Ronan Farrow on Tuesday accused Hillary Clinton of “protect[ing]” Harvey Weinstein.
In a sit-down interview with Buzzfeed, Farrow cautiously elaborated on a charge in his new book, “Catch and Kill,” that Clinton backed out of an interview over his Weinstein reporting. “There have been a lot of politicized headlines saying, you know, Hillary Clinton squashed the Weinstein story, and that’s not really what the book asserts,” Farrow said, referring to media coverage of the book’s Clinton content last week.
“What it does assert,” he continued, “is that, as news of my reporting started to filter into political circles, and people like Hillary Clinton’s associates got word that I was working on Weinstein, allies of Weinstein did appear to become nervous.”
“And it was raised with me as I was trying to schedule an interview with Hillary Clinton for my foreign policy book, for which every other living Secretary of State had agreed to an interview and she previously had agreed to an interview, that there was an apparent effort to cancel that interview after they raised concerns about the reporting on Weinstein,” said Farrow, who worked for Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State.
.@RonanFarrow on Hillary Clinton's reluctance to speak with him after finding out he was writing about Harvey Weinstein: "It was a personal moment of gut-punch to me…where people that I thought would support that kind of reporting were actually very leery of it." pic.twitter.com/kXnosN3mBR
— AM2DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) October 15, 2019
He told Buzzfeed that Clinton later agreed to a “brief phone interview” after some pressing. “That is not an example that shows what Hillary Clinton was or wasn’t thinking. I’m very careful to say, you know, she says this was a coincidence, and maybe there were other reasons she got cold feet. And she did, ultimately, later when I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to have to disclose that you guys had this weird conversation with me and that you’re on the only missing secretary of state in this book,’ give me a brief phone interview. So she was gracious to do that,” Farrow added.
Careful as he was to avoid outright accusing Clinton of covering for Weinstein, Farrow proceeded to make a pretty big statement about his former boss. “It is an example of how power protects power,” he contended, “and Harvey Weinstein was one of Hillary Clinton’s big Hollywood bundlers, he brought in a lot of money for her, they were friends. And it was a personal moment of gut punch to me, like so many of these plot twists in this book, where people that I thought would support that kind of reporting actually were very leery of it.”
While the book may not “assert” anything along the lines of “Hillary Clinton squashed the Weinstein story,” as Farrow sought to clarify, he clearly accused her of protecting Weinstein. He also implicated her in the broader effort among Weinstein’s allies, which is documented in the book, to hinder his reporting. That’s a big deal, particularly for a politician who styles herself as a champion of women.
Clinton waited five long days after the New York Times published allegations against Weinstein to release a statement claiming she was “shocked and appalled” by the reports. If Farrow’s account is accurate—and for many reasons it’s very hard to believe Clinton was entirely clueless about Weinstein—she wouldn’t have been that “shocked” by the allegations at all. Furthermore, Farrow’s story heavily implies Clinton was more interested in protecting either herself or her major donor than in advancing the important journalism she later described as shocking. His new reporting is a memorable addition to our knowledge of Clinton’s moral failings. (It should be noted that Farrow’s credibility as a journalist remains damaged by his reporting on Justice Brett Kavanaugh, although in this case no credible counter narrative has emerged to cast doubt on the Clinton story.)
Hillary Clinton is a champion of Hillary Clinton before she’s a champion of women. History should remember her as such. She is a spineless political elite who puts her own interests before any of the causes she purports to advance. But we already knew that anyway.