Ronan Farrow Describes Being Threatened, Spied Upon While Reporting His New Book on #MeToo Media Collusion
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow appeared on CBS’ Late Show and, in discussing his new book Catch and Kill, described how he was both threatened and spied upon during the reporting process.
Speaking with host Stephen Colbert about the corporate media protection racket he uncovered for powerful men accused of #MeToo sexual impropriety, like Donald Trump, Matt Lauer, and Harvey Weinstein, Farrow offered some chilling details about being stalked and then being tipped off by an unknown person who would only give him a code name.
“I was looking over my shoulder a lot. I’m seeing the same guys around, I’m seeing the same cars around my place. I was so sleep deprived at this point,” Farrow explained. “I didn’t know if I was going crazy, but ultimately I was able to reverse engineer these strange calls I had been getting, call one of these lackeys who was using the cover story to come after me.”
“What do you mean strange calls?”Colbert asked.
“There were outright threatening calls, breather calls that never went anywhere, strange texts and stuff,” Farrow said, noting that he delves deeply into this intimidation campaign in his book.
“I have the paper trail on this, too,” he adds, “literally one Russian, one Ukrainian spy, at one point tracking my G.P.S. phone location, to trace me to The New Yorker. And they’re getting pin drops of where I am.”
“How did you know that they were doing this?”
“I only found out later,” Farrow said, when someone who went by the code name “Axiom” tipped him off and then showed how he’d been tracking Farrow.
“I’m in surveillance,” the secret source told him, and then proceeding to give him a series of terse instructions to shake the tail put on him: “Walk against traffic for several blocks. Go to one restaurant. Go to another restaurant.” When Farrow finally arrived, the tipster showed him photos from his surveillance. “And that ends up being a deep rabbit hole of infiltrating this whole espionage operation,” Farrow explained.
However, the tradecraft exhibited by these spies wasn’t always very professional, Farrow jokingly noted.
“On the one hand, there are some silly aspects to this,” he said. “These guys were a little Tweedledee and Tweedleddum. They followed the wrong guy for three days just because he was blond.”
“Why did they follow the wrong guy around?”
“Because he looked like me,” Farrow said.
“Was it Frank Sinatra?” Colbert joked.
Watch the video above, via CBS.
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