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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to “Amanpour and Company.” Here’s what’s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN BAQUET, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Our first duty in something like this, an impeachment hearing, is to tell — is to let people
understand and see all the facts to make the judgment for themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The “New York Times,” the president’s favorite media adversary. As impeachment goes public, what are the stakes for Trump in the court of
public opinion. I’ll ask the executive editor, Dean Baquet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONAN FARROW, AUTHOR, “CATCH AND KILL”: This is about patterns of behavior and alliances that suppress the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter, Ronan Farrow tells us about exposing Harvey Weinstein and fighting with his own boss to
get the story published.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY GORMLEY, ARTIST: You know, these are, you know, three, two, move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A great British artist, sculpture, Antony Gormley, on his new block buster exhibition at London’s Royal Academy.
Welcome to the program, everybody. I’m Christiane Amanpour in London.
This week, we’ll see a new phase at the impeachment inquiry. Democrats will take their case to the American people that the president allegedly
withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigation for a political rival. And it would all play out on television screens,
computers, phones across America and the whole world as testimonies delivered in public for the first time.
The president and his Republican allies are also ratcheting up the pressure on media organizations to reveal the identity of the whistleblower who
triggered the inquiry. Most media organizations are choosing not to do that, among them, the “New York Times.” No other newspaper has drawn the
ire of the president more. For many though, it is the paper of record, not just in America but around the world. And at the helm of it all is the
executive editor Dean Baquet. I sat down with him earlier for an in-depth on covering the Trump presidency.
Dean Baquet, welcome to the program.
DEAN BAQUET, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Thank you. It’s good to be here.
AMANPOUR: So, do you expect public perception to start to shift because of the televised hearings of the impeachment that start on Wednesday?
BAQUET: I actually do but I’m not sure which way. Remember, most people have now seen only second-hand accounts of the witnesses. So, actually see
witnesses. And I think — obviously, there’s a certain number of Americans who are set in their view of Donald Trump and whether he should be
impeached. But one way or the other, I got to think that this is going to alter views, whether it’s to solidify support for him or to make people
believe in impeachment.
AMANPOUR: Historians and those who have been doing this far longer than I have remember that it actually was when the TV sort of got really engaged
that the Watergate perceptions amongst the public did start to shift and that sort of, you know, just moved the story along in an interesting way.
But here you’ve got all sorts of other issues and you’ve got the president, an unusual presidency, let’s be fair, in the way he engages the press, in
the way he engages the public on Twitter. And he also is now, and his allies, are being very, very vocal and vociferous about the whistleblower,
about why doesn’t the press identify the whistleblower. I’m just going to play a quick soundbite —
AMANPOUR: — from the president and from his key ally on this (INAUDIBLE).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: The whistleblower is a disgrace to our country. A disgrace. And the whistleblower, because of that, should be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: What do you say to that given the fact there is obviously a federal law that protects whistleblowers?
AMANPOUR: Even Senator Charles Grassley, who is a very, very strong Republican ally of the president’s and who had a lot to do with beefing up
whistleblower laws across the board, even he doesn’t think that the press should uncover this person’s name.
BAQUET: So, here is my view of identifying the whistleblower. Most whistleblowers are a much less important player than he was a month ago.
Everything the whistleblower said in his earlier report, everything he said that began the ball rolling, essentially, he was quoting — he or she, we
have said he, was quoting other people, all of those people have now testified publicly.
I actually think that the attention to the whistleblower is a distraction. We have now heard from every one he has quoted. And I think it’s time for
the public to hear from every one he quoted publicly. Personally, I think his identity is less important than it was. I’m not saying that we will
never identify him. To be frank, I’m not 100 percent sure who he is. The call for me is, do I float through a lot of reporters confirming
who he is? My view now, he’s less important than he was.
AMANPOUR: Do you have a bar? Do you have a red line? You must have prepared for when you’re going to identify him.
BAQUET: Sure we have. And here is the calculation in my mind. He’s made it clear he doesn’t want to be identified. His lawyer has said his life
might be at risk. For me, I always have to balance that versus whether the public actually has a right to know who he is or whether his identity adds
voracity or not to the story.
As of right now, my judgment is his identity is not as important.
AMANPOUR: And again, let’s be clear, there is a federal law that protects whistleblowers.
AMANPOUR: So, that is clear.
BAQUET: Yes. I’m not as guided by that. I’m not saying they were above the law. My judgement, and we have lawyers who will tell me other —
AMANPOUR: No. But I’m saying that the White House is trying to say that we are below the law, that we, the press, are somehow not doing our job.
AMANPOUR: I mean, there is no demand for us to reveal because —
BAQUET: There’s no demand except from the White House. There’s no demand. And to be frank, I don’t think there is a powerful news reason to identify
him, right now. There might be a week from now or two weeks from now. But as of today, I don’t think there’s a powerful reason.
AMANPOUR: And what about the safety you brought up?
BAQUET: That’s a powerful issue too. But again, you know, it’s a —
AMANPOUR: But do we have a duty to protect their lives?
BAQUET: We have — our first duty in something like this, an impeachment hearing, is to tell — is to let people understand and see all the facts to
make the judgment for themselves. If we thought that the identity of the whistleblower would help in that process, which right now, I don’t think it
would at this particular moment, and if we knew for absolute sure who it was, we would be having a very different conversation.
My first duty is to present information to the public in what is arguably the most important thing the government can do, which is decide — to
decide whether or not to overturn an election, and that’s my first duty.
AMANPOUR: When the president publicly says the White House is no longer going to subscribe to “The New York Times” or the “Washington Post,”
probably he’s not watching CNN, maybe he is.
BAQUET: I suspect he is.
AMANPOUR: Yes. But getting a lot of his news from “Fox.” How difficult is it to be able to engage in a way that the press is meant to engage?
Because I remember very distinctly and you may have even said it to me, but I know you said it in public, you basically said in 2017, shortly after the
inauguration, our job is not to be the opposition to Donald Trump, it is to cover the hell out of Donald Trump.
BAQUET: That’s right. That’s right. It’s up to him whether he reads the “New York Times” or “Washington Post” or watches CNN. That’s his call.
And I’m not — you know, there’s another part of the “New York Times,” it sells subscription. So, let them worry about that part.
I do think his attacks on the press are pretty bad and hurt our role. I think when he levels personal attacks at reporters, as he recently did to
the “Washington Post,” I think that’s designed to undermine the handful of institutions that are independent and powerful and that are supposed to
I take that — I want to make sure the public knows we feel that way. I want to make sure that the public that we call him out when he does that.
But I also want to still cover him. I also still want to cover him with tremendous aggression and fairness.
AMANPOUR: Do you think that the aggression and fairness are being comprise, at least in the publics’ view, at least in his supporter’s view?
BAQUET: First off, it’ll be easier in the next couple of weeks because people can watch the witnesses and judge for themselves. I actually think
that when push comes to shove, when — people will make their own judgments about Donald Trump and impeachments, that’s not my call. But people will
get to hear from the witnesses. We will cover them. We will truth fact them. We’ll fact-check them. We’ll let them speak. We’ll get the White
House’s side of the story. And that’s my job.
AMANPOUR: They still engage with you even though they’ve —
BAQUET: The White House?
BAQUET: Less than otherwise White Houses. But sure they do, sometimes.
AMANPOUR: And less than they did at the beginning?
BAQUET: Less than they did in the beginning, for sure. Yes.
AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean, that’s pretty dire.
AMANPOUR: It’s pretty dire. I want to ask you this. Because “The New York Times” and others have — as you call it and as I believe we do,
report aggressively and fairly —
AMANPOUR: — it does actually turn some people off, even perhaps some people within our systems —
AMANPOUR: — within our organizations.
AMANPOUR: You’ve probably seen a recent “Vanity Fair” article in which two “New York Times” editors, current editors, anonymously spoke about your
leadership in the Trump era. The first one said, “We’re in a bit of uncharted territory. There is definitely some friction over how does this
paper position itself. I don’t think you could argue that we haven’t been tough on Donald Trump. There’s real debate and some real disappointment
about how we position ourselves as an institution.”
I mean, we just talked about you —
AMANPOUR: — being the opposition, you said no.
BAQUET: Sure, sure.
AMANPOUR: So, how do you respond to this editor?
BAQUET: What I’ve said to editors like that in my news room, my job is not only to cover Donald Trump, my job is to position the “New York Times” for
a post Donald Trump world. My job is to make sure that we don’t change all our rules of engagements, so much so that when President Warren or
President Haley or fill-in-the blank —
AMANPOUR: Or President Trump.
BAQUET: — or President Trump comes along that “The New York Times” — of course, we all have to change, but that “The New York Times” and its
foundational principle remains the same. I have to look past Donald Trump.
AMANPOUR: I mean, you’re a student of the history of this business. Has it actually been this bad? Has there —
BAQUET: Oh, my God. I think — I’ll tell you —
AMANPOUR: I mean, in our recent memory. I know everybody goes back to, you know, the founding fathers but —
BAQUET: Well, I’ll give you two big differences. But, of course, think about what the ’60s were like. There was a war. There were people in news
rooms who were draft age. There were many, many more Americans in the military. Everybody, every American knew somebody in the military. The
south was on fire. There was evident signs — I mean, I grew up in the south, evident signs of just a traumatized America. That feels like
history worth, at least, understanding and remembering.
There are two differences this time between now and Watergate, I’d argue. First is the internet, which is mostly great but sometimes a distraction.
And secondly, “Fox News,” to be honest. I mean —
AMANPOUR: Why do you say that?
BAQUET: Well, let’s picture if there had been “Fox News” during Watergate. During Watergate, the American press came to understand that Richard Nixon
had violated the law and that it was time for a change. The American press did the investigative work that lead it to happen.
There was no powerful large voice taking Richard Nixon’s side. There is now. That’s different. Just say it would be an interesting —
AMANPOUR: Some people would say that that’s fairer.
BAQUET: I think if — I mean, I’m not a fan of “Fox News,” to be perfectly frank, because I don’t think “Fox News” covers the world. We all struggle.
We all make mistakes. I think “Fox News”, in its powerful opinion, shows that are front and center, is too close to the president. I would just
argue that that’s a fact.
AMANPOUR: And the fact of the matter is that the current press secretary, communications director —
AMANPOUR: — the White House, Stephanie Grisham —
AMANPOUR: — only does “Fox News.”
BAQUET: No. Whenever the White House —
AMANPOUR: Have you asked for her?
BAQUET: I haven’t personally. But we — my staff, of course, asked her comments. But when the president can have a favored television network
that he can call, can even call into their shows, that did not happen during Watergate. That’s different. And the internet. Those are two huge
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about polling?
AMANPOUR: So, in 2016, the narrative was that everybody got it wrong, that the polls were wrong. I mean, it seems that the big major national polls
were right, that Hillary won the popular vote —
AMANPOUR: — but the actual — where it counted, in the major swing states, it was wrong.
BAQUET: That’s right.
AMANPOUR: And you, “The New York Times,” have now undertaken a whole new sort of investigative forensic approach to polling, I think.
AMANPOUR: And I wonder whether you think you’re going to get it right or more righter this time and what are you doing differently?
BAQUET: I think the difference last time was maybe we all depended too much on the polls. Polls are — I mean, every polls who will tell you
this, no matter how sophisticated it’s a snapshot in time. I think what we have to do this time that I wish we had done more aggressively in 2016 is
sort of get out and understand the country more.
I think the reason people missed the rise of Donald Trump and the change in the electorate is I don’t think we understood how much anger there was in
the country. I don’t think we understood how much of a anger against the elites, which includes us by the way. And I think — I’ve already sent
more reporters out in the country and we do more work to try to record that. That’s the difference.
AMANPOUR: I want to, again, read for one of these anonymous editors who spoke to the —
AMANPOUR: — “Vanity Fair.” “Reporters on the front lines, particularly reporters of color, are attuned to something happening in the country that
is, to a lot of them, deeply scary, both personally and politically, and there’s a hunger to have a conversation about it. If this rhetoric
continues, how is the Times covering it? What are the rules of engagement for a president who traffics in this stuff?” And obviously, he’s talking
AMANPOUR: — all the kind —
AMANPOUR: — of racist demagoguery that comes out of the Trump — the White House.
BAQUET: My goal is to listen to those editors and reporters, to understand their view. But I do have to take their view and accept it in the context
of what “The New York Times” is. And “The New York Times’s” job is to cover Donald Trump. “The New York Times’s” job is not to let the people
around Trump yank us into name calling but to cover Donald Trump. I know that’s controversial in my news room and elsewhere but I think that’s my
AMANPOUR: Which part is controversial?
BAQUET: There was a real — there are people who want me to use the word racist more frequently than we do, and we have used it. My own
view, as somebody, again, who grew up in the south and who’ve read the history of the south and who understands the south, is that the best way is
to quote people, to report and to let people make their own choices.
The most powerful writing I’ve ever read about the south and race was done by people who didn’t cavalierly use the word racist. They were done by
people who let people speak for themselves, who offered portraits of the world, and it was so clear what was going on.
AMANPOUR: So, I need to ask you then because, you know, there’s these conflicting headlines —
AMANPOUR: — on these issues, when Donald Trump was called upon to respond to a string of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, you remember,
this summer. “The New York Times” covering his speech first said this, “Trump urges unity versus racism.”
BAQUET: Yes. Bad headline.
AMANPOUR: Bad headline. Widely criticized. Then —
BAQUET: Rightly criticized.
AMANPOUR: Widely and rightly.
AMANPOUR: So, you admit that?
BAQUET: Oh, of course. Yes.
AMANPOUR: Then it changed to assailing hate but not guns.
BAQUET: Yes. Better but not quite the perfect headline.
AMANPOUR: And Trump weighed in and said, excuse me, the first headline was perfectly great and you’re giving into the mob —
AMANPOUR: — by changing it.
BAQUET: Yes. He’s wrong. We recognized early on it was a bad headline. I mean, here’s the way the world works, we can say that newspapers are
great poetic institutions with people who stroke their chins and smoke pipes and write headlines. That headline was written on extreme deadline
and it was bad headline.
As soon as the front page was passed around to senior editors, including myself, we recognized it was terrible. We tried to change it. We were
stuck with a — it’s amazing how news organizations like manufacturing plants, we were stuck with a layout that allowed for few words and we came
up with a better headline, but not a perfect headline.
Newspapers are, by their nature, flawed institutions. We admitted we got it wrong. We fixed it as fast as we could. I have said to everybody who
has ever asked it was a bad headline and I think that’s how you do business.
AMANPOUR: So, the publisher of “The New York Times,” new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, had a famous talk with President Trump and we have some audio
of it, but then he also wrote a pretty, you know, front and center op-ed in “The New York Times.” He said, “My colleagues and I recently researched
the spread of the phrase “fake news,” and what we found is deeply alarming. In the past few years, more than 50 prime ministers, presidents and other
government leaders across five continents have used the term “fake news” to justify varying levels of anti-press activity.
He — just before this, he actually had spoken to President Trump. And it’s — we got a little bit of audio of that. It goes to the heart of
this. I just want to play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A.G. SULZBERGER, PUBLISHER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: As I’ve talked to my colleagues around the globe, you know, working in different countries,
particularly working in countries where a free press is already a tenuous thing, they say that they are increasingly of the belief that your
rhetoric is creating a climate which dictators and tyrants are able to employ your words in suppressing a free press.
TRUMP: I understand that.
SULZBERGER: But if you choose not to, I just — I want you to be aware of some of the consequences that I’m starting to see out there.
TRUMP: Would you say more so now than over the last five years?
TRUMP: Right now? I mean —
TRUMP: — more so now than even a year ago?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And we know some of the instances. But what strikes me is that President Trump acted as if he didn’t believe his words had consequences.
BAQUET: He sure did. But he’s got to know his words have consequence. He has to, he has to. He says — I mean, it has been reported that he says
the same thing to other world leaders. He certainly is aware that other world leaders quote him, he certainly is aware when he stands in front of a
large rally and he points to CNN reporters or he points to “Washington Post” reporters or he points to “New York Times” reporters and says fake
news, he certainly knows what those words are —
AMANPOUR: Has anything changed since that encounter with your publisher?
BAQUET: No, no.
AMANPOUR: On #MeToo, really, really important and, obviously, “The New York Times” broke the story, the two wonderful reporters, Jodi Kantor and
AMANPOUR: And they’ve just written a book, “She Said.” It was interesting because it goes the heart of how you got Harvey Weinstein to respond. He
had repeatedly tried to contact you. Went over and above the head of the reporters.
AMANPOUR: Wanted you to do something, intervene.
AMANPOUR: Like everybody had done for Harvey Weinstein all the years. And you kept telling, talk to the reporters. In the end, you got on the phone
BAQUET: Yes, yes. I wanted him to — I do not like when powerful people come to the editor of “The New York Times” and say, let’s talk powerful
person to powerful person, forget the reporters, I don’t have those kinds of conversations. In this case, I walked past the room. He
was screaming at the two reporters. I mean, it was -you know, it was awful.
AMANPOUR: On the phone?
BAQUET: Yes. He was on the phone. He was screaming the at them. And I got upset and I walk over to the phone, I wanted to scream back but I
decided that wasn’t a good idea. So, I stopped him and said if he didn’t give us his comment now, we’re going to close the paper. And —
AMANPOUR: Go to press without his comment?
BAQUET: That’s right.
AMANPOUR: And he —
BAQUET: He gave us his comment. So —
AMANPOUR: Final question, five seconds, yes or no answer. Would you please reveal the name of anonymous?
BAQUET: No, because I don’t know who it is.
BAQUET: Seriously. I have no idea. Zero.
AMANPOUR: Dean Baquet, thank you very much for joining me.
BAQUET: Thank you. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now, our next guest was also at the forefront of reporting that triggered #MeToo movement. The Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Ronan
Farrow, famed for exposing allegations of sexual by Hollywood mega producer, Harvey Weinstein.
In his new book “Catch and Kill,” he describes in careful detail the forces that he says were trying to stop that investigation, including his own
bosses at “NBC”. It also reveals how the “National Enquirer” has caught and killed stories to protect President Trump. And Farrow laid all
this out for our Michel Martin.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: How did you get on the story to begin with? I mean, one of the things I learned from the book and also reporting by other
journalists is that these rumors had been swirling for years, for years.
RONAN FARROW, AUTHOR, “CATCH AND KILL”: They had been out there for a long time. You know, I wasn’t as familiar with them and I think I had broad
strokes impressions of Harvey Weinstein being a larger than life personality, very volatile, you know, had read some gawker blind item type
things about transactional casting couch culture around him. But allegations of assault were new to me and came up very quickly the moment I
started digging into the story.
MARTIN: And so, when you started reporting the story, I mean, there are several stories to the story. One story is the fact that you were trying
to establish the facts. Did these facts occur? Were they — did they cross the line into criminality? Were they not consensual? Was there a
But then the story is about trying to get that story heard. Your assertion in the book is that your employers at the time, “NBC”, for whom you did
most of the reporting under their authority and with their consent, what’s is the word you would use? They suppressed it, they stopped it, they shut
it down? What word did you use?
FARROW: I think all those terms are true and you don’t have to take my word for it, that’s according to multiple well-sourced accounts including
that of my producer who, you know, we had no prior alliance and he has no incentive to say that. In fact, he lost his job, ultimately, going to “The
New York Times” and blowing the whistle saying executives at this news network shut down this story. Repeatedly ordered us to stop.
And their own reporters have gotten on-air, on their networks and said, we have independently confirmed that executives at this company shut down the
reporting, ordered us to stop. That’s unjournalistic. It was strange at the time and part of the plot in the book is me and my producer grappling
with that and trying to figure out what is behind this strange order to stop every time we would present new information. We would get these
strange signals and then eventually, just hard orders, you need to cancel these interviews.
And the book reveals that in that same time frame, “NBC” executives were having at least 15 secret calls with Harvey Weinstein and were echoing his
legal arguments, which included an argument that we couldn’t report on the story because his employees (INAUDIBLE) had nondisclosure agreements.
Completely specious rationales. But this was a news organization that, as it turns out, had its own cultural problems and its own secrets and its own
use of secret legal settlements to suppress information about allegations within the company. And that had those secrets under threat of exposure,
as Harvey Weinstein was closing in on them.
MARTIN: So — well, the facts are that you did wind up taking the story to “The New Yorker.” “NBC” did not object to your taking the story to “The
FARROW: “NBC” proposed that I take it elsewhere.
MARTIN: And you took it to “The New Yorker.” “The New Yorker” published it. I assume that there were many threats of, you know, reprisal from
Harvey Weinstein in the course —
FARROW: There were.
MARTIN: — your pursuing it. It was fact-checked according to “The New Yorker’s” rigorous standards. You wound up winning the Pulitzer prize.
Congratulations for that.
FARROW: Thank you.
MARTIN: But now, is it confirmed that the reason that “NBC” did not want to pursue this story was that there was a sort of a transactional
relationship going on there, that in exchange for protecting a high-powered employee there or is this — it’s just a coincidence that can’t be denied?
FARROW: The book is careful on this subject and every other subject. It is also fact-checked by a senior fact-checker at “The New Yorker.” And
every claim in there is bulletproof and backed by hard documentary evidence.
So, I won’t go beyond what the facts are, which is during this same timeframe, the “National Enquirer” was in a partnership with Harvey
Weinstein and was pulling more and more information about Matt Lauer, was actually running, this is not speculative, they ran article after article
about Matt Lauer, including coverage of his alleged sleeping around in the office, sexual misconduct, and Harvey Weinstein had access to that
And what can’t be disputed is, you know, there are these transcripts of calls in here between Harvey Weinstein and “NBC” executives where he is
threatening and has them in the corner and they promise to kill the story before any journalistic judgement is made about it. So, I’ll let people
draw their conclusions about that. There are multiple sources at “NBC” and at the “Enquirer” who say in this book that there was a threat issue.
MARTIN: Just for the record, you know, I have the statements from the president of “NBC News”, Noah Oppenheim, I have a statement from Andy Lack,
who’s the chairman of “NBC News” and “MSNBC” and there’s a statement from Matt Lauer basically denying all of this.
FARROW: And those denials are in the book loud and clear. And look, I would encourage people to read and decide for themselves, you know, Matt
Lauer’s denial of nonconsensual sex is in there, of Harvey Weinstein’s denial of nonconsensual sex is in there. The “NBC” executive claims they
knew nothing, that’s all in there. And so, too, is a paper trail showing secret settlements and senior executives being told about Matt Lauer’s
alleged predation years before his firing and, you know, claims from women that they were exposed to harm because of this kind of cover up culture.
MARTIN: It does seem illogical that — I mean, “NBC” officials have said repeatedly and they’ve been very generous with their time, let us say, in
visiting various news organizations to give their side of the story.
FARROW: They have.
MARTIN: But their argument is that the story wasn’t ready for air. I will say that does not seem quite logical. I mean, if I were cooking a chicken
and the chicken wasn’t ready to serve, I don’t know that the solution would be to stop cooking it.
FARROW: Right. Or just to —
MARTIN: I think the solution would be —
FARROW: — hurl it out of your window to your neighbor’s oven.
MARTIN: Right. Yes. I think the solution would be to keep cooking it. So, I mean, that part of it just seems odd and it just seems strange.
FARROW: And my producer and I very clearly fought to get this on-air.
MARTIN: But at the time, what did you think? I mean, at the time, what —
FARROW: Well, we fought like hell to get it on-air for seven months. And I think, you know, most journalists have looked at the evidence we had,
which was laid out in the book, and said, this should have been on-air months earlier. But if they, indeed, had at any point sincerely felt and
said this is not enough, get more, we would have ran with that order. What happened, instead, was that we were told to stop and to cancel interviews.
MARTIN: But just to be clear, who were the people specifically telling you to cancel these interviews?
FARROW: Noah Oppenheim, the president of “NBC News,” over the course of these events on six occasions gives a hard order to stop reporting.
MARTIN: What was his reason?
FARROW: You now, you can see in the book all the explanations they lay out. One of them is it’s not news, it doesn’t matter. He says at one
point, you know, some producer grabbing a lady is not news. You know, maybe it’s tabloid news, maybe it’s industry news for the Hollywood
reporter. It’s not an “NBC” story.
You know, there was, I think, both a sincere conviction that this didn’t matter and that the issue didn’t matter. And, you know, I get into Noah
Oppenheim’s past and he’s written articles, you know, during his time at Harvard. He wrote for “The Crimson” saying, you know, women enjoyed being
preyed upon and pumped full of alcohol. So, he had a very specific set of views about sexual violence.
But then also, in addition to that kind of backdrop of casual misogyny that these executives evinced over and over again, there was a specific plot
playing out where there were contacts with a hostile subject of our reporting that were being kept secret from the journalists on the story and
more promises were being made that should never be made and I hope are never made again at a network pursuing a story of this importance.
MARTIN: You also had access to an entire body of stories that you say were caught and killed by the “Enquirer.” And in fact, I believe you were the
only journalist who has actually seen this body of work, I don’t know what else to call it. Can you just describe what it is? Like, what is the
nature of the kinds of stories that have not been reported because they were specifically suppressed in this way?
FARROW: One of the significant revelations in this book is the “Enquirer” did make a list. Dylan Howard, one of the editors there, created a list
about 60 items of killed stories about Donald Trump. And later, shortly before the election, there was, according to multiple well-sourced
accounts, a shredding party at the Enquirer” where they got rid of some Trump-related material. And that is significant because this pattern of
the “Enquirer” burying stories for Donald Trump during the election is now a subject of criminal investigation.
Prosecutors at the Southern District of New York have looked at this and ultimately signed — a non-prosecution agreement with the
“Enquirer” and leadership, where they admitted to having done this, having had an arrangement with Trump to bury stories and admitted it was a
potential violation of election law. And because this book documents the destruction of evidence and also new additional cases not previously
disclosed, in which the “Enquirer” pursued a story at the behest of Trump associates.
There’s one case where there was an anonymous Jane Doe rape allegation that was raised in a lawsuit against both Trump and Jeffrey Epstein. And you
know, there are questions about whether that claim is credibility. Reporters haven’t really been able to check it out.
MARTIN: Jeffrey Epstein being the financier who was a convicted predator – –
FARROW: That’s right.
MARTIN: — convicted pedophile who was later arrested and subsequently took his own life while incarcerated.
FARROW: So there was a young woman who at the time was under age and claimed that Donald Trump also assaulted her at Jeffrey Epstein parties.
And again, you know, it’s important to note reporters have not been able to get to this young woman. There’s a lot of reasons to suggest that she had
some sort of shady characters around her that might have drummed up the story. But as in many cases where the “Enquirer” suppressed either a rumor
or a story, the underlying claim and its voracity is actually not the news here. The news here is in yet another case during the election cycle, the
“Enquirer” was in close conversation with Trump associates and went out to try to catch and kill a story.
So this was a pattern that went on and on and on of them trying to make sure the public didn’t hear about true or false claims about Donald Trump
that might have been part of the conversation and received more serious scrutiny.
MARTIN: What else are we missing in the book? What else is something that — important to pay attention to?
FARROW: All of this is bigger than any one alleged sexual predator like Harvey Weinstein than any one industry, like Hollywood and then any one
network like NBC. This is about patterns of behavior and alliances that suppress the truth. And, you know, one of the big plot threads in the book
is about the use of private espionage, which has been shocking to people and understandably so, because it’s almost stranger than fiction. You
know, part of the book involves me getting chased around by a Russian and Ukrainian spy who are sub-contractors hired by a firm out of Israel staffed
by former members of the Mossad and other Israeli intelligence entities.
You know, these are combat-hardened operatives that Harvey Weinstein was able to hire and who deployed layers of operatives and sub-contractors who
used false identities to insinuate themselves into the lives of sources that I was working with.
MARTIN: You know, what was the point? What was the point of all that? Were they going to harm you? I mean, what was the intention of following
you like this?
FARROW: Well, with the contracts that were assigned by Harvey Weinstein’s attorney, David Boies, you know, powerful, high profile attorney and this
Israeli spy firm, Black Cube explicitly say, you know, the goal is to stop reporting about Harvey Weinstein and these allegations against him.
Including, by the way, a New York Times story at a time when David Boies was representing the New York Times on other matters or his firm was. So,
you know, wild conflicts of interest but the goal was explicitly to stop the disclosure of these claims. And, you know, you have to ask the spies
involved the combination of them following me around to try to simply ascertain where the story was going.
And they do things like, you know, hijacking my phone GPS data to chase me to the New Yorker when I originally take the story from NBC to the New
Yorker. And on the other hand, how much of a campaign like this is about intimidating sources and reporters. And I can tell you the suspicion that
people were being followed was absolutely a deterrent to people speaking. You know, source after source told me I know this sounds crazy but I think
I’m being followed, and they were in some cases.
MARTIN: What do you think finally broke the dam? Your reporting, obviously, extremely powerful, you know, award winning. Other reporters
like Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey from the New York Times also published pieces of the story, also have been acknowledged for the work. But what do
you think it is that finally broke the dam after all these years?
FARROW: You know, it’s the bravery of sources. These are women who spoke in the face of just unbelievable odds and knowing it might harm their
careers, fearing that it might even bring them to physical harm and decided to speak anyway. And you know, you’d have to ask them, but I can tell you
a facet of a lot of our conversations was this supposition they could finally speak in the current cultural environment and be heard. And that
was just a supposition at the time because we hadn’t had all this incredible conversation and this movement spring up that has created more
space for these kinds of accounts of violence.
But we did have brave people who had already spoken. And activists like Tarana Burke who had, you know, put in years of work coining the term MeToo
and creating more space for survivors to speak. And I was able to, in my conversations with those accusers of Harvey Weinstein, talk about the Fox
News story and how Gretchen Carlson had spoken publicly and the Cosby story and how several of his accusers had refused to shut up year after year.
And the fact is, yes, a dam broke but it had been cracking for a while.
MARTIN: I know that you’re a journalist, I know your — your main focus is the what but I want to ask you —
FARROW: The why.
MARTIN: — the why. And the reason I want to ask you the why is because at some point we have to figure out what comes next. And so I’m
trying to figure out, is this a system of a bunch of jerk guys who just don’t care that women get abused? I mean, you know, is this a bad apple
problem or is it a bad society problem? What do you think?
FARROW: I think it’s both. And you know, again, I’m not going to speculate on or psychologize the individuals involved. What is clear from
their behavior is that there was greed at work, there was a cost-benefit analysis that didn’t incorporate journalistic ethics at work, there was a
bad barrel problem of corporate cover-up culture that is poisonous and toxic and informs news judgment. We’ve seen that at CBS, at NBC, where if
a company has patterns of secret settlements that are designed to make people shut up and go away, instead of allowing a company to keep a record
of misconduct and remove potential abusers from power to protect others, you know, that — that does affect and distort coverage.
So all of those things are true and I hope the book is a document of the multiple ways in which cover ups and misconduct both throttle the
information that the public receives and maybe affects the future of our democracy, and allows people to get hurt because abusers stay in power and
they continue to their predation.
MARTIN: You know, you’re very open about the fact that — I don’t want to say one of your motivations but one of your guiding lights, perhaps, in the
course of this is your sister, Dylan, who years ago disclosed that your father, Woody Allen, famous film maker, had assaulted her. I know that
it’s been a — a pain point in your family for many years now. You’ve lived with this notion that someone can have a deep grievance that may not
be acknowledged as such by others, and that’s the duality that you have had to live with yourself for a long time. But even having said that, did the
scale of this, the scope of this change you in way?
FARROW: One of the reasons why I talk openly in the book about my own experience of these events is I had to because Harvey Weinstein weaponizes
that family stuff you talked about in his legal threats —
MARTIN: Yes, he said it was a — his — his representatives said that it was a conflict of interest. I’m not quite sure how —
FARROW: Right, a totally unrelated case, but —
MARTIN: I don’t quite get it, but they’re saying that it was a conflict of interest, therefore you couldn’t be trusted to report the story fairly.
FARROW: And raised, you know, a — you know, an uncle who I’d never I met but who was convicted of pedophilia. Basically there was a wholesale
effort to dig up, you know, any dirt that they could that would just be sort of personally painful and that all wound up in the legal threat
letters that were directed at me and at NBC. So I had to be a part of the story and it was therefore important to me to be honest about the emotional
toll that a story like this takes. And I was uniquely privileged in that I didn’t have kids to support and, you know, I was privileged enough to be
able to lose my job and be OK and, you know, move into a friend’s house when I was getting chased around by spies and sources were telling me to
get a gun, and I was fine.
But, you know, plenty of people are not fine when they go up against these systems. And my producer, Rich McHugh, you know, also lost his job,
ultimately, over this because he refused to be silent about it and refused to take orders to stop reporting, and he did have kids to support and
didn’t have the public profile I had where he, you know, could be as insulated from the consequences for his career. And I thought it was
important to talk about how it was difficult even for me and emotionally fraught even for me to be on the run and not have a news outlet and be
paying for camera crews out of pocket to try to keep the story going before the New Yorker signed onto it but after NBC had killed it.
Because I think that is a lesser version of what so many journalists go through in these kinds of circumstances.
MARTIN: I thought it was really interesting that you were honest about the fact that at one point your sister still needed to talk about her
experience with your father, with Woody Allen, and you were — at one point, you described where you basically said well could you just leave it
alone or something to that effect. I just found that so fascinating.
FARROW: Yes. I was, you know, no hero on this issue, and I think like most people confronting that kind of a painful truth in your family history
just wanted it to go away and didn’t want to believe that it was as serious or as credible as ultimately when I did a deep dive on the information. It
proved to be, you know, and that is a true example of if you look at those court records, a powerful guy covering up a credible allegation of abuse
that she’s maintained since she was 7-years-old, and I was one of those callus people around, a survivor of sexual violence saying like come on.
Maybe it’s true, but does it matter?
So I, too, have been apart of the problem, and I felt it was important for the book to confront that head on and to trace my journey to gradually
understanding that she was doing something significant and courageous.
MARTIN: Ronan Farrow, thank you so much for talking to us.
FARROW: Thanks for taking the time.
AMANPOUR: It’s such and important book, and Ronan’s book is out right now. My next guest is one of Britain’s most loved artists. Antony Gormley’s
sculptures often make big statements, and they’re recognized all over the world. Perhaps best known his famous 200 ton Angel of the North in
Northern England, a symbol of hope representing the very character of that part of the country.
His newest and perhaps most ambitious exhibition represents a significant milestone in his career as he takes over the prestigious Royal Academy in
London with a series of experiential installations. Few other artists would probably be allowed to flood the academy, a grand nineteenth century
period building with water and mud or drill holes in the glass domes to suspend massive works of art. We got our own morning at the museum with
Sir Antony Gormley, welcome to the program.
ANTONY GORMLEY, SCULPTOR: Lovely to be here, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So this is quite an amazing, incredible exhibition, and we’re sitting in the room which I think you call this particular room Lost
GORMLEY: I do, yes.
AMANPOUR: And it’s all floating and fixed to the walls and the ceilings. How on Earth did you even get it installed?
GORMLEY: Well, yes. I – people are very intrigued by the engineering, but that’s obviously not the point.
AMANPOUR: But it’s part of the gee-wiz nature of this whole exhibition which then goes to what you hope to communicate.
GORMLEY: Yes, I think you have to stop people in their tracks and ask them to think again about what’s possible. And hopefully that opens kind of the
doors of the imagination and they start running with it for themselves.
I say to everybody that comes, you know, you are the subject of this exhibition, and you might say even in this room where there are 24
industrial fossils, you know, of me, I think that this room is really asking you to reorientate yourself in space, and I think that goes for the
whole show. It is really about making propositions in the space that hopefully catalyze that space and make the subject, which is the viewer,
hyperaware of his or her relative position, and that’s absolutely true in here.
AMANPOUR: And what I think is amazing is the beginning before you even get into the gallery in the courtyard, there’s that tiny, tiny, little baby
which even looks smaller than I expected from the pictures I saw before coming in. And you’ve just laid it on the ground and it is so vulnerable.
Tell me what you are doing with that.
GORMLEY: I think I just wanted to make the point that art is useless if it doesn’t, in some way, energize life. Here we have a 6-day-old baby, my
daughter, Paloma. I didn’t mold her. I hasten that (ph). And I guess I just wanted that to be the initiation of a sequence of thoughts about human
futures, about our relationship with the planet.
So here is a baby almost removed from the chest or the stomach of the mother and placed onto the Earth. And I think the baby is immensely
peaceful. It seems to be at ease, and yet at the same time, as you say, it’s extremely vulnerable. And seeing it straight off Picadilly where the
buses roar past, I guess that’s just asking a question like Greta Thunberg asks, you know, what is our part in making sure that our children and our
childrens’ children’s future is as rich and supportive as ours.
AMANPOUR: The baby is sculpted in iron –
AMANPOUR: — which is the core of the Earth.
AMANPOUR: And you did that deliberately.
GORMLEY: Exactly. All of these works – these works weigh 630 kilos, so about three-quarters of an imperial ton each. They are mass.
They are – they are displacements of a human space in space at large, and I think of them – you know, the traditional materials in sculpture are bronze
and marble, and I wanted to remove those in order to focus in a sense on the elemental and our relationship, as you say, to the core of this planet.
AMANPOUR: And I hadn’t realized, but I think all these figures, as you say, I mean, is massive tons, but they’re solid. I mean, these are not
hollow. They’re solid.
GORMLEY: Yes, very, very solid. I should be able to go and – you know, you can –
AMANPOUR: Oh boy.
GORMLEY: You can really –
AMANPOUR: Only you can do that.
None of us are allowed to touch the sculptures.
GORMLEY: You can – you can really – I mean, I think – you know, I’m not bothered about people touching these.
AMANPOUR: There is an image of one of your very early sculptures, if not the earliest. I’m not sure, but it’s also a lying figure in a street
covered with what looks like a sheet. And it I understand that came from your experience in India –
GORMLEY: India, yes. I lost all my money and my passport in Kolkata and spent a couple of weeks on the streets, and that was a very formative
experience. You know, I had a very privileged upbringing and, you know, had never really lacked for anything. And the fellowship of folk who had
nothing but gave everything was – you know, that was an amazing lesson, and that work, which is called Sleeping Place, well I made it very soon after
coming back. I just asked Mickey Cheub (ph), who’s a friend, to lie on the floor and I covered her in a plaster-soaked hospital sheet.
And it is absolutely a reproduction of what I saw on Howrah Station in Kolkata but all over India and people sleeping on the streets, often with a
couple of slippers left by the side of the head. You didn’t know whether they were alive or dead. This was a, like the baby, a description of the
minimum space the human being needs to survive, and curiously this intimate thing, again, in the world – in the world of bullet carts and rituals and
all that noise.
AMANPOUR: Is the cave also a body form? I mean –
GORMLEY: Yes, it is.
AMANPOUR: — I’ve – if you look, yes, from above, you designed it.
GORMLEY: No, I’ll show you. I’ll show you in a minute.
AMANPOUR: Yes, OK.
GORMLEY: We can go and stand underneath the head –
GORMLEY: — and you do actually see the whole thing.
I love the acoustics in here.
AMANPOUR: Oh my giddy aunt (ph).
GORMLEY: It’s just a very particular feeling.
GORMLEY: You can stand up there (ph).
GORMLEY: So this is – if you look up here, this is now the left arm and then – and now we’re in the torso. And –
AMANPOUR: Wow, wow.
GORMLEY: But I just wanted – you know, this is a grand – a grand building, you know, eighteenth century palace really, and I just thought to introduce
our first habitation or our first experience and our species’ first experience of shelter was this kind of space, with this kind of acoustic,
with this – so it returns you to I think, yes, I want firsthand experience but I also want to link that in a way to maybe those feelings that we had
before we had speech when we were in our mothers’, you know, tummies. And it’s just – this noise it goes on.
AMANPOUR: That is a profound rumble.
GORMLEY: I love it. It’s still going, isn’t it?
AMANPOUR: I understand that when you were growing up – and you grew up as a fervent Catholic or at least in a fervently Catholic home –
GORMLEY: Yes, absolutely.
AMANPOUR: — and your family’s tradition I think after lunch was for you all to have a nap. How did that affect your imagination, your
GORMLEY: I think that is the basis of my work. Thinking about the body as a vessel, as a place rather than an object, and that experience being sent
after lunch for an enforced rest when I wasn’t tired – in fact, I was highly energized because I just had lunch.
And lying there with my eyes closed and feeling it was a particular room, it’s this enclosed balcony on the first floor, very hot with a court floor
with a particular smell and very bright. I’m closing my eyes and my eye — the eyelids would make that light coming through them pink or red and it
would be hot.
And anyway, over time, over the repeated action of going up there, this space I became familiar with and I began to inhabit it and it — and it
transformed from being hot, red and claustrophobic to being increasingly more open and cooler and dark.
And when I — I often ask people, when you close your eyes, now were are you? You’re in a space but it has no objects, it has no age, it has no
things in it, and this is the space of consciousness. This is the space of imagination, this is where we can go when we want to be free. You project,
hopefully, onto these spaces and the objects in them, your feeling, your thought, and I think that’s the best that art can do, return us to the
miracle of being alive.
AMANPOUR: So, is that — there’s a room beyond where we’re sitting now, it’s the last room, with the huge pool. And I think you’ve called part of
the Atlantic and part of Buckinghamshire.
GORMLEY: That’s right.
AMANPOUR: Of — aka mudd.
GORMLEY: Yes. No, it’s mud and sea water. It’s 30,000 liters of the Atlantic and 25 cubic meters of Buckinghamshire.
AMANPOUR: Which is a county here in England.
GORMLEY: Mixed — mixed together and allowed to be. So, for me the dialectic of this show, that’s a pompous word, but the tension of this show
is produced through the relationship of matrix, this 21 rooms, so they’re being crashed (ph) together, made out of rebar, made out of the skeleton of
our built environment, which is all highly made and made in that space, over a great deal of time. Lot of making, with that room host, which is
simply the elemental world, unformed. It is the unformed and it’s simply the architecture or the frame of the room that has given it its shape.
And so —
GORMLEY: So, this is host.
AMANPOUR: I love this. It’s so dramatic.
GORMLEY: But what I love most is the way this is a self-producing landscape. This is teraforming (ph), just itself and it reminds me of
flying over of the middle of Australia, this kind of —
AMANPOUR: It’s remarkable.
GORMLEY: — this kind of infinite, subtle kind of bumps and hollows. But, it’s beginning — you can see it’s beginning now —
AMANPOUR: To bubble a bit.
GORMLEY: — to bubble. So, this is — this is a living thing. This is — this a primal soup (ph), this is an organic process, there we are, some
organic residues in here. So, this is the grand rotunda in the center of the Royal Academy. And I’ve sort of done this — well, this is — this is
GORMLEY: In arrested for making, hopefully, you aware of gravity in a — in a — in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise. These are — these are
supported by two — two cranes permanently put in and these are free to move. And I — we’ll — it’s difficult not to —
AMANPOUR: Are people allowed to touch it when they come in?
GORMLEY: Well, they’re not really.
GORMLEY: I really like it when —
AMANPOUR: It is remarkable.
GORMLEY: — that sort Foucault pendulum feeling. I like the idea that you negotiate around these two things —
GORMLEY: — of like two planets sort of hanging, grace of gravity.
AMANPOUR: Just beautiful. You have some amazing, huge works outside, north of England then on the beach at Merseyside, you have all these
figures, like this, on the beach.
GORMLEY: And other places, yes.
AMANPOUR: And now you’re planning to do something on the coast of France, in response to Brexit, I think. What are you saying about our current
political climate or why are you building them on the coast of France?
GORMLEY: I think it’s an extraordinary paradox, that in a time in which we have the greatest potential of understanding, in other words, we have, with
the internet, this realization of what (inaudible) and Fanansky (ph) called the nurse fear. The encirclement of the globe by human mind and our
ability to communicate. At the same time, we have this reactive force that is both fundamentalism in religious terms and nationalism in political
And I think we cannot face the future, we cannot answer any of the issues of the social justice without talking to our neighbors and without
realizing that our — our — our future and their future are one future.
And that — yes, I will go on doing as much as I can to work across the globe to make pieces that encourage people to think openly about what is
possible, and our species is possible — well, what is possible for our species in terms of our participation in the evolution of life.
AMANPOUR: And you almost said to make peace.
GORMLEY: Well, no. I think you can have cubistic (ph) ideas about what the possibility of art can do. I think — I think art is always a space
apart, that hopefully allows you to look back at your own life and the world and recalibrate your relationship with it. That’s the best it can
AMANPOUR: Sir Antony Gormley, thank you so much.
GORMLEY: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: It was an amazing experience in that museum there, and the exhibition is at the Royal Academy until December 3.
That’s it for our program tonight. Remember, you can follow me, Michel and the show on Twitter.
Thanks for watching “Amanpour and Company” and join us again tomorrow night.