Courtesy of Stitcher
By Cristina Goerdt
I have never been a “podcast person.” That title, I thought, was reserved for my (much) older siblings, my dad, and my former roommate who was obsessed with true crime. True, I did listen to the news every morning, but I consoled myself with the fact that a live radio newscast wasn’t really a podcast in the strictest sense of the word.
Flash forward to the present day and I follow no less than seven different podcasts. How did this happen? How did I, sworn enemy of podcasts, become one of those “podcast people?” Have I joined the ranks of pseudo-intellectuals who wax poetic about their latest niche podcast discovery at parties?
For once, I find myself at a loss and unable to answer my own questions. I do know, however, that podcast love happens by degrees. First it’s one podcast you like, then you find another that intrigues you, and then another, and the next thing you know, you’re looking forward to the next opportunity to catch up on all the episodes you’ve missed.
If discovering a podcast is like falling in love, then I fell hard and fast for Ronan Farrow’s limited podcast series. Titled “Catch and Kill,” Farrow’s series details his journey to investigate and publish allegations of sexual misconduct against former film producer Harvey Weinstein. It’s adapted from his 2018 book of the same name.
Farrow’s story sounds more like the script of one of Weinstein’s films than real life. Over the course of his reporting, Farrow was followed by former Israeli spies, had his story mysteriously shut down by NBC, and uncovered a complicated web of cover-ups, Hollywood drama, and questionable journalistic practices that even included our current president.
Much of my initial interest stemmed from a desire to learn more about investigative journalism from an award-winning journalist, but the amount of self-restraint I had to exercise to prevent myself from listening to all nine 45-minute episodes at once was considerable. Farrow deftly leads the listener through interviews with victims, those who assisted his investigation, his editors and fact-checkers, and his own experiences.
In addition to his cinematic story, Farrow also explores questions surrounding the #MeToo movement, culpability, the ability of the justice system to help victims, and contemporary media ethics, lending a depth to his reporting that not only answers “how,” but challenges the listener to ask “why?”
The podcast is available for free on Spotify and Apple Podcasts