Go Fug Yourself Book Club discussion

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
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Past Book Club Discussions > Opening up the April Discussion for Catch and Kill is our April book

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Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1296 comments Mod
I am so sorry, I was on vacation when the poll ended, and then I straight up forgot about it. So nearly 2 weeks after the poll ended, I am announcing the winner. If you plan to borrow this one put yourself on hold lists now -- I have 3 libraries -- I have been on the lists for 3 months and and the shortest wait I have is 9 more weeks!


Danielle (artspice) | 13 comments I read ‘Catch and Kill’ in a day. It was incredibly engrossing and hard to put down. I don’t know that “surprised” is the correct term, or even “eye-opening”, to read about the various men at NBC who were making the decisions on running the story & their histories with sexual harassment. I didn’t know but I wasn’t surprised. I read the Twohey & Kantor ‘She Said’ right after this one, and I found it interesting (and depressing) that both books start with Weinstein but then delve into another high profile sexual assault story. Because of course there are more stories.

NBC was my go-to for television news before this, but I don’t think I can say that anymore. I don’t know what hit me more- the decades-long cover-ups for Weinstein or the NBC management run-around and lies.

I thought Ronan Farrow did an excellent job with the victims, bringing their stories to light in the way they wanted to tell them.


Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1296 comments Mod
Ahhhhh with the crazy I forgot to to post! Converting this to a Book talk post and will add more tonight. THANK YOU DANIELLE!!!!!!!


Katie (faintingviolet) | 88 comments I read this back in February - somehow the library gods sent me a copy quickly - and my lingering memory from the read is that Farrow writes like he's hopped up on espresso. I also read the Kantor & Twohey book after, and there's seemed much more... calm? That isn't the correct word. I found it notable that they kept themselves off the page and Farrow didn't, but I think the fact that they weren't investigating their own company and had been sent to find the story made a huge difference, where Farrow went hunting of his and his producing partners own volition.


message 5: by Bonnie G. (last edited Apr 02, 2020 11:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1296 comments Mod
I listened to this in February as well (my library gods were also at work) and I am a fan. Not only do I think Farrow did not keep himself off the page, I thought that his experience was the story, and that it what I found interesting. I know the Weinstein story, I have read countless articles, long and short form, I have seen two documentaries, and I know lawyers who were involved at various points in the several suits that stemmed from Weinstein's behavior over the years (obviously none discussed anything confidential.) Ronan's story is what I was here for, the story of how hard so many people worked to cover up so many people's harassment is staggering and fascinating. I am no neophyte, I have seen, heard about, and been the target of plenty of harassment starting with college jobs in the 80's, moving into being a young (and then not so young) lawyer through the 90's and early 00's. I saw law firms ignore horrifying harassment when perpetrated by partners with valuable books of business. But I still found myself stunned by the lengths that people went to in order to cover up behavior (and not just for the famous people) but even more I was stunned by how many people early on believed that Farrow would stay silent and help with the cover up either because he was a good corporate soldier or simply because he had a penis. Yes, in the 90's we stayed silent, but we did it because we could not afford to lose our jobs (Farrow is presumably not living paycheck-to-paycheck), because we would never work anywhere as a lawyer again at any firm if we reported, and because it was a different age and there were no women in real positions of authority. The only female C-Suite executives in 1995 were Chiefs of HR, and they got there because they were the most dedicated to covering up the foibles of men. Even with all I know, even then, the PI's. the Mossad agents, the gaslighting, the looping in of well-known veterans to advise Ronan against pursuing the story, the turning his law school friend against him (boy she was awful!) that surprised me. And it fascinated me. And it helped me see that after fighting for more years than I can count there are walls that keep women as perpetual victims that even I did not know about. What a story.

Want to hate the patriarchy and doubt television news even more? This is your book. Farrow lived and breathed this story, and his experience is chilling and fascinating. Farrow never makes this about him, its about the women, but a lot of people were trying to (literally) shoot the messenger and that story needs telling too. All of Mia Farrow's other kids may be screwed up or dead by suicide, but she turned out one man of true integrity, a man who is a brilliant and brave ally. Also a really good writer. She did good.


Allie (allieeveryday) | 115 comments I agree with Bonnie about Farrow's self-insertion being part of the appeal of the story. And I say that as a former journalism student who usually hates it when reporters can't keep themselves out of the story, but I literally can't imagine how Farrow could have produced this work without himself being a character - because so much of it has to do with the suppression of the story from his own bosses, coworkers, etc. But I agree that even though he is a character, the focus is always on the women whose stories were not being told or not being believed, and his pursuit to bringing the truth to light. I thought this book was fantastic.


message 7: by Allie (last edited Apr 02, 2020 11:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Allie (allieeveryday) | 115 comments I do want to posit a question though - do we think this book would have been as successful at its job had Farrow been cishet? I feel (a very tiny bit) like his credibility/trust with the women/his treatment of the story could have been called into question if he had been straight. Something about marginalized perspectives helping elevate other marginalized perspectives? I don't know.


Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1296 comments Mod
Allie wrote: "I do want to posit a question though - do we think this book would have been as successful at its job had Farrow been cishet? I feel (a very tiny bit) like his credibility/trust with the women/his ..."

I actually think the opposite. I for one would be amazed and thrilled to see a straight man in a position of power use his privilege to shine a light on issues that predominately impact women. Sign me up! Wonder what others think,


Katie (faintingviolet) | 88 comments Allie wrote: "I do want to posit a question though - do we think this book would have been as successful at its job had Farrow been cishet? I feel (a very tiny bit) like his credibility/trust with the women/his ..."

I do think Farrow's reporting would have been viewed differently if he were cishet. He's already bringing a good amount of privilege to the table (white ivy league educated male) but I wonder if his sources would have trusted him as much as they did. Its interesting to note that it was women and Farrow who broke the story - the cishet men before them were shut down. Its a question we'll never know the answer to, but it did occur to me while I was reading.


Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1296 comments Mod
Katie wrote: "Allie wrote: "I do want to posit a question though - do we think this book would have been as successful at its job had Farrow been cishet? I feel (a very tiny bit) like his credibility/trust with ..."

I do agree that women who had been victimized by men would be less comfortable talking to a straight man than to Farrow. He does talk about at least two reporters I can recall who had come up against walls in reporting the story. That said, those reporters might have been less successful because they were (rightly) afraid of he consequences of reporting the story, while Farrow forged ahead despite very real threats.


message 11: by Sara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sara | 101 comments My library delivered me this book in mid-March, and it proved a surprisingly successful distraction from, you know, all the things. It was riveting.

I think the details of the Weinstein investigation were almost too distracting, because the real reason for this book is to talk about cover-ups and media conspiracies, the corruption of power and privilege, and the threat of mutually-assured destruction that enforces these entities keeping each others' secrets.

Farrow was in a very specific spot, personally and professionally, that enabled him to succeed where others were blocked. I don't even know if it's his not being cishet so much as his background that gave him the edge on victims' and insiders' trust. Maybe it was both. I really admire his determination in pushing the story through.


Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1296 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "My library delivered me this book in mid-March, and it proved a surprisingly successful distraction from, you know, all the things. It was riveting.

I think the details of the Weinstein investiga..."


Agree with every word of this. I felt entirely the same way about the Weinstein story, it simply served as a framework to tell the larger conspiracy story which for me was as full of surprises as the Weinstein action were known to me.


message 13: by Bonnie G. (last edited May 05, 2020 10:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1296 comments Mod
Slightly off topic, but if you want to read a really well-written book about the effects and realities of rape culture and male privilege I am reading Know My Name: A Memoir and ....well I don't know if I would say I am enjoying it, but I am certainly absorbed


Alicia (thebeeka) | 42 comments It took me awhile to get in to the book but that was because I started it in early March and couldn't focus. I don't have much to add but I really wish Ronan Farrow had added a section upfront (or in back) with names and their basic roles. He would say who someone one was and then not get back to them for a few chapters and I was always flipping back and forth. I know it's not the same thing but I always was grateful when I read the Crazy Rich Asians books because there was a family tree in the beginning to refer to.


Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1296 comments Mod
Thought some of you would be interested in what Dylan is doing.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entert...


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