The New York Times Takes On Ronan Farrow, Notes History Of Inaccurate And Uncorroborated Reporting

The New York Times’ media columnist Ben Smith has finally written what many have come to realize: That star investigative reporter Ronan Farrow may not deserve the status he has achieved.
Farrow’s reporting is widely cited and produces numerous spin-offs and cable news segments when it is published, but looking back on his articles usually finds gaping holes in his reporting that ultimately untangle his entire narrative. Smith spends much of his Times column focused on the story that put Farrow on the map as an investigative reporter – an allegation against Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, of course, was convicted of various sexual offenses in February and is a proven monster, but Farrow’s article ended up falling apart and getting thrown out of court, in a way.
Farrow’s “blockbuster” report on Weinstein retold the allegations of Lucia Evans, a college student who said Weinstein approached her at a club and said he would make her an actress if she performed oral sex on him. Based on everything we know about Weinstein, this seemed plausible, however, Farrow did not corroborate Evans’ account, and a key witness to the event gave conflicting stories. This witness told prosecutors that she never confirmed the account of rape to a New Yorker fact checker. The witness told the fact checker that “something inappropriate happened” between Weinstein and Evans but didn’t elaborate. Later, this witness told a New York Police Department detective that Evans said the sexual encounter with Weinstein was consensual. The charge against Weinstein relating to Evans’ claims was eventually dismissed.
Smith also discusses Farrow’s story suggesting nefarious motives surrounding the alleged disappearance of records relating to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. Farrow dismissed the idea that the records had been put on restricted access – a common practice – and barely mentioned the fact that the information came from a civil servant and disgraced celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti.
In reality, the records were put on restricted access, but an IRS analyst, John Fry, leaked Cohen’s financial records to try and take out Trump. He eventually pleaded guilty to leaking confidential records.
One major article missing from Smith’s column, however, is Farrow and Jane Mayer’s “reporting” on Deborah Ramirez’s dubious allegations of sexual assault against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The article was published even though Farrow acknowledged the numerous issues with Ramirez’s account, including the fact that she didn’t really think it was Kavanaugh who exposed his penis to her until after talking to friends and Democrat attorneys once Christine Blasey Ford came forward with her equally dubious allegations.
Farrow in his book “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators” suggested NBC News conspired with Weinstein to keep his explosive story about Evans’ allegations quiet, yet as Smith noted, there is no evidence of such a conspiracy. Smith provides comments and suggestions from multiple current and former NBC reporters who said it was far more likely that “Mr. Farrow was a talented young reporter with big ambitions but little experience, who didn’t realize how high the standards of proof were, particularly at slow-moving, super-cautious news networks. A normal clash between a young reporter and experienced editors turned toxic.”
The New York Times Takes On Ronan Farrow, Notes History Of Inaccurate And Uncorroborated Reporting The New York Times Takes On Ronan Farrow, Notes History Of Inaccurate And Uncorroborated Reporting Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on May 19, 2020 Rating: 5

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