« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1098 - Ronan Farrow

2020-02-17 | 🔗

Ronan Farrow needed to come to terms with a lot of things. He processed the pain and trauma that existed in his family during his upbringing. He came to an understanding with his own ambition and drive. And he realized that the deck is stacked against victims and survivors of abuse the world over. These things all contributed to his current work as an investigative journalist, his Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting, and his bestselling book about it all, Catch and Kill. Ronan also talks with Marc about going to college at age 11, serving in the Obama administration, working in Afghanistan, and being a Rhodes Scholar. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Scotts Turf Builder Thick'R Lawn.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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all right let's do this how are you what the voters what the fuck bodies what the fuck nics what the fuck's there's what's happening i marked mare and this is my podcast w tia housing knowing how how's your monday turning out did you have today off what's happening to you work at a bank or a government do you work in a library are you having a nice three day weekend from your bank job where the p o the work for the p o anyway i hope you're all well i'm back deemed el ray and myself were dead in florida flew out thursday night orlando got orlando ike eleven weapon thirty at night our hotel was act we i believe within the theme park i think our hotel was part of the universal theme park i'm not sure but i am pretty sure
it was owned by universal i try i tried to choose the most grown up looking up hotels there was no there was no into the hotel no pirate theme no no funding game no animals it was the grown up one kinda but right within the park have no sense of orlando i don't know if it's a real city i think it's just some sort of corporate mirage that people go to have fun on i don't i don't know what it is and obviously with the aisle fade out of the gate here the audience words were tremendous great audiences i think i know why are going to that but despite that my appeal the far too have not changed at all she went down weird shit went down nothing v i went there hostile or even painful but florida is florida and if you if you know what i'm talking about
you know what i'm talking about i now my special and times while large globally on networks tuesday march tenth mark marin an times fun global on tuesday march tenth right that's happening these are the last for dates of this before the special i'm doing like an hour forty hour forty five generally specials like seventy three minutes so there's the now to whatever i'm doing right now extended mix but these are the final dates coming up this week this thursday import one main at the stake theatre february twentieth providence rhode island on friday february twenty first at thea columbus theater i believe that's a pretty close to sold out new haven connecticut at college street music
call saturday february twenty second and hunting to new york at the paramount sunday february twenty thirty and go to deputy pod dotcom thrash too for i to all the venues so this is it and i think after this tour i'm gonna change maya my entire disposition as i had into every aspect of my life what it's even fuckin mean some data just wait things keep going out of my mouth that debt no bearing on anything bad food we have bad food afford we're in the theme park i believe our hotel was right i believe a family several families came through my room to look at the sweeping comedian and waited for me to be funny not it is not a great right it's not it's not even a haunted house really i don't know
it's gonna vaguer dad it's the sad reality hotel yeah that's right sad reality house so look ronan pharaoh is on the podcast today we talked about how we grew up who rub with his family the journalism he's done his education some other stuff you know i tried to get at who he is and did not part the sinatra question because we want the answer that you gave us were that's all i'm saying it's out there the answer is like he's not answering it
but we do not for a long time about a lot of different stuff and i was worried sort of trying to sort of get a sense of who this guy is i think that over the the swaths of the of the conversation you do get a sense of that but their own and pharaoh is on the show he'll be here soon he's got this book out his best selling book obviously catching kill it's available where we get books he also did the catch and kill podcast which just did its final episode last we can listen to the entire series wherever you listen to your pod casts size you know i was nervous about our land i'm not gonna shit entirely in orlando but have no sense of what orlando is cause we were there very quickly we have we took we drove over onto the theme park down to the city walk behind the scenes where the people working with their life them to the hard rock lie venue beautiful venue actually added the twelve hundred sold good
been over nine hundred there beautifully filled up and a great crowd just a lovely crowd on all levels and i was so excited i realise that look man i don't go down there i've never been there i have people down there i all of them came that's all i'm saying and i was happy they were there we had a level show up until a woman just started singing loudly some sort of song that is sung soccer games i dont know what it was some sort of chant it's a instrumental thing it just happened out of nowhere i don't know what provoked it it went for while i tried i drew attention to it obviously was distracting she was singing oddly tat every one noticed and i try to shut her up and i was empathetic with the fact that she probably he was drunk and needed help shutting up
but dad never got hostile and i don't know what happened or how it was done with her what what snapped in her head but it it it stopped and but it was an interesting moment i don't invite those moments but if they happen always kind of exciting man that's right amazon comedy that's the big room babysitting job you always want big room babysitting but occasionally have to and ultimately all in all great show in orlando great people would go back to that then you and also to that town maybe spend an extra day there to get beyond the confines of that park and maybe get into the confines of the other part the disney area maybe i don't i have fun maybe i should did you get involved with water park so little more often there is a huge water park there's rowing posters maybe i'm too old for it vinos back is bad my neck is dad we're not of having a roller coaster
days are over but rwanda was good good people there thank you for coming did not change my opinion afford actually gave me more resolve around it think to be honest with you i bet somebody had some new year's resolutions to get that project a year's off the ground in cheese that this is the year this is it but now it's already february you just can't seem to get off the ground in my right you know that means it's time for squares base stop procrastinating square space can help you turn your dream into a reality you can easily make a beautiful website for whatever it is you are looking to do start a small business showcase your artwork sell your pottery launch a pod cast square space makes it easy with beautiful templates created by world class designers and the ability to customize
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you never know what you're gonna get when you meet someone's mom but it now made sense and they get along great me haven't seen her in a long time and she had never seen him do comedy and that can be a tough night you now can you get really on age not really early somebody if it's the first time she seen there is a possibility of chokichi could show confirming the parents some people choke for years doing comedy in front of the family but d nailed it near it was a good good venue tat for that to happen excellent good times a hamburger cheeseburger hard rock f a cheeseburger some salmon enshrining rings ok so moving on next day we get up gotta get out we had something like an hour now to tamper but there is no fuckin way there's no reason no reason to hang around orlando got jacket that duncan doughnuts coffee
and headed to two tampa and we got the tamper in the early afternoon and we're like watches take a walk round tampa what downtown tampa its look again i don't want to judge but it looks like it to it it half way happened they looked like there was an attempt at some point in time to come it could have to do something with downtown and it might happen for a month or two or maybe a year but his death the the air on the other side of that so we drive in and this what hundreds of people wandering around the streets in costumes looking at their phones in small groups we can convert and figure out what it was i got enough it was a sporting event that had like does in teams involved or what but they were dressed in period costume some of the men mooring suspenders smoking pipes look like authorities the forty two i don't know what it even then we ask somebody it was some sort of global app driven plume game working what wander around trying to
all the murder mystery on their app with hundreds of other board game nerds i guess so that was sort of a weird entry into tampa and we got to the hotel and the strap centre was pretty fuckin nice great crowd deemed it good i got out their schooling well but there's problem up front some more weirdness there's a couple sitting right of france stage right on the isle their bickering and i can hear it but it's difficult on wednesday they're right there i can hear the people even ten rose back can here at nine hundred people can hear it that's fucking drive me nuts i can involve what's up and there they won't talk and they were cranky they vote they look like you're fighting and now the under mad at each other so i do some more
of my set and i was in the audience gets weird own what's going on then i look down i realise the man in that couple is standing against the lip of this stage looking at her like they're having a thing he's up visible to the rest of the goddamn crowd and unlike what what is happening are you fucked up what's going on and there it clearly is a problem and no one's dealing with it security is not anywhere to be found which is fine i tell them look if a vicious heckling and its good spirited i can deal with a vague should no one to step in but this guy standing up and it might what's going on and then she's like well do you know he's drunk and unlike our i well i gotta show to do here and there
nine hundred and forty nine forty eight people who one jewish want me to do show now i got to do with your marital problems and she's like why just you know it's just mad and unlike okay and he's like i'm not drunk come straight man and he was fucked up that guy and she goes i bought in these tickets for valentine's day like this gettin deep and look you gotta go you gotta go talk you gotta go resolve whatever the issue is outside in their both you're sitting there he standing there there being stubborn and am pleased you just go you take a walk and talk to each other and she's like all right come on in literally pushes her man out of the room up the aisle out of the room and i was so relieved they
it was a successful mediation she stepped in she took care of it would have been awful if the guy was belligerent had we walked out by security or they both did and we went on with the shop but that was that was tampa that was tampa had a couple of wooers which i don't love some you know but the m but as very happy i want to express my gratitude for that woman managing her fucking drunk s husband it did set the show into a weird zone but i think it pulled out ok right after that happens there to empty seats right on the eye on the front row the guy who is sitting next to them goes committee can my daughter move down from the balcony and that's when the people from the venue step in to tell him to shut up unlike look he's just asking a question you missed the opportunity to do some crowd manage me here i had to do another evening of big room baby sitting ok yeah man oh sure way with this
his daughter come down sit next year old man and turns i get any how beautiful email from that guy the next day this morning saying out what i did was amazing because he's gotta tickets early on four he and his wife i think is how it went and his utter who is leaving for college or some are leaving the house for good she's the last of four kids to be leaving the next day you know they all went out to my show but she can sit with him and i brought her down there and it was a real man when it was the last night the family was together before she moved out and they were empty nesters and is a very touching email you very grateful and he said i i really made a difference in their life somehow that this memory was created and i got a new fan with the daughter which i guess i guess that's good i you know i hope i never know man people bring their kids might be sure she was eighteen million of youngster by gary i'd tell you there is something going on with this
we get to a heavy it gets a little dark it gets well dirty and i just i don't always know like can i see i have grown up fancied i do i don't attract any meat heads not too many yahoos that guy got drunk but i don't know what happened there and there were a couple whew there's an one the singer of a soccer chance but but generally speaking grownups i saw some at the hotel people who flew in for the evening to stay over to watch my show and they are exciting unlike our mandate and might it might you filthy and my two flawed am i you broke into my too weird my two not entertaining for these folks didn't made this trip i'm always started thinking about that like i hope that it worked out for the people they travelled and i hope that it did i hope that it did so that was that was flawed again i'm still wary of florida but i know i have people down there and i know they wanted me to come and they were happy i came and i'm happy i went
and have happy i was able to give you guys show you people you for radiance who enjoy me i and i thank you all came out everyone down in the orlando tampa area likes area who likes me showed up and thank you for doing that but you know it's really annoying with you transition off wants if you aren't using scots turf builder thicker on your long let's face it your line can get pretty bad i ve been away and it can be pretty rough on laws out here and then people over water their wants to make up for the fact that their grass works lousy so you get ugly lines and he also get people wasting water and it could all be fixed if you just use scots turf builder thicker lawn scots turf builder thick
who on has everything you need to turn your one into the thick green paradise that you deserve with its three in one solution you can get up to fifty percent thicker lawn with just one application with scots turf builder thicker long you can finally get the thickest greenest lawn you ve always dreamt up also with scots no quibble money back guarantee if you're not satisfied you get your money back get thicker quicker and grab a bag today make your yard as gots yard jamming dig it so ronan pharaoh i was never i ran into him vanity fair party and i told me he come on and somehow that happened immediately but you i didn't know i don't know anything about that guy nor the work is done in the investigative journalism he's done is made a very huge impact on our culture and there you know he is the son of somebody thy grub loving in had to
turn my brain around on that because of his behaviour as did roman and i didn't know how personally would get but i think we got a little personal and ease very bright oh really smart guy and a great dead journalist you can hear me talking to a two ronan fair about his book catching kill which is available if you give books and also the catch and kill podcast which jester did its final episode last week and you can get that where you get the pod gaston and about some personal stuff about some thoughts and opinions on things and what not but tat me and he's almost like from another planet intelligent this guy this me talking around him fair italy anyone who worked with me notice that i'm incredibly annoying work within this remunerative chromatic everything i get into that on the all your book i was like literally in the protocol session like
fighting the failure on the different music cues that i had picked and or do you have music using your audio but yeah yeah the audio look also i just theoretical i read it all so much of the audience i think especially younger listeners experiencing books that when i listen to a lot of books now anybody who i don't it takes something away with that i don't know where it one finds the time i just don't it's not a matter of taking it away so you're not reading the physical books either i'm trying to read the physical book said usually what i'd do if i'm on an airplane or something i finished a couple bucks lately i guess doing audio books would be nice but i tend to like to think i tell you i don't know i don't know why i listen to music when i go on exercise things and i dont i just don't know where people find all the time
king you're busy living with my own thoughts seems terrifying so i listened to tons of music and i am being facetious no i know annoy within a tons of music to my own thoughts can be awful and terrifying but do you know i don't know i don't know what i'm doing with my time i feel like i'm busy too busy to take in a lot of shit i got a really make time to watch things too some things don't you yeah it's it's impossible and i feel like often i'm drowning with my current schedule you know if i'm juggling if you stories podcast and the law going on and i very often i'm just like now at the end of the day but you know one thing that i can be reliably depended on four is procrastination right i wrote to books and back to back years there was the farm policy one about the collapse of the state department inane reviewed all the living secretaries state that was two thousand seventeen eighteen eighty
so that the current collapse of the state of our right but involved lahti years of research my phd research fed into the harrowing processing i will add sold at a certain point but you're working on a state department book before trump ah yes and then it became a state power book about the trumpet because you got it he got a dead end and it actually fit with a recurrent that is not really about political party it also occurred under clinton for rights he he sent warren christopher up to the hill then set very state to demand these radical budget cuts and we almost exactly like rats tellers india then trumps bidding on the hill saying you know we want to slice entice the state by us he's kind of an active political experience or cowardice that knows no party and that we see happen over and over again and and there's a tale of decades of damage that ensues when we serve strip minor various embassy
we don't have people in the room to say hey maybe go she had our way out of this problem right of rice the military action but i did i did that book and was like great no more books for a long time but then i before it was even done i had already gotten into the catching kill this this current book so i was just like insensate with books in my life and book pressures in reading and writing and writing in writing as the most tortured thing the worse man had the worst and it really like you destroyed my life for years and years but i i'll tell you do it you push through you do it you pushed easier to write when you're writing this kind of like investigative nonfiction yes sort of review these putting these things together then would be to write say a memoir well both of these books actually have qualities of both here but but i dont i'll get to that and things that's interesting but the point i was gonna make is my procrastinating which made these books extra
agonizing because i was constantly a year or you where's over deadline and in a blind panic writing didn't one collateral benefit which is i like you who like everyone had i had a lot of space to be a reader which was one of my first loves and in the name of having convinced myself that i'd be a better writer if i were reading the interesting authors voices on your home i just decided especially for this last book i'm gonna just read as shitload of books here and it was while i was doing the structure of this last moderation nonfiction didn't matter on a mixed but almost all fiction for rehashing kill because matching also in aggressively an investigative nonfiction work that i wanted to cut against that statistically here so while i was developing the outline of it you know there's out nonfiction repertory part of it gets at your question radio to make it easier harder which was
a long process of compiling a bible of here's what happened today in the real source of work is really about the obstacles you faced in pursuing your investigative reports of all the men that you use sportive investigated yeah it's it's a series of one clue leading to another one story leading to another from the moisture story to the tramp hush payment stories to move as too shy to remain there i went to move as move isn't schneider men play more of a secondary role allah mostly because the book had to come down from a thousand page epic to something right actually be digestible but i wanted the structure to i mean first priority it had to be bulletproof because there we're going be very very moneyed and powerful interests descending on this thing trying to discredit it as is the case with any of my stories yo i mean i hired that one of the heads of fact checking at the new yorker we scrutinised every single sentence and it's it's really it's hell
up in the face of exactly the kind of challenge out like a lesson ear the right now yeah of four months ago now case are we gonna say about well so part of the process was was figuring out the outline nea which had to be true first but also i wanted to be now have dramatic sizzle sure and mercifully the actual facts after i spent those months laying out a bible love you now a thousand page here's what happened every day backed up by the documents and the terrorism email than it actually did it had like save the cat scream a structure hundreds you know although the good guys became bad guys like right around the end of the second agonized stuff but it still is i wanted to see the clues for the reader in a way that made german sense so i did a lot of reading of light agatha christy back to national additional hammett yeah
like all the hard boiled detective not even up to and including in order the kind of the detective procedural j k rolling did under a pseudonym right just like see in what was out there to crew to to sort of fortify your patient right exactly to get it and that was a big part of it part of coming down from a thousand page initial draft to four one was just making sure it moved like greece lightning aroused great but but good thinking i hope i hope it will mean the review seem to reflect that it worked and and people from getting something out of it but then stylistic leave as i was actually writing for voice i was reading a lot of the postmodernism i was reading you know which guys like david foster waller s pyncheon friends in he then cynthia owes a car philip around four for your life what
i mean i'm a little partners complaint i wanted i wanted to i wanted to be a little zany will funny said hence like that but the pinch in her eye the roth right so yeah i bounced around alive i must read do you think your neighbour what are you all i wrote this book but were you with i can understand structurally best getting yeah mystery writing or or that kind of build true crime writing but dad but here ferris writing do not have faith in europe your ability whilst not it's more than just you know i'm comedic timing it's like the texture of interesting voices bouncing around your brain and or by the way that this is all a ramp up to the point the story which is i basically devise an excuse to procrastinate more and i and found myself reading more than i ever have as like just a consumer lay person as i finally have a professional excuse dry leader which you know
publisher will hate hearing them because they were like whereas the draft where is hadn't you refill brought right i was reading reports so like like look in your life it's weird because i asked you to try and get a handle on it it's a lot what's going on in their right you know by things i'm familiar with things that year resonate year or have had an impact on me personally in different ways that you he was your do immediate life but they ate it does feel that most of it was sort of haunted by that's but going how often you taught you mommy guys recourse yeah we are pretty close any like i think almost all mine her narration of this would be that i never collins not enough but i always wonder about with that with my mom how often we rose to call however often do you call your mom will now my mom's i get an old and like i'd try to call try talked once a week just even officious say hi i think that's right i think
to be all calling our minds more well overdue doctor we probably talk around once a week maybe twice a week but you know i will say still in a moment of crisis or stress lay asked one of my first call really yeah and nephew has there been a mere never collar mobility o because she shall distress you have more light or know as you will know what to do but you find comforted do you know my mom is somebody's really ethical and thoughtful where she is smart i m fascinated by her life story tat she she's a hell of an interview subject she i you know like you i mean like real show business stuff you i grew up in this kind of golden age of holly worthier my mom was jane in the tarzan the movie ever dad was used regular oscar winning director writer aisy road around the world an eighty days died pretty young right died of alcoholism i mean i guess a heart attack technically herded family always says he died of the drink right as we say in our
family how many of them arctic how many thou much that transfer how much of that generationally moved into your mama s addiction you means exactly my mom has avoided it i think many of her siblings have struggled my mom it seems to me have that at all and i actually i think i don't have it at all you are someone who has a lot of loved ones and friends who struggle with addiction sober friends yeah i know what to look for and i know my my relationship with a habit forming substances and it's just its now first something that has had that can hold on both but it does like you you are able to feel like i have found that it but if you mrs agenda nation but if you're the charter that our colleagues that either you're going to be that or you're going to be very vigilant control freaky diapers interesting yeah i mean i i guess i am of a vigilant controls ricky tan appraiser maybe that's how translates i dont know that she is i think
my mom what i see in her childhood it's really interesting sheet she still has like all of these old journals and no books she was seventy eight nine years all awhile and in them are these incredibly intricate sketches of like christ on the cross crown of thorns and extra just more catholic than you could possibly believe it hurt in perfect calligraphy testimony also going to lords and like bathing in early water out of all of these are just signs of being incredibly devout where there was never a part of my life and and on top of that i think she is like raised for a long time by nuns yoke went off boarding school in england maria has all these we are getting wrapped across the knuckles with rulers in the air click clearly then was also in a hippie in the sixties and and was not as devout but i do see in her this
foundation of the kind of hair shirt the only thing that matters is the greater good catholic philosophy obviously there's a lot of great and a lot of very not great catholic philosophies than we have seen in the new cycle in last year's but i think she took something odd uncomplicated not on problematic but fundamentally pretty good from it i mean a real spirit of public service we waited i i don't know that i always rise to any she is she's very selfless boat but inspired you i mean have you were right i that's it that's again and astute waited frame it i think i don't quite rise to it but like i'm not gonna adopted and special needs kids but i do aspire to it and and i am in sight by what ye i mean services a fairly broad i mean
yeah you don't have to adopt ten special needs but the idea of service and the importance of selfless service is now either you got it you down right i do i believe that it is appropriate to have a little voice in your head all time saying like hey are you making the decision that is not just right for you but also has some benefit for the bigger world and i dont always make the right choice in that respect but i do have the little voice so like your grown up and the number of children that year related to and and half related to his alot yeah so when you're born every guy a couple of half brothers half brother and half sister that are what they're they're like eighteen o i have do you know all of them yet so let's get question but you know the very question because the answer is only to a varying extent right when you have an age span of my oldest siblings are around fifty
now my youngest sister is in irma twenties but life so so ok so your mom was married to sinatra for a while but hundred previn yes was like us alleys conduct dry but that was they added a few kids yeah right dad if you kids they adopted together as well do i had both half siblings and a bunch of adopted siblings by the time it was and then there were further adoptions after me if it's insane and then deaths as well yeah yeah real hard greek tragedy anime childhood it's interesting maybe it's obvious a different kind of life story in your case but maybe you also deal with just having a public profile and feeling affair pressure to really frame your narrative in terms of the privilege that comes with that and i try to be since the fact that i've had a lot of the doors there's lots of wonderful opportunities that were built into my my life and even my childhood but it is also true that much
so it was about a lot of pain and trauma and literal death and destruction and you know crimes sexual assault and there was duff swirling around me that was real yet that's what like that's why the haunted because our young reading it you look like you like woody allen was your dad young the girl terms and in legal terms and he no doubt becomes very complicated conversation precisely because he in his defenses of himself for over the molestation only actions very often turns to kind of these troops about you know what i did within that family including sweden where the marrying my older sister ria matters less because there were adopted siblings involved in a right that he be evoke
i was rationalization right there's rationalization based on the lack of biological rise which is just so inappropriate running correct and not the way the law works norway basic ethics work in my mind vegas my question is do you remember a time where he was your father before the haunting begins before the yeah yeah you know i never had a bad relationship with him early on we're talking about the first six ten years in my view it then became fraud because i was like upon in a court case right tomorrow is so what happens is that the timeline as your five six up and with revealed is your sisters molestation and end your father's affair with sunni right the saint time well it's that act
they becomes pivotal to its really interesting alot of my work now as an adult has touched on these themes of how do powerful either wealthier famous or influential people manipulate the new cycle and people's interests this is interesting because it's almost like it's almost like superhero origins hurry you know your six years old you your sister reveals this to the public anti you with that wound time as you get older and process it you know you realise that for you and for from all indications it's true right and then and then sort of like how what what that represents is because your father was in awaited by this new all these people that spent their lives protecting him they and in it was impenetrable other than your journalism and what your sister said what you believe he still hasn't paid any price for yet so that that injury of of
betrayal and and just outright trauma right near says you on this course an end gets its an irresistible narrative ex post facto i've thought about what i've certainly thought about it after the fact i don't make sperience of it in the midst of reporting these top investigative stories some of which are about other forms of corruption and you have robbed you know but all of which have a streak of wanting to like you know said injustices right my experience inside those story his is is not to be conscious of that environmental outgrow blinders on you're working incredibly hard out a specific fact pattern that's not related to ride out and all there is a real quality within me that cuts in the other direction meeting i am just cynically searching for the biggest truest best story anyhow
you know that hopefully not cynically also the one that does the greatest good but but also just on a career level as a journalist like i want the big scoop right so that often is the overriding feeling i have arrived then like avenging childhood injustices but i think it's fair to say that that if nothing else those events increased my understanding of the way in which the deck is stacked against women against victims of abuse in favour of the haves and against the have nots you see in the woody allen allegations not just the systemic injustice of sexual abuse but also the cover culture as your alluding to that which is what your new books about yeah yeah that that basically that happened at a time where you know if you had it powerful enough team publicists and lawyers if you can hire an army of private investigators which
how is better needs have admitted on the record that they did that they were going to go through the trash cans of the copse involved in trying to get the judge fired off the case and its something of a playbook that you see in these cases over and over again and to your point about timeline even that became something that was manipulated where there was a pr offensive basically a physician had reported that my sister were saying he had touched her arm and then he turned around and called a press conference and said well i'm in love with an sleeping with the other daughter whose legal value is a distraction who it was the manipulation of the timeline unfair to suggest that and then after that you know there was a custody battle but basically the narrative became if you look at a lot of his interviews there is either hammer his surrogates there's a suggestion that there was a custody case and was bitter and then
my mother raised an allegation of sexual abuse about my sister of the outer sister that he was that she she somehow programme her sister to blame the profile ran that's a whole other conversation is this idea of you now programming or implanted memories ashes theirs in the actual literature people very dubious seven and certainly look i was around and that setting and i can tell you my mom's role in this was shelton we did the right thing standing by my sister and that's moving an important theme is there a lot of kids in that situation you don't have that but i can tell you it's not like she was actually or for it every time this comes up the blame the mother response is one of the easiest cudgels too where were you back on a thing there who has waned mother well blamore more you know this is brainwashing by it has grown woman scorned it's the woman score oh you don't even over an hour he right re exactly and which doesn't make any sense right because the the
legation through this doctor you're not something my mother report it was the precipitating incident but there has been this effort to many the late the understanding of the timeline suggests there is already an ongoing custody fight and therefore these allegations were raised so early opposite acts right how's your sister ok thank you for asking that she's great so so the plot of catching killed burger deals with this intersection of motivations it had had to because harvey wednesday and tried to use this against me it shows up in all its legal threat letters you know he had an obligation of sexual abuse and his family so he can't be impartial on this issue which is just in our task and a journalist about this in its ridiculous ronan barrow has a sister who accused a guy in hollywood of sexual abuse therefore ronan pharaoh is dead biased he can't report on sexual abuse issues which is not how complex and it offers more bracelets creates truly
bananas and you on for you revealed all the x the other day we saw guys had working form of young i every story a reporter i get all kinds of ridiculous below the belt stuff throne of its very personal doing these investigative stories because the first responses story the reporter when you're really like in a story that is gonna make an existential difference for someone's life and in that case you know i can honestly say it's to salute even really respond to legitimately but honey wants you meet someone i only had an incentive to liken suck up to me i'd dad had passing cocktail party interactions with them that were perfectly pleasant do heard kind of what everyone else had heard about him which was he was larger than life and had a temper and maybe some sort of casting catch stuff that the rice tradition of starlets having to share out for peace spent yet i have not heard any sexual abuse allegations until i started reporting on women
you ok so i like go sideways a little bit here just in terms of how you assess this stuff because you know i it is it seems like even in talking about republican senators now that more people are like you what kind of minorities in egypt these are people that want to be near power that want it you'll feel power they may now have the our on their own and their terrified of whoever the fact that working for because like really the question becomes you identify the monster who are these people that surround and inside the monster they just doing it from money you know i mean what do you find when you think about the year one of the reasons depressingly that it the book has this lake save the cat screenplay structure is there's all these suppose it bit guys right the
the executives at a news organization who are supposed to defend the story and when you have a tape of a famous guy admitting to a serious crime clown cover this police tape around harvey has admitted to stop but you know they killed that story the nbc exact and then you see people like lisa bloom this woman's its crusader attorney who had actually been a guest on my msnbc show talking about the perils of protecting power four men in hollywood i am decrying people like bill cosby right and even riding up ed zeta is you know dissecting my sister claiming think she is absolutely credible there's there's the evidence area and then you see her later on her name on the bottom of a legal threat letter directed at me as of as a lawyer records harvey wine steen making this cry
the argument that i was brainwash my sister was brainwashed none of which was really germane to the reporting but it was an attempt to take shape me up it's a good illustration of this question you just posed power seduces and fame seduces and we have all these conversations where my sister i said if you can trust any athletes abloom need legal advice i mean i'm an attorney myself but not practising one amount in this area so i needed legal advice from people who deal with these kinds of non disclosure units because many of my sources had near these andean isn't there were terrified to talk and so i in my turn to her lisa bloom for advice and she did not disclosed that she was representing harvey minds dean until those threat letters arrive months later she was like a double age he was a true double agent really pumping me for information and not being straight with me about her patients and eventually she said i have a conversation with horizontal lisi
promise me you wouldn't tell his people if we had these conversations interested in its really awkward position to be in i am his people he option my book and you know i don't know how you moral integrity of anybody it's it's a bit of a scary series of holds to go down these stories because there are so many people who aid and abet what also it seems like everyone so fuckin self centred and narcissistic that is it really becomes about that more than that who says you're whatever their personal morality is eight they somehow have managed to rationalize that they're they're not infringing on that yeah because they have to think about themselves first right it has to be there yeah yeah they don't think their evil that's why hey this is my job is the way it works man right yes what happened it nbc a great illustration of what you're talking about the president
and we see during these events is a guy no oppenheimer so he's a major character and i quote these conversations with him where he says almost word for word what you just said in oh ok we have this tape with this we have that but we got it site is this worth at miss this really worth it and you know you end up with a situation where people don't realize it is their job to stick their neck out it is our job to identify this is as a matter of principle and you know that for four that i know of and i'm deserves be is it the unwary calls me after this is starting to become a scandal for him and says you know please if you ever had the chance help people i wasn't the villain it was everyone it was my boss anti lack whose problems are the other the it was virtually those guys that i and the poor is when you have a chain of command of people at any kind of institute news or otherwise where they all have that attitude its it wasn't my
rob but someone already all that half of what their thinking half of their job is figuring out how to squirm out of something when the shit it's defend yahoo they gonna blame when it goes down and i've had so many since the but cannot i've had so many conversations with other topic decorative rat nbc universal at the time you know the parent company in the heart of the processes it follows the key shea pattern of like the shot of the story in the insider cbs big tobacco story right or sought out we're where get kicked up to the poor the company owners are all ready to go for comment i harvey might soon then the president of embassy says no to know we gotta go to the parent company so it goes to the parent company in the head of the parent company nbc universal is at the time steve burke who has since been shuffled out in the last few months but so many senior executives who worked with and reported to steve burke have since this book came out told me this is absolutely true he was just openly at that point saying i'm gone all these we're harvey winston we can't run this thing is a shit show and then unanimity
for they say like well is it true save we'd like look at them like they were crazy like what i mean is it your we can't run this thing out never hear the end of it a harvey will be calling me like this for a year off what i've heard this from so many different people who worked with him independently and any gives you a lot of insight because what you say is exactly true nobody thinks it's their responsibility and they don't even have enough of a sense of being forward looking to think someday that look bad there just openly saying like this is not worth the trouble with white like you have this idea that the foresight that some look bad too who into white and where will these people be then it's like we live in a culture another move so quickly and it sort of dante me as your talking that that the wood tediousness of like even occur administration sort of guarantees a sort of lawlessness or a certain class of people i mean that seems to be what all these warriors do is that you know that it's like no idea that you rule of wash it is all very negotiable if you have enough money yeah yeah
that the rule of law only applies to people who can afford to defend themselves and if you have the money to continue to litigate your pride gonna get off someone they i mean this is a of the mental imperative for me in reporting these stories over and over again you see how if you ve got enough money and enough connections and you can pick up the phone and make those annoying calls you can evade accountability in the press you can get the story killed you can get the the criminal charges dropped i mean that this situation and to fifteen that i ultimately uncover where the cops had a tape of wine stena meeting today to an assault and cyrus vans junior still de i drops the charges under a huge amount of pressure from wine steam and an army of p eyes that's like that the story of american class warfare right all these kids conan jail for minor drug offences wall
harvey mine steen when there's a recording of admitting gets off again and and for years in that year and you have lawyers that are proud of this there isn't about professional ethics and morality it's about winnie yeah but let's go back to did the evolution of of your investigative coop journalists to career so so you grow up in it also aware you know by the time you seven your parents is put up here in the middle of this custody fight there's a lot of other kids in the house you know you eve developing i imagine the this sort of mute asian of your relationship with your father and whatever you can handle it seven must be fairly confusing and bizarre or were you just of isolated in your mother's house and how did that work how did that the un's wake how did it unfold you knew what happened to your sister herbert avenue sixty too young this airily understand it so how do you grow up
well my mom took the approach of basically just trying to shield us as much as she could said she didn't talk about it i think she knew that anything she said would be picked apart and who is in the house at this time you and dylan in what two or three other avis usually like six of us at any given time at home and you know my mommy i think a smart thing of moving us out to the connecticut countryside beata we were like on a farm my school life was gray eyes it's getting grades really early i went to college leaden i know what he said about how does it have is one figure that out how do you get you know an undergraduate degree and philosophy at fifteen where more countries that may sound resentful ivy dated eight bonkers i was a big nerd i was bored with my grade level work and i think there was also a strain of ambition behind it you know i think a collision of
i think the turmoil of my childhood are being very conscious of the fact that my mom had not only the strain of that situation to deal with trying to hold a family together under assault from really monstrous set of tactics ia it also had these adopted special needs kids who were in i am paraplegia brother several blind siblings lots of learning disabilities in my family so everyone required a huge national investment from her aunt and also an interesting though you say that she has in have addiction but there is something completely engaging about the need to feel needed and to engage in a way that much selflessness is almost complete it's interesting yeah i mean i don't i don't think that there is that analysis is without merit anyway
i think you know she would she would say that she was truly trying to do whatever she could with the resources she had to do what is right for the world the world here in her own little way but liking whatever herself did she sacrifice and how much of that was altruism and how much of that was avoidance yes i mean i i think price ugly like shit she's definitely someone who's rooted in an era where on like psychotherapy fashion term was was like quackery like a set s seventy is kind of view of of jewish aramis from that a little bit and i think like because you think with a hippie thing she would have been all than on any sort of that's a little bit pre like the great renaissance of analysis razor user intimate seventy yeah i mean i think something your father constantly well right and i think also the fact that she in her spent a long time with like of a famously therapies criminal beer you probably
inspire much confidence in the institutions but i think that you're like i am certainly a believer in he can whatever kind of mental health care it is appropriate for you and i think that's probably a reservoir of what all of this stuff my mom has been who who through the years fascinating character he fastened it fascinating person and profoundly good percinet good actors to a wonderful actress people are so excited never she doesn't any work in trying to get to work more ginger saying no things for so many years because she truly i think the experience of being just smile heard over and over again in the press by a guy who is desperate to deflect from these allegations really did isolate her from the industry for a long time she felt like she just had to retreat is also interesting that the guy who married his daughter is somehow you nope worthy of of kind of like these why goods was into what he s oh yeah
it was the only one with a microphone and its there's this strange and i loved him no i don't i'm senior it's hard for me that was the other part of europe up in my experience i woody allen was my hero yeah and you know it and it took a long time to integrate the reality of what this was about four i'm the for me as a guy who respected the guy yeah no i completely get it and look i come face to face with this a lot there his fan there's a there's a little niece of like woody allen super fans who literally just they live on the internet and they just he's my sister all day there just set you know the worst massage stick slurs you can imagine this she knocked out she doesn't engage with it i tried however do not look at that i can't look i know you can't you aren't you're smart not you but it is an interesting thing and i see it in various fan base as i see it in the michael jackson fan base there's almost day on like a flat author subset i mean when you really have someone
www idolized anne and tied to your own identity in a very specific way i their stand it can become really painful to acknowledge the possibility person might be complicated and have done bad things and also that that borders on a sort of a belief system trip you know you know that you don't know that person really and your boy we ve been them or your relationship with them is completely unreal it anyway i abstract abstract but like the human heart and mind needs to feel part of these people they they they they deify that it is exactly the same instinct that leads us to religion sure and right and i get it sympathetic to it but look i'm actually these are human people their human people and an eye i think that i am actually a great example of those tensions because look i am more than any supervision would love to not by
my sister's allegations and have a much simpler relationship with this part of my history and you know tried to to shrug off for for years and it yeah and thou so didn't wanna it never talked about a publicly but a meme with had tried to tried to kind of reduced the two i could joke here and there about he married my other sister but like not really touch the the more she's always as you had not been connected with your empathy for your sister or it was because it was easier to look the other way and therefore i get the fans looking the other way when did you sort of like you know get fully on board with with her my understanding of the importance of this kind of reporting on sexual abuse is informed by i reassess my relationship with her allocation i was kind of cornered into talking about it hollywood reporter had run like the day recur they ve been doing it for years sycophantic profile of
the owl on you know your eyes adorable now i never she had with like a truly it's this guy who had by mid term under the bus by naming him he's nice guy in other respects but he had also at the same time frame like rape just before the harbor wednesday allegations come out at a time when everybody knows the harvey winston jig is about to be up he writes this article called harvey wednesday in the comeback kid they're more reasons we should love em same timeframe he ought this guy also reads a hollywood reporter story about woody allen visible lionize in him and kind of framing my sister's allegation when it gets a brief mention as like how great that he's overcome this adversity which was a real standard way of writing about people credibly accused of these kinds of crimes for years and years and it was an interesting sign of how the the cultural moment was changing that people in what it fly there were suddenly this whole like the jazzy bell sat
that the gentlemen always important year the feminist blogger is an intellectual conversation among feminist that arise about you how they comes retreat that's so there was a lot of anger directed at the holly reporter which at the time had a woman editor janis men who i think very highly of so she actually called me and said look we must address this kind of critique had on ah i think it's valid would you write something about it as both the rapporteur and someone is connected to this case will be enough to them point you add just kind of how compartmentalize your sister struggle or compartmentalize did i would have you calling you saying like why don't you help me get all several things happened at once that was happening with the hollywood reporter kind of cornering me into talking about it anymore fulsome way here i he had started receiving lifetime achievement awards right and that was the getting the golden globes was one of them a couple outposts in these words where this was not mentioned at all these stars were getting him standing ovation right my sister
her was upset by this and so i had started to to her about it anyway and had started even like tweeting light references to like hey maybe basically i guess my question is like before this yeah you know you guys didn't talk about it no i mean it i didn't hear only two years apart right yeah but it's a whore all three men was in talking about anybody right and she was dealing with the i mean shit she maintained her claim consistent from when you he was safe yeah year after year after year and whenever it came up should we talk about it but it's not like the kind of thing you hang out at home and not having no i get it but so why does my questions throughout those years which is dealing with her her eating disorder and her and her psychological problems you is self but knowing that it was because of this event knowing but not thinking on it as deeply or compassionately as i should have you know right has some situation with her something i'm sure something happened she said for profoundly honest person she's been consistent but like
let's not peel back the layers of that union because doing so meant that i could just shrugged off as a joke and oh my my father married my other sister it be mad actually a much more serious thing which is oh let's look at the evidence so that didn't happen until this happens the out all night he will your how what here was that two thousand and fourteen miranda really so so you don't hear the hollywood reporter up ad was i think she hasn't sixteen and any de two years leading up to that with this all this bubbling up of
the award ceremony is her frustration bear in mind at the same time there's all this broader cultural stuff happening the cosby staffa heaps bubbling area that hannibal bereft joke had em right so kind of a complex a things happen and i actually think there's a fair case to be made that my sister coming forward with her claim again which would in a letter right in twain fourteen and it's still a fascinating illustration of an early point in this transformation because it would have happened the way did if it were to occur again today the new york times didn't run story right through the traditional channels the allay times had like fact checked it invented it and was gonna run it and then the leadership people at the early times descended on the air
or of the late rise you then actually called me just journalist journals and was like look i'm under all this pressure we can't run this thing i believe it is true it held up in the face of this vetting but like i am i am getting calls that i just i write so nick christoph ended up canopy stealing it in like the middle of a log polina christoph the irate the enterprise meaning journalist sure who has i think a similar sense of his reporting should be to the end of social justice but basically broke through the institutional resistance of the times and has put it up on your right and it was its huge shitstorm and the times turned around and gave woody allen lie just endless space in the print addition to just the slag off her my mom all this not factual fact just an opinion peace with a giant picture of him holding her as a baby like there
traumatize and in many ways not away a journalist what would behave these days just to let some one unchallenged but you know he had a long relationship with the new ties new york he's new york and they did it really shameful thing there i know a lot about let's just function that way they would give you know barely ungrudgingly space to an accuser without the platform and then all the space to the big used right so so going back so you were up in connecticut you're in the country you're being a genius yet queer to your mother you're accelerated you know you get into college when you're eleven ye yeah so i had been going to like nerd camp basically bright johns hopkins runs a programme you can be a kid and taken holland i worry you accelerating and so early on i tested norway where i was supposed to be good at math would you i no longer em out i can like barely calculate the tipp now her arm and a kind of didn't know
what i want to die i loved math loved reading i started taking all these science courses year that excel rated learning programme the centre for talented youth annoyingly called but you had to take that the as a key to get into that and so i took that a couple times early on and got the kind of square where people were like all right well just go to college and i had already started it's getting grades anyway radio i was kind of already dolittle disconnected from my social set that i we have been in had i been lockstep with people and i remember having all these conversations with my friends like gathering a summit with my closest friends started skipping had already skipped kindergarten and then i skipped i think like fifth and sixth gregg slipped a couple aggression by testing out testing out complaining alot about him board and try to read more when i was already taking all of the high school credits i needed at the local high school like a half
time has skipping out o married school stop here so is already i i was already out of sync little bed but i did sit down with all my friends at hammond skip yet again i'm gonna do this and they were smart kids who it was funny needing wherever my friend rebecca diamond is wonderful now doktor saying like well i'm a little jealous of that i wanna be skipping you can also like what's it going to do your social life which are very very question thank you rebecca said but i did it and i think that in order to go back to the observation amid form i think that's a combination of sincere intellectual drive and being little bored and wanting to engage in that the higher level coursework and also just relentlessly bottomless ambition like a yawning chasm that ives still mad at a feel for sure and you know i think if you look at the combination of the turmoil of the pressures my mom felt with my other similar
true demanded so much right there was just an impetus to beat easier and more successful and issue very infrequently got to have yoke and children with the traditional framework of success for a lot of my siblings just holding out a job is it of any kind is a success you know take care of themselves as a success and those are people i love and care about i'm so proud of them for that but dylan was not that for dual must not that person having dylan had the other challenges of dealing with the trauma thus i am no one really put that together we know that i can say no and put it together it was something that i think i didn't consider deeply enough we know you're virtues let yourself i was folkestone myself in it and i think there was a sense in which this like go go go in opium six hyper hyper
cesspool in a really distinguishing way that is going to stand out and everyone else who was partly born of i need to be you know the successful why need to be the easy one an end but also the successful and unita you know make your mother proud yeah that some live alone i think also that you know there's a theory unlike gay lid that reflect what is not like the best boy in the world fear that i know that the gay sons you know become hyper successful because they they have to compensate for they're not gonna be alpha and some traditional way but we often these other way you buy into that i don't know when as you know you're gay well you know i try avoid like the easy terms is against it to a real a hotbed of still evolving conversation here but i like why me why should i had relationships with guys early on new that i was i was
sexually where early on yet m was lucky robin illiberal enough setting where i felt like a kind of bring home whoever's regulations at the guy's ethical issues through right here but i do think like that doesn't louis sure i mean i would certainly i don't know what the words i would put it this way i swear i'm all well this is the bride like i i don't know the words i wanna get cancer but i would say that i would like for my children and grandchildren for them to be able to fuck everybody right here and you know even though i think i was very fortunate to grow then a setting where i could be fairly free my sexuality that doesn't it easy i think the story for anyone who is any kind of queer here he is a little bit of a story of it it it has ripples in the rest of your life so as i think all of those things probably feed into this relentless drive and unwillingness to stand
right ok ok so as an underground said you do said he philosophy what what can you understand eleven amy emotionally what he really taking in how you functioning well yeah i mean i i appalling as the all my classmates at that point i actually i just had dinner with a friend that i was in biology class i was actually have started as a bio major unlike did my first concentrate yet a meticulous in major there and do as the piece of thesis researched to pick a matron actually i did a bunch like it biology in lighted philosophy science i go sit still i didn't know what i wanted to do but i just had dinner friend that i was in those first biology courses with whose it remains a close friend my buddy carry and on a singularly caught i must have been so knowing that i just saw annoying a twelve year old yeah eleven twelve thirteen year old in the end was
i dont know i said i'm too close to myself to judge what i was like but i will say that it was between barred and another like very large prestigious university at that my mom was really insistent that i go to a small school here and i think that really paid off just as moving us all to a small town kind of insulated me from my mother i accidentally other students were a little more considerate they were wonder honestly my experience you can be the judge of how messed up i am by all this but i had a great time i love did i loved the school work i of the intellectual banter i loved the people they were very caring and sweet so to me that was like a wonderful and healing and and fulfilling the new found that you are unable to sort of emotionally kind of grow and those who like us like what kind of food i could bring philosophy i what did you study what the hell did i know about existential his mental why me
others are processed anything you can learn anything noisier if save it's hot well i actually did a lot of work on ethics did a lot of like tk hans and i did i did a dissertation that was their thesis that was about the intersection of foreign policy and ethics sickly underground coloni was a mere okay so that so that was part of the drive so that was sort of white the the kind of this sort of service minded trajectory that your mother kind of four yeah i did a threat i tell you if i took up that baton a little bit and then you went to yale law school with the desire to be what kind of lawyer so i think i was where those yale law people that people in the legal profession joke about that like the new i really didn't wanna be a practising black letter lawyer the early on that the joke about your all its extraordinary place i feel so but we wait authority and are about right before you went away i'm just trying to get at the time
so you got involved be image in undergrad in graduate school you did you did other work right you yeah so i have a law i deferred for two years right and in those two yours i worked for i started working for richard holbrooke who is the former you an ambassador and canada story diplomat doing what i was you know ass actually started in turning him for him earlier before that peoria last year of college year at which point eight and forty yeah actually and and he was like a roving foreign policy adviser carry campaign at that point so it was you know everything from fetching coffee to drafting speeches to lake organizing you know bout reach events for the campaign and getting together
foreign policy calls with him and madeleine albright and start you were doing that kind of stuff you forthcoming it was intern work but yeah but it was most we farmers out of college syria so it is i was a pretty standard internship for aid college senior but obviously not standard for a fourteen year old right and then you know so i worked for him during that period i did actually other volunteer work for you and i was a unicef spokesperson and i went to a couple of african countries and am i ass an aging and also something after credit my mom for because she had really cheap by that time she was spending it on a time in refugee camps still guy are for ya she really became passionate about darfur i ultimately went to defer unlike began writing up ads about darfur including up ads about the use of sexual violence as a and of war and our fur unlike interviewing these women who had been raped and offer a horrible her
stories and if you look at some of my early wall street journal of ads that i was writing during that period there they're kind of of a piece with like the wind steam story in some of these later stories at being genuinely intrigued by the systems that support and just you know the idea that there can be an entire regime using rape as a weapon of suppression shamelessly yet at just act like as part of a military strategy i basically parliament has been four year yeah yeah i then from there you end up of working in had you how do you get the job at the bombing in neo bahman measures i ran into hillary clinton and inaugural event and she had gone to yale law as well and probably with his answer you say you were you went to yellow and when he alone and you get it so this is after you have govern that's right out see did two years off you did the work with holbrooke and only wanted our fur and he wrote some bad pieces but then he knew
back at me when i was also for four years to use of three or four years and any graduating and that's what i was gonna set out yale law before areas that the joke about ye along the legal profession is like they turn out all these incredible law professors and supreme court this is like novel lawyers which is totally not true because the majority of the every a lobby glass into big law but what was your intention to clear we want to be a corporate lawyer right but i do think that that stereotype however unfair informed my love of the place i wanted to go to a place where i could take a ton of international law unlike property is an optional chorister taxes an optional years ella no understanding of the law in this country is just worthwhile i think just as i think more about these problems of injustice and yet i did things like a i worked for the the immigration clinic at yale law
which does wonderful work like anyone ever waterways pro bono work yeah they do basically fur clients who can't afford an attorney there are student lawyers who are actually like allowed entered into the court room and what am i cases that i helped with was a case the violence against women actually a man who was in an abusive relationship was having as immigration status threatened by his abusive spouse and was like in appealing trying to get you out of her attempts to get em extradited rearm so interesting cases and ones i felt can have fulfilled by and i totally could have seen practicing that kind of law and have a lot of admiration for my father hence the who went down that road tat are making very little money doing importantly groundwork silky through go through others you meet hilary at the inauguration she's ex she's that yell graduate and in she offers you a gig
yeah i said to her you know i've been like writing these up ads and i'm graduating i met her a couple of times over the years and this when she sector estate before i think she had been she had been denounced as sector starting i mean did right this is literally inauguration gut and obviously this am conscious of the fact that like this is not a normal experience running into hillary clinton at vernon jordan's inaugurate ball and she knew that i had worked for richard holbrooke yahoo shadow are less jurists if she said will talk to holbrooke like were building this afghanistan team he's about to become the afghanistan pakistan on for which i think has been
maybe rumour but not announced at that sudan i ended up starting on her advice a conversation with richard holbrooke hey i had done this work in the ngo world and he wanted to have a position on his team he was gonna be the envoy for that region up and he wanted a position on the team that was about liaison with local human rights groups so i headed off to afghanistan basically how omri there i was i say headed off i mean i was there intermittently for two years in afghanistan and pakistan but also in dc a lot of the time so i cannot claim to have really been in the trenches i was like you know in bunkers deep inside embassies on and off for two years and so how do you change course and when do you realize that world and that life is is not what you're going to pursue won't i came out of that experience as at the state department for probably for years three or four years and came out of that experience has on the aspects
team and then richard holbrooke died in that last straw and i went on to create a little office under hilary devoted to youth issues and i was like the youth aren't voice and that was more of a global role and i came out of that experience with a tremendous admiration for foreign service officers civil servants and people who are in that locked steps german devoting their lives to making our embassies function and india being the first line of defence when screening people we're gonna come into the country and being the first line of offence when we gotta get people out of a country he had her therapy you call when you're the hostage situation broad an end or the
we make our deals to keep our country safe so that ended up being the genesis of that book war on pc on it that we do a disservice across multiple administrations to these public servants by not giving them the resources or authority that they deserve and the spot in the decision making rooms that they deserve and also in our culture i think we do them a disservice by not telling stories about them in a way we have a million spy thrillers in a million dramas but i dont know where most people including myself really know the day to day work of of diplomats yeah or even an ambassador well marked i've got a book free of cold war on peace your vote and it's about the day to day work of diplomats and ambassadors
but that's all of that right they write that down all of that said i i don't think i ve had the stones to like live that life of twenty years lockstep pay and prevent idea you got had answered your ambition at amsterdam ambition honestly i think that's the truth i think like i am not a good enough person to to feed a guy at the embassy for twenty years apparently you're one of them now living in this administration and doesn't pay off i mean about god i am grateful for the people who are sticking out through this administration but a lot of them have left and i think it's really hard and a lot of them feel her afflicted about it yet so ok showed so then how do you shift gears we do you for a job and television know so i left the state department and then went to do a road scholarship at oxford i guess that's why because this is out of control did the ambition thing i guess but but also it's weird thus but you still took it to
academia well well so a couple of things one is you know i loved the experience of like the dougie hauser phase near that we too about but it did me like i wasn't doing a lot a keg stands at the point at which people usually do there are twelve as i was twelve a hum a hand i wish i could claim to have been a super cool twelve year old but i had like a bull hair cut right we were like one of those you're you must have been just sort of a kind obviously an anomaly but to these older kids they were probably sort of like wow this little wizard you know they probably it is opposed to being snotty to you you look a freak item yet of certainly continue if you agree i heard they were very tolerant of men so now you're old enough to appreciate a road scholarships every challenge now no more than that i i think i you know got out of government and wasn't sure what i want and want to do and well felt it
disillusion honestly i think even not being on the frightful lines i mean i was lay solution with yourself no disillusioned with world and anyone who spends a couple years working on afghanistan and pakistan issues like you know spending various stretches of time like living in a tent at the ice ass base no military guys the early or in a huge at the embassy does this little like the shipping containers that you let him when you're there that and seeing how cordon off you are from the outside world and how just misbegotten will endeavour is and how many people are dying around you edit it you do feel them wait even when you're in those civilian rules of like just war gone wrong and i i wanted to run away from it a little yet for awhile and and then on top of it i mean i had this accumulated weight of lack of keg stance and the youth that i but to recapture i have read your hat
the first was written totally and so i was in this very unusual position where i'd been in the workforce for ten odd years but i actually was still under the age threshold for the the roads you can only apply up to twenty five are so i was i was could still do these scholarships and i figured like why not go back to school and be the same age as people for the first time via an i can like right and maybe i'll read a phd into a book right was made at the time i thought brilliant plan a horse that did not happen at all i ended up in crazy blind panics years and years late oh really where the book had to your browser terrorist and and a dissertation came out later a real euro your dissertation after you wrote the first book hey i got it completely back dissertation i screwed up the process so much the dissertation and was about the relationship between america's use a proxy army
so foreign military militias and the concept of political deception and the basic idea that i argued was the more we lie about these relations epps with proxy forces on the ground around the world internally with in the government decision making process but also to the public as an act of political theatre the more we lie the more costly the relationships ultimately become both like fiscally and also in terms of the number of people that get killed and how much we fuck up these situations brought it was very much rooted in the afghanistan experienced right that the archetype old example being i embedded with general does doom who was the head of the like horseback sword wielding whose warriors that we paid they have guns to dare to rout the taliban read after eleven till i get hung out with that guy the out at lake ok all of this time we spend inside the government outside the government calling him a hero while he was like secretly filling up the mass graves
where how and where do you also serves leg eventually i imagine refining his own tribe getting involved with the opium business and were half that guy is a trip by the time i value i'm just speculating oh yeah oh hold your speculation is completely correct by the time i ended up hanging out with him he was like really and declining health and he was always rumoured to vienna a holler can definitely seemed out of it like he always had a cold where i couldn't see him until ten p m and hear and then there'd be like no dancing boys and martial arts competitions in his in his chambers and yet grass everywhere and reindeer in his last week is a colorful guy but but also heed you drink some unidentified fluid out of like a rhinestones encrusted chanel mug aha he claimed it was tee i should say in the interest of
it seemed like it was booze of some hurry i don't know why so how'd your dinner patient land alright yet so actually funny that you ask i finished it last year so i was working on all of this is crazy and still large added lanning it took me seven years gesture without any long suffering phd student cause i was working several jobs i did my msnbc show i kept going back you know even during the wines in a hurry to england to kiss the ring and talk to the oxford dawns need be like we here you're on innovation every states now be like while while that is technically true my main passion is proxy harmonies and i'm gonna finish this thing i promised that bees are sceptical but god bless them tolerant and i did finnish and when they did my oral defend swallows in the middle of the catch and kill book deadlines last year and now i'm going in may to do it so allow graduates
does your mom go to this graduation i will have to see i i think that that's like the one thinks she's gonna wanna get well she went to the pulitzer better happy i think she'll go i think should she doesn't fly a lot i keep i flew her out a kind of twisted her arm into saying yes to el magazine did a like women of the year thing last year and i said come on you have to do it you and chonta and join these leg just do it maize and you'll have fun and she'd been so kind of ice elated by all that horrible woody allen stuff that she honestly she said to me like do you think people are in a boo me like what is wrong with you like your beloved everywhere i go people come up to me and say like your mom's a euro so anyway she jack i gotta go and it was great crash like one out of her shawl marshes other regional planning and trumpet
i know i know and you know it's a way we treated a lot of women who talked about difficult issues for a long time i see it in so many of my sources to all of these actresses annabella she or mere words when it was heavy me and i worked with iran glow yeah she laid the wheel of a past relationship reminded to episodes were there and it was weighing on her i mean it was in now she's involve at the trial and like it with and was all pretty it stays fresh in india once your once a they do start to be heard the rates for its hard not to be retried ties and to speak through that i think and you know we're in a moment where i think we're doing a lot better at not just buying site unseen the narrative of people accused of these kinds of crimes including the part of the narrative that involve smearing women who have come forward which
two reflex with most on our most but a lot of men uri flag of course in her in adjusting that reflexes is that part of the chair it's a big challenge and i think while we're doing better at sort of holding up and lyon icing these women come forward and it is difficult thing and you know i think the moment of increasing seller patients are my mom is me out of that i think i've been so relieved to see that people like annabella moran resent arc had so many my sources have have been widely celebrated there there is a deeper structural thing that i think is harder to change which is ok we're gonna pay lip service to celebrating like you want to hire them it arrived peep people who are in charge of these decisions are theirs the things i wanted i get to that will i think i'll read the book so well how did the msnbc thing happen who do have added how did you begin that relationship with the meal phil griffin
i went off to england and i was there for a year doing coursework and then and found by the way that i was unable to capture any lost youth i was having worked on by i've been off to warm whatever like far too boring and right adult in not fun ways to its actual who i grant you i can't go can ever gone yeah have a relationship by their noses way to die as it has done no tagging real tagging for me so i was never cool headed i determined conclusively that ship sailed here and then in ike i continued to write you print stop mostly more short form commentary on wall street journal open etc and i got called in i think the chain of conversations as i was told that happened was the today show
oh leadership team wanted to call me n for job interview and filled griffin who runs msnbc canal stepped into the process and with leg i wanna talk to so i came in for him it is not really knowing what was gonna come of it that led me to inertia her while on a visa when his name just think you have this amazing resume of of you're not only educational experience but intellectual experiencing any decides that he wants you to be the andersson cooper feminism is that that too will be your razumihin guy you gotta be it fucking had on this on msnbc so that's actually insightful and i think was a was a route problem was an original sin with that particular configuration look i'm so grateful that fill gave me that shot and really proud actually of what we turned show into by the end of it it i say do markka yeah i say that in the book like a god in our territory
at the beginning great reviews at the end and novia verse throughout and on the one hand that's jest midday cable is a brutal wasteland tourism there's no such thing there and i never been a hit one p m have cable show it's not but on the other hand you hit on something that is real witches like i was constantly was trying to but against the grain of that and when we got the good reviews it was because i was just saying fuck the ratings i'm gonna run a twenty minute taped investigative piece on opiate over prescription it yea hospitals like i'm unilaterally the elder yo yes once you start but that's why that was my question is at once he sort of moved you into that investigative segment and what's at became your thing was that really the beginning of your career in that type of journey tat it was it was neeblings realizing the truth that you just said of lake if you if you care about the issues you don't really i say this with huge respect for the people who are excellent at me at all
heads in reading the headline it is i learn because i put in the years becoming a good broadcaster like it takes time and has a hard to its dying discipline tat he be is going away and changing and other things but it's a hard won you really have to train to be like good on a morning network shire so i say this with all respect but but for me as someone who has invested in the issues i was constantly trying to like do more depth writing than is feasible for re once a day breaking news show that is gonna get blown up by whatever headline is writing you know during the white house press conference anyway i was constantly trying to do a lot of tape stuff that required me to run around the country over time and that's how i ended up building relationship at the embassy investigative unit we s chalk a block with wonderful journalists who are mostly behind the scenes right investigative producers and it turns out in television especially at that point in time when there was a little bit of a feeling that investigative was dwindling or not
in a moment where it was having a vote it was hard to get that stuff on it so they were all of these deeper threads of reporting where there be a peace and they didn't have a correspondent they could get fronted and they and even a show that would want to run it and i started putting that stuff on my show oh and going out and and being the investigator for those stories and so in my show was cancelled ah i ended up transitioning to a job as an and be sinews investigative corresponded full time and no oppenheimer the guy who i mentioned who was running the tit today show then and then shortly after was the president of areas was the person who gave me that shot they mean heap he said like we love this tape domesticated you're doing for the today show which i was kind of dual had it i was doing both the msnbc thing in the way she won't you continue what i mean my question is in terms of viking tv investigative reporting is that it struck me because of conversation i with my producer that that when your story
spite the wine steam thing i abide by embassy yeah you you talk about universal getting involved the neck i get involved in oppenheimer you're having their both i'm saying i got his can be crazy in and i e on the higher up the universal geyser gums never gonna leave me alone but wasn't there also a tremendous fear into the investigative journalism of lawsuits oh yeah for sure and i am sure your producer would be very familiar with it is so in any journalistic format including imprint there is a legal review process that happens because you know we all look at examples like gawker getting suit into the ground and out let's get scared and actually one of the tactics harvey winston used was he hired charles harder who was the lawyer who led to that whole coggan gawker case there i stress that website but why
print wheat has as it would more or less time and long her window right now you know this was lead time was not an issue in this case because story that i worked on and nbc for the better part of a year and passed all sorts of legal reviews in this case i think something else is happening which i think maybe also informs why the stately from your producer true peace outlets while they very often have parent companies of various kinds you do something that is less expensive and therefore tend to be less entwined with their parent companies and because of the level of expense involvement commission reporting they tend to be like you know that the crown jewel in the comcast empire he heard like nbc has changed hands between different corporate overlords but
in every era it's a situation where like the bosses are not completely fire walled off here and that's what leads to the situation in the insider it's what leads to the wind steam story it and be sea were still burke is telling everyone like we can do this they think you know what i told as it were made from those executives i'll never hear the end of it from harvey cause he's a movie studio boss right and i think it's all an illustration of the the legal panic is not actually rooted in sincere legal arguments its it starts there and then it becomes inflicted by the business and relationship panic of a parent company that has mostly non journalistic interests i mean that the news business is a tiny portion of what comcast has to care about so you can see how a guy like steve burke who had a background running theme park gift shop
who is not a journalist and who has to balance a lot of different equities is someone who was legendary for saying in these situations are account a bunch of instances of it in the book in why why wouldn't you kill the story for this guy who's calling like yellow you afterwards you should kill it and and that is something that makes tv journalism uniquely challenging because it is much more overshadowed by those parent company relationships and i think it it stresses the absolute need for better firewalls between the news divisions and the wider corporate ecosystems they sit in the eye because it's completely detached from what is supposed to be servicing from the ice the the fifth estate right yes and its it's scary from an news and democracy sat right right because these are some of the main platforms embassy news as a great legacy news institution
that a lot of people rely on when they watch that evening broadcasting oh there is still an old fashioned set of people who are illiterate and also my now right but there is also a set of people better are watched something they think look like a news in our being completely propaganda eyes yes and mine fact end now the idea of truth is nebulous yes and that that is the philosophical underpinning of the book which i right from the standpoint of being someone who profoundly believes in the free press as something that is vital to protecting our basic rights that's enshrined in the constitution for a reason it's the only constitutionally protected profession explicitly unknown and there's a reason for that and i write about the ills in the media world and the ways in which powerful and wealthy
well can manipulate the media because i sincerely believe in the great work journalists are doing at nbc and elsewhere on the ordinary yeah i believe they should be unfettered by that kind of interference and you know and this is a great example of how the journalists are great in these cases cause they one after another stood up and called out their bosses and demanded an investigation and leadership change none of which happened because you have you no apparent company that is not invest in the journalism suit you end up with a crazy russian were rachel matter was getting on her own companies air and saying i've independently confirmed the stuff in this book there needs to be an investigation and then just nothing then we'll do it so it's a fascinating example of ammonia wider our up that was about the matter our situation both the killing of the einstein story on the mantel hours version and you know i think that thankfully in this case
i had enough of the platform and enough of investigative team around this that i was able to break that story out in the open but so often stories are killed and we just never learn about it and sometimes people continue to get hurt as a result at an to your point not only do people get hurt when abusers are shielded by new companies like this but also the concept of the truth and its vital role in our democracy and electoral process gets hurt you i come out this from the perspective of a journalist who loves journalism and the book is like a giant celebration of how journalists have broken through these obstacles but it's fascinating how that same narrative instead of facts has been embraced by the conservative press and especially them very very far right like the bright bart set that like this is just another example of fake news it confirms the trump narrow
and that's frustrating and i think the only way we overcome it is by cleaning house in our area of analysed about the appropriate the language in terms and and structure and then turn it in on itself and then throw it back at that's that's right in the end the they're not look they're not wrong it is a disheartening example of the failures of the news media but it also the fact that it ultimately broke the fact that the new yorker too on the story and blue wide open all of that reminds us that the predictable it is possible to press is by and large still doing its vital job it is and i think the lesson for me is let's not cut down and excoriated the free press let's build up and support it and make sure that these great legacy news organisations are transparent and our breaking this right and worthy right i mean the people actually churning out lies fake news you know
we need to lean on all of our platform the social media company leah route that out and identify clearly i think keeping ourselves to a really high standard at mainstream news outlets including nbc including cbs i'll places have reported on is really important for reminding people like hey by and large yeah though there are screw ups this is an important organ of our democracy sure and also like but also the idea that a quick baden in emotions and things that connect to your emotions you it's never that simple man yeah you know that if you're not gonna red passed a headline yeah how do you expect to be young inform blow i see great examples of this all the time so one of the little sub plots in the book is my relationship with hillary clinton yet which can afraid around the mainstream reporting once she was very close with wine steam wednesday with one of her bit fundraiser ia and
i had to interview every secretary of state for more on people s previous berkshire which i was in the middle of during the months to hearing and he had agreed to an interview should i talk to her about the book from very early on and been developing the concept she had but she knew at europe to yasser a call at a certain point from her pr person india is who says you know we know you're working on this big story were concerned about and yet and they did indeed continue to work with harvey wine steam four months after both like just he was an adviser and her and also they were going back and forth about a potential documentary about her like right up until the eleventh hour before the stories broke their female trap area you know they knew pretty early on and then suddenly she became unavailable for that interview and i finally had to say like hey that wasn't off the wreck
then i'm gonna have to give an explanation for why you guys cancelled and that felt weird to me and they did you know i have to say they got it wasn't the sit down that had originally been discussed but they got a quick we nervous phone call on with her and she didn't have to do that shows me nothing and she did do given interview for that book so those are that's the totality of the fact there an end look there's a there's a thoughtful conversation to be had about what powerful people in politics knew about harvey minds dean and their failure to distance themselves early in hillary clinton case there are other factual things that are interesting tina brown says the cheap warned railleries campaign at one point lena dunham says she will them i've talked to another journalist who earlier that summer and twenty seventeen warned the same pr guy like why are you running her do photo ups with this guy the stories about to break all of that is interesting and valid but at delay that out and then i start to see you know the bright marty fake headlines which are like you know hillary clinton
ordered ronan fairer to stop reporting and it's like well there's a valid criticism to be had of of hilary on that i say this as someone who has a i think a very full view of her and admire many things in her legacy but it is important to talk openly about how politicians deal with people who give them money and and how that is used as a shield are you doing that with epstein now too i did break a story about epstein relationship with mit that's very much in the same bucket of theme that they were sending all content while saying basically like hide this epstein money long after he was convicted suit so that's all a valid conversation but my point is it gets distorted so quickly and by the fourth adoration of the headline it's like you know basically heller clinton hired assassins to kill me it's subtle it demands and deserve a real conversation about the fact that it can happen because the alt right headline machine turns it into something that is so distant from the truth
but you know you did sort of everything all the work you ve done it outside again impure tours serve like shifted the cultural dialogue which as you know is a profound thing in it and it's a real accomplishment and i think you have a lot to do it well that means a lot to here and i am saying this time like a horse and throat but did it really was these women who rose sure and also now a lot of men who have talked about sexual abuse frankly and brave way terry yeah i read that internet it was great interview in his fascinating guy you thank god there were in every case of a story i reported whistleblowers and sources willing to come forward people willing to turn over tapes and documents and bear their souls in some of these cases and we will be having the conversation
without them we would thank for doing the work now just quickly with saga to foreign do it do you have any sort of hope and faith in the survival of the republic oh just a small small cake our question there yes i do i do because in our time so the pod cast is is winding down now here in the last couple of apis odds are about trump my own they have some new reporting about trump in there and and particularly the kinds of deals he caught cynthia the ways he was part of this system of suppressing stories the hush payment reporting that with american media yeah the last episode is about one of those hush payments has really fascinating in every with current macdougall who talks about this in a way she hasn't them before and a lotta like tapes from within the process i'm trying to shut down that story and you come out of that the primary store yeah exactly and you come out of reporting on this sprawling empire of like filth and blackmail and killing stories
is the national inquirer any you really do feel disillusioned and there are times in the reporting where it seems like those systems of oppression in silence are immovable but to your austrian there are also so many times that remind me like the whistleblowers aren't gonna stop these sources are gonna stop the reporters and does not talk about me there's a whole wide community reporters that have encircled each of these three thousand and made them come out into the sunlight they're not gonna stop and so am i actually come out of all of this with a sense of optimism i really think that as long as we keep thinking and talking about this and making sure we all as culture care about defence in the hard truths we ve got a fighting chance great i'll hang onto that you seem unconvinced no i'm cynical and i'm a whiny guy
i like it it's a good look thanking thanks for darkroom iran yeah thanks for taking the time i got that there you go groaning would get you here therefore if we get books catch and kill the podcast available we ever get pod gas also your dates for that are coming up though ass you before i start keeping glow even go to deputy ipod dotcom swash door for venue taken him making for the port one main who haven connecticut providence what i what happens in shows and don't forget marking anytime spun will launch although the network's tuesday march and now i gotta removing the guitar that here but i haven't got a wire to get the microbes maybe i do but i also bottom might for for my harmonica i i up the remark in alone
and i ve never owned harmonica might so if i can get the mike over there maybe i'll wear harmonica through an apple pie again not unlike my guitar from very limited on harmonica but it sounds cool through the air pull down if i can do it no
not now
Transcript generated on 2020-02-19.