Thursday, October 24, 2019

Hurray for Justin Trudeau!

Glad for Canada they still have a good, liberal leader. And it's mon premier ministre d'amour!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thoughts on Catch and Kill

Ronan Farrow's new book "Catch and Kill" is great - even better than the article he wrote for The New Yorker From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories - and that won a Pulitzer.

I got the audiobook version which I recommend because Farrow himself reads it, and as a bonus, he does voices every time he quotes someone. Sometimes it's a little annoying - he makes many of the actresses he quotes sound like drag queens. But it does add to the drama and I especially enjoyed his impressions of Harvey Weinstein and Woody Allen. 

I couldn't help noticing that when he quoted Rachel Maddow, when she interviewed him about the New Yorker article, his voice hardly changed at all. I think it's because he admires Maddow (who doesn't? there's a great story about her in The New York Times) and more, identifies with her. His first book is War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence, which sounds just like the kind of book Maddow would write.

The book is much more personal than the New Yorker article and not only includes the stories of Weinstein's harassment and assault of actors and Miramax employees, but the story of getting the story itself, on assignment at MSNBC, and then when he began to get too much dirt on Weinstein, MSNBC's efforts to kill the story. He then took it to the New Yorker, who supported him. As a long time fan of The New Yorker, I enjoyed Farrow's account of the goings-on at their office. Meanwhile Matt Lauer, Farrow's fellow MSNBC employee had been harassing, assaulting and raping coworkers for years.

As if that isn't enough, Farrow discusses in detail the cloak-and-dagger of Black Cube the Israeli private intelligence agency. Black Cube went so far as to send a female operative to befriend Rose McGowan in order to find out what McGowan was saying about Weinstein in the book she was writing. And they were keeping tabs on Farrow himself. Meanwhile there was a mole at Black Cube feeding information to Farrow.

And then there's the fact that Donald Trump is discussed in the book and has used the same "catch and kill" tactics to suppress negative information about himself.

This is a book for our time.