For the past two years, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ronan Farrow has been following a trail of clues from his investigation of Harvey Weinstein to other blockbuster stories about the systems that protect powerful men accused of terrible crimes in Hollywood, Washington, and beyond. But he didn’t bring that information to light on his own. A compelling cast of sources—from brave whistleblowers to shadowy undercover operatives—decided the fate of these investigations, sometimes risking everything in the process. The Catch and Kill Podcast brings you their stories, in their own words, for the first time.
Ronan has a recommendation for a new podcast to try. It’s 1990. The Berlin Wall just fell. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. And the soundtrack to the revolution is one of the best selling songs of all time, the metal ballad “Wind of Change,” by the Scorpions. Decades later, New Yorker journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor: the song wasn’t written by the Scorpions. It was written by the CIA. Wind of Change is his journey to find the truth.
25 May Finished
On Monday, Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sex crimes and taken into police custody. He faces up to 29 years in jail. Just hours after the jury announced its verdict, Ronan Farrow sat down with the actress Rose McGowan, the first woman to go on camera as Farrow reported on Weinstein, to reflect on the verdict and her long, strange journey to it—through Hollywood sexism, media executives willing to shut down her story, and hired spies willing to pose as friends.
28 February Finished
In our final episode, we go inside the case that ultimately brought Donald Trump’s alliance with the National Enquirer tumbling down and landed one Trump associate behind bars. It’s the story of an historic scheme to swing a presidential race—one that starts at the Playboy Mansion and ends with a master list of Trump dirt, a safe full of secrets, and a shredding party at the Enquirer’s headquarters before the election. But it’s also a personal story, about a schoolteacher from the Midwest who found herself drawn into an underworld where porn, tabloids, and a black market for political information all intersect—and who came face to face with stark lessons about how powerful people can distort the truth, and what it takes to hold them accountable.
13 February Finished
Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to broker legally questionable deals to secure a political advantage are facing unprecedented scrutiny. But those deals didn’t start with Ukraine and Joe Biden. In the first of a two-part series about the sprawling saga of Trump’s alliance with the National Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc., we look at a secret deal between a presidential candidate and a tabloid empire—and the first instance during the campaign of a practice called “catch and kill.” It’s a stranger-than-fiction investigation of an unproven rumor and the very real transaction that buried it, featuring a former accountant named Pecker, a former bodyguard named Calamari, and the first extensive interview with the former Trump Tower doorman at the heart of the story.
5 February Finished
At a precarious moment for the free press—as journalists face rhetoric about “fake news,” hostility toward reporters at political rallies, and efforts by powerful interests to suppress and manipulate the news—this episode looks at a group of people on the frontlines of the fight for the truth. Take a rare trip inside the walls of The New Yorker and learn how its editors, fact checkers, and lawyer stared down threats from titans of industry (and their hired spies) to break major stories.
29 January Finished