Catch and Kill

Catch and Kill

Lies, Spies, and A Conspiracy to Protect Predators

Book - 2019
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In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family. All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance they could not explain -- until now. And a trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood to Washington and beyond. This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it's the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2019
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780316486637
Characteristics: xvi, 448 pages ; 25 cm

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LPL_LeahN Feb 11, 2020

This is what investigative reporting is all about. Ronan Farrow has definitely renewed my faith in an industry that has long been a powerful weapon of democracy and truth when wielded responsibly and without fear. He writes candidly and smartly, but in a way that doesn't talk over the head of the reader. He deserves every accolade he has received for this book, and more.

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Russ_A
Feb 08, 2020

I had a hard time rating this five stars because it’s not a fun read – or in my case, fun to listen to, since I heard the audiobook read by the author. The subject matter is awful stuff. But the story is so important it must be read and heeded. The book in excruciating detail lays out the cases of woman after woman being raped and sexually molested by serial rapists in powerful positions. The guilty men are on the political right and left – Harvey Weinstein (big Hillary contributor) and Matt Lauer (“liberal press”), AMI (the National Enquirer) and Donald Trump on the right. Perhaps more frightening is that people around them knew full well what was going on and were in a position to stop it, but turned a blind eye to protect their careers or company profits. If it were only one or two cases I might be somewhat skeptical, but the book recounts interview after interview, totaling over a hundred, and even includes the recording of Weinstein’s voice admitting to his repeated molestation of women made by one of his victims. The companies engaged in the massive witness intimidation and cover up effort include NBC, AMI, the David Boies law firm, and, of course The Weinstein Company and Miramax. Les Moonves of CBS also took a hit, although that wasn’t something Farrow uncovered, but it shows the problem is industry-wide and probably exists almost everywhere. The women who resisted the predators or reported the assaults were blackballed from the industry and usually slut-shamed with all sorts of false rumors and accusations. Don’t view this merely as sleazy tabloid stuff. This is a book about organized crime by powerful people. You may be sitting on a jury someday. You need to know that this stuff really does happen and how awful it is.

The author reads very well. There is no doubt he is a bit of a prima donna, but he not only reads with excellent dramatic technique, he also does foreign accents very well, giving life to some colorful characters like the Israeli security guys who tailed him. The book would be a better book without his repeated interjection of his love life with his boyfriend. That really did make it seem like tabloid fare and detracted from the serious journalism in it.

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Intrepid12
Feb 01, 2020

This will make a great movie, as long as Harvey Weinstein is not involved in its production — in any capacity.

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Bookworm1136
Jan 24, 2020

4 stars. This is a book that exposes the sexual predators and bullies of Corporate America and the weak corporations and people who enabled them to ruin many women's lives and careers. Ronan was working for NBC News and started investigating allegations of serial sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein over decades. Initially, his bosses at NBC were keen on the project and as Ronan gives them progress reports, there appear to be leaks going back to Winstein who starts making calls and putting the pressure on. Armed with his power, lots of money, lawyers and companies like Israeli Black Cube, Weinstein is determined to crush the story. As his bosses try to shut down the tv project, Ronan decided to take the story to The New Yorker. This is a powerful book and although it's not an easy read at times, it is heartening to know that honest journalists exist in the USA and some stories that need to be told cannot be stopped. A very good read.

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lukasevansherman
Jan 23, 2020

"You couldn't save someone who love, and now you think you can save everyone."-Harvey Weinstein to Ronan Farrow
Along with Kantor and Twohey' "She Said," this will probably stand as one of the most authoritative and compelling books to come out of the MeToo movement. Farrow, who is, famously, the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, whom he is estranged from, tells multiples stories in this book. It starts out as his investigation of Harvey Weinstein for NBC, his then employer. The powerful and influential co-founder and head of MIramax Films had long been dogged by rumors and accusations of abuse, harassment, and generally terrible behavior, but no one had been able to prove anything. Farrow was determined to speak to victims, many of them well-known actresses, but the farther he got, the warier his bosses at NBC became and the story was shut down (or "paused" to use on exec's words). He took it to "The New Yorker," which then published it. It's also the story of the private intelligence companies employed to follow and spy on journalists, the culture that protects bad men (Allen, Matt Lauer, Roger Ailes), and Farrow's own journey as a writer and investigative reporter. Absolute essential reading.
"If NBC, which has the evidence, doesn't go forward with the story, it's a scandal."-journalist Ken Auletta

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reader925
Jan 19, 2020

An amazing and harrowing book! Congratulations to Ronan Farrow for not giving up! I, too, had a hard time watching NBC News after reading this book.

DCPL_Wesley Jan 18, 2020

An amazing & engaging work of investigative journalism.

s
SidheWrites
Jan 06, 2020

This isn't just a book about Weinstein. It's a book about the systematic coverup of predatory behavior perpetrated by men in power. It is about how this behavior is the best-known, worst-kept secret not only in Hollywood, but in many high-powered, affluent industries. The fact that there are women willing to help these predators cover up their crimes and continue to perpetrate harassment, assault, and rape against other women makes me sick. It is frightening to realize that some of the people who were supposed to help expose Weinstein's crimes were not only helping him, but were also guilty of predatory behavior. That men like Weinstein will stop at nothing to not only cover up their past behavior but find ways to continue to cause harm to women - using threats, intimidation, bullying, lying, and payoffs to keep them quiet.

The only reason I couldn't read this in one sitting is because I had to keep taking breaks as it was so difficult for me to process what I was reading. I was going to add "unbelievable" but sadly, I do believe every word.

JCLMeghanF Dec 28, 2019

Farrow's account of his reporting on Harvey Weinstein's predatory abuse and the subsequent cover up at NBC is easily one of my favorite books of 2019. It reads like a thriller and reminds us of the importance of investigative journalism.

caleherreman Dec 27, 2019

This is Ronan Farrow's story behind the story of exposing high-placed sexual predators, specifically Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. This is a first-person narrative, giving the reader a front-row seat to witness the resistance he ran into from NBC executives, the nagging feeling he was being followed, which he later learns was justified, and the gut-wrenching conversations with victims, asking them to go on the record, knowing that would be, for them, publicly opening wounds. Well-placed people citing friendship with Weinstein, and moving to cover for him, is disappointing but not surprising; the international espionage outfit working for him to intimidate victims and journalists was quite another. Add to that the National Enquirer's apparatus for paying for salacious stories, then burying them to protect 'friends' like Donald Trump, and it starts to look like the entire media system is rigged against victims, against truth ever coming out and justice being done. Farrow shows his part in bending that system, and, you must hope, breaking it, without making himself look heroic. He's just trying to do right, and keep his job. This is a compelling read, and I highly recommend it. However, you will very likely find some well-known person in here whose actions disappoint you.

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