut punch to me,” Farrow said. “People that I thought would support that kind of reporting were actually very leery of it.”
Clinton has denied his version of events and the fact that Farrow describes her as a ‘powerful progressive’ when she is nothing of the kind but is a solidly corporate-friendly war lover does not speak well for his powers of political labeling. But it is undoubtedly true that, as he says, there is a ruling class in the US that instinctively seeks to protect its own and that solidarity is much stronger than their political differences.
It is not just Farrow leveling allegations that top NBC executives suppressed stories about sexual abuse by powerful people. Sil Lai Abrams says that the network kept dragging their feet on her own story detailing similar rape allegations before finally killing it and it never made it to air. Like Farrow with the New Yorker where he got a Pulitzer prize for it, she finally got it published elsewhere in The Hollywood reporter.
Class solidarity is a powerful thing that for some overrules almost every other consideration.