Investigative journalist and author Ronan Farrow appeared on The Daily Show Tuesday night to discuss his new book Catch and Kill, a behind-the-scenes look at the investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct.
Farrow — along with New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey — helped break the story on the Weinstein allegations and his efforts to avoid prosecution. Their pieces on the Hollywood producer ran The New Yorker in 2017.
Farrow has also written about a wide range of topics, including, as host Trevor Noah pointed out, the Trump administration’s approach to diplomacy in Iran. “[My last] book, War on Peace, was about the collapse of diplomacy,” Farrow said. “Our State Department is not what it once was…We’re seeing the consequences of that.”
Noah then turned the discussion toward Farrow’s other investigations of powerful men engaging in sexual misconduct, alluding to his reports on Eric Schneiderman, Leslie Moonves, Brett Kavanaugh and Jeffrey Epstein.
Catch and Kill focuses primarily on the Weinstein investigation — including the harrowing international espionage efforts that Weinstein had set up to track Farrow and his accusers. When asked about Weinstein’s trial in New York, which began this week, Farrow expressed his hope for a fair process that would be not be manipulated by those in power.
“A large part of the reporting in this book is about how Harvey Weinstein narrowly evaded previous attempts to charge him because he was able to hire armies of private investigators to dig up dirt on his accusers and smear them — and influence the DA’s office.” Farrow said. “This very DA, who is 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 campaigns.”
He also emphasized that the story about Weinstein could not have been told if not for the victims who chose to risk their careers and livelihood by publicly coming forward.
“The small sliver of accountability that we have now is because the women were so brave,” Farrow said. Later, two of Weinstein’s accusers, Ambra Gutierrez and Rosanna Arquette, were shown in the audience and received applause.