Oct 9, 2019

What we know: Ronan Farrow's new book "Catch and Kill"

Ronan Farrow. Photo: Angel/AFP/Getty Images

In his yet-to-be released book, investigative reporter Ronan Farrow recounts the difficulties he faced while chasing the Harvey Weinstein story, his fallout with NBC News, and the "untold story of one of the secret heroes of the #MeToo movement."

The big picture: "Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators," is scheduled for release on Oct. 15. The book covers "the rampant abuse of power and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook our culture," according to its listing on Amazon.

Context: Farrow began his investigation into movie mogul Weinstein in 2017 when he worked as a reporter for NBC News. The book describes how NBC reportedly tried to kill Farrow's Weinstein report because of claims against its own leadership and on-screen talent, per the New York Times.

The allegations: The book alleges that former co-host of NBC's "Today" show Matt Lauer raped his NBC News colleague Brooke Nevils at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

  • It also suggests that after Nevils filed a complaint against Lauer, Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News, and Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, previously said the incident was neither criminal nor an assault.
  • "Catch and Kill" also dives into Lack's history of workplace affairs as executive producer of CBS newsmagazine West 57th.
  • Farrow asserts that Weinstein was aware of Lauer's behavior and used it as leverage against NBC executives to kill the reporter's expose, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The network denies this claim.
"Weinstein made it known to the network that he was aware of Lauer's behavior and capable of revealing it."
— Ronan Farrow, "Catch and Kill"
  • Weinstein also attempted to use his longtime relationship with Hillary Clinton to pressure Farrow, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Farrow writes that he received a call from Clinton's publicist, who told Weinstein the story was a "concern for us."
  • Farrow writes that Lisa Bloom, his attorney at the time, was actually trying to funnel information about his story to Weinstein, per Hollywood Reporter.
  • In a 3-part series of excerpts from "Catch and Kill," Farrow writes that an inside source —  "a whistle-blower who feels ethically compelled to expose an operation from within" — revealed Weinstein's efforts to suppress allegations of assault and harassment.

Of note: Dylan Howard, an executive at the tabloid publisher American Media Inc., sued Farrow and his publisher in an attempt to prevent "Catch and Kill" from being published, according to Rolling Stone.

  • Farrow reported in 2017 that Howard sent a reporter to discredit actress Rose McGowan's sexual assault allegations against Weinstein.

Go deeper: Matt Lauer responds to Ronan Farrow's allegations

Editor's note: NBC is an investor in Axios and Andy Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, is a member of the Axios board of directors.

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,428,605 — Total deaths: 345,375 — Total recoveries — 2,179,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.