Scott Hardie | November 10, 2019
Does anyone else find Ronan Farrow mildly annoying like I do?

I keep seeing stories like this and this and this about the allegations in his new book about his #MeToo reporting and how proud he is to be a champion for women. But he's slowly becoming the story every time he does another interview, poses for another photo, and appears in another headline. If he wants to champion women, he should focus on amplifying their voices instead of his own.

Maybe it's just that smirk of his, but I also get a vibe of smug self-satisfaction from him in every interview. He seems so certain of the guilt of the men he takes down, but he doesn't know for a fact what happened any more than we do. Sadness, anger, even schadenfreude would be understandable responses to seemingly evil men in media being run out of town, but in Farrow I sense some degree of self-involvement, a personal pride in ruining the careers of bad men, but he's not equipped to be judge and executioner.

Look, anything with this family always comes back to the child abuse allegation against Woody Allen by Dylan Farrow. I believe Moses Farrow's account, that Allen is the victim of a smear campaign by Mia Farrow, who browbeat and bullied her children into manufacturing narratives to please her. I've seen that same story play out in too many other families. And if it's true, then Ronan Farrow's quest makes sense as an extension of his desire to win his mother's approval. But he never really will, because she's mentally ill. If he manages to do some good in the world by driving genuinely evil men out of their positions of power so that they can stop preying on women, great, but forgive me if I cannot trust his motives, or the way that he's going about his campaign.

Samir Mehta | November 12, 2019
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Scott Hardie | March 7, 2020
In the kerfuffle over Hachette's staff walkout and Woody Allen's memoirs being dropped -- about which you can guess how I feel, given what I said above -- someone said something prescient about Ronan Farrow that finally clears up the mystery about him for me: He's preparing to run for office as a politician. That's why he simultaneously advances a very noble but also very politicized cause while also making himself the center of the story at every turn. That's why he doesn't feel quite like a celebrity or quite like an activist in his public persona, because he's something else entirely. And given that he's been so successful at whipping up a frenzied online mob over Allen, and talking his way past every piece of contradictory evidence that he's been presented with, I think he'll probably be rather successful at politics. :-(

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