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President Trump’s line for at least his entire presidency is to call them “The Enemy of the People.” I’ve found it hyperbolic, bordering on dangerous. As a semi-member of the media and married to an honest-to-God member, it made me nervous. But after reading Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill I’m of the mind that, you know what, maybe Trump has a point. When you cover for a rapist and, in the case of Jeffrey Epstein, a pedophile, you’ve earned being called an enemy of the people.
The new book about Farrow’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent revelations about Matt Lauer and other NBC executives is almost too outrageous to be believed; the coverup didn’t just involve Weinstein’s media friends, but law enforcement, politicians (namely, the Clintons), and even an Israeli spy company with close ties to the intelligence service Mossad. Farrow’s book chronicles how close so many before him came, and the powerful forces that stood before every journalist before Farrow.
Farrow’s page-turner confirms every worst impression the American people have about the press. It is a club for rich and powerful, filled with hypocrites who start hashtag movements and wear black in protests at award shows, all the while every single one is, at the very least, rubbing elbows with abusers and their enablers. What becomes clear is that “everybody knew” a lot, about a lot of people. And nobody did a thing.
The media are supposed to be a check on the power and abuses of the powerful forces in our country, but Farrow’s book proved they’re just another leg of the table, just as powerful and corrupt as the rest. Between this book and the ABC leak from Project Veritas, which was met with crickets in the rest of the media landscape (no doubt, with skeletons of their own on Epstein and a million others like him), I’m done feeling anything about Trump’s attacks on the media. This week, they’ve proved just how deserved they are. He keeps going back to that well because the media keep filling it with water; and after this week, the well is overflowing.Published in