紐約時報官方譯文 | 他揭露了韋恩斯坦性醜聞,但他的報道真的無懈可擊嗎?

Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True?

It was a breathtaking story, written by The New Yorker’s marquee reporter and published with an attention-grabbing headline: “Missing Files Motivated the Leak of Michael Cohen’s Financial Records.”

In it, the reporter, Ronan Farrow, suggests something suspicious unfolding inside the Treasury Department: A civil servant had noticed that records about Mr. Cohen, the personal lawyer for President Trump, mysteriously vanished from a government database in the spring of 2018. Mr. Farrow quotes the anonymous public servant as saying he was so concerned about the records’ disappearance that he leaked other financial reports to the media to sound a public alarm about Mr. Cohen’s financial activities.
在文章中,記者羅南·法羅(Ronan Farrow)稱財政部內部出現了壹些可疑的事情:壹名公務員註意到,特朗普總統的私人律師科恩的記錄在2018年春天從政府數據庫神秘消失了。法羅援引這位不願透露姓名的公務員的話說,這些記錄的消失讓他非常擔心,於是向媒體泄露了其他財務報告,以引起公眾對科恩財務活動的警覺。

The story set off a frenzied reaction, with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes calling it “an amazing shocking story about a whistle-blower” and his colleague Rachel Maddow describing it as “a meteor strike.” Congressional Democrats demanded answers, and the Treasury Department promised to investigate.
這個故事產生了極其強烈的反響,MSNBC電視臺的克裏斯·海斯(Chris Hayes)稱其為“壹個關於吹哨人的令人震驚的故事”,他的同事雷切爾·馬多(Rachel Maddow)以“隕石撞地球”來形容。國會民主黨人要說法,財政部承諾展開調查。

Two years after publication, little of Mr. Farrow’s article holds up, according to prosecutors and court documents. The Treasury Department records on Michael Cohen never went “missing.” That was merely the story put forward by the civil servant, an Internal Revenue Service analyst named John Fry, who later pleaded guilty to illegally leaking confidential information.
據檢察官和法庭文件顯示,在發表兩年後,法羅報道的內容基本都不屬實。財政部關於邁克爾·科恩的記錄從未“消失”。這只是美國國稅局(Internal Revenue Service)分析師約翰·弗萊(John Fry)的壹面之辭,他後來承認犯下了非法泄露機密信息的罪行。

The records were simply put on restricted access, a longstanding practice to prevent leaks, a possibility Mr. Farrow briefly allows for in his story, but minimizes. And Mr. Fry’s leaks had been encouraged and circulated by a man who was barely mentioned in Mr. Farrow’s article, the now-disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti, a passionate antagonist of Mr. Cohen.
那些記錄只是提高了訪問權限,這是防止泄密的慣常做法,法羅在他的報道中壹度提及這壹可能性,但稱這種可能微乎其微。弗萊的泄密行為得到了壹個人的慫恿和散播,這在法羅的文章裏也沒有提及,那個人就是現已名譽掃地的律師邁克爾·阿韋納蒂(Michael Avenatti),科恩的壹個死敵。

Mr. Farrow may now be the most famous investigative reporter in America, a rare celebrity-journalist who followed the opposite path of most in the profession: He began as a boy-wonder talk show host and worked his way downward to the coal face of hard investigative reporting. The child of the actress Mia Farrow and the director Woody Allen, he has delivered stories of stunning and lasting impact, especially his revelations about powerful men who preyed on young women in the worlds of Hollywood, television and politics, which won him a Pulitzer Prize.
法羅現在可能是美國最著名的調查記者,壹個難得的名記,他走的是與大多數同行截然相反的道路:壹開始是脫口秀主持界的神童,後來逐漸成為了硬調查報道記者。他的母親是女演員米婭·法羅(Mia Farrow),父親是導演伍迪·艾倫(Woody Allen),他的報道往往導致輿論嘩然,並帶來深遠的影響,尤其是他揭露了壹些有權勢的男人在好萊塢、電視圈和政界糟蹋年輕女性的故事,為他贏得了普利策獎。

I’ve been watching Mr. Farrow’s astonishing rise over the past few years, marveling at his ability to shine a light on some of the defining stories of our time, especially the sexual misconduct of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, which culminated with Mr. Weinstein’s conviction in February just before the pandemic took hold. But some aspects of his work made me wonder if Mr. Farrow didn’t, at times, fly a little too close to the sun.
在過去的幾年裏,我壹直在關註著法羅飛速的崛起,驚嘆他的能力,總能挖到定義這個時代的報道,特別是好萊塢制片人哈維·韋恩斯坦(Harvey Weinstein)的性醜聞,就在疫情蔓延之前,韋恩斯坦於2月被定罪,令這壹事件達到高潮。但他工作的某些方面也讓我忍不住想,法羅有時候是不是飛得離太陽太近了。

Because if you scratch at Mr. Farrow’s reporting in The New Yorker and in his 2019 best seller, “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators,” you start to see some shakiness at its foundation. He delivers narratives that are irresistibly cinematic — with unmistakable heroes and villains — and often omits the complicating facts and inconvenient details that may make them less dramatic. At times, he does not always follow the typical journalistic imperatives of corroboration and rigorous disclosure, or he suggests conspiracies that are tantalizing but he cannot prove.
因為,如果妳仔細閱讀法羅在《紐約客》上的報道,及其2019年的暢銷書《捕殺:謊言、間諜和保護性奴役者的陰謀》(Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators),難免疑竇叢生。他的敘事具有難以抗拒的電影風格——黑白分明的英雄與壞蛋,卻往往缺乏復雜的事實以及引起麻煩的細節。有時候,他並不總是遵循新聞必須事實確鑿和嚴格披露的典型語氣,或者他所暗示的陰謀非常誘人卻無法證實。

Mr. Farrow, 32, is not a fabulist. His reporting can be misleading but he does not make things up. His work, though, reveals the weakness of a kind of resistance journalism that has thrived in the age of Donald Trump: That if reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices, the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness can seem more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives.

That can be a dangerous approach, particularly in a moment when the idea of truth and a shared set of facts is under assault.

The New Yorker has made Mr. Farrow a highly visible, generational star for its brand. And Mr. Farrow’s supporters there point out the undeniable impact of his reporting — which ousted abusers like New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, and helped rewrite the rules of sex and power in the workplace, sometimes with his colleague Jane Mayer. Ken Auletta, The New Yorker writer who helped Mr. Farrow take his work from NBC to the magazine, said that the important thing is that Mr. Farrow helped reveal Mr. Weinstein’s predatory behavior to the world and bring him down.
《紐約客》將法羅變成他那壹代人的耀眼明星,成為其品牌的象征。法羅在那裏的支持者指出他的報道產生了不可否認的影響——趕走了諸如紐約檢察長埃裏克·施耐德曼(Eric Sc hneiderman)等施虐者,並有時甚至與他的同事簡·梅耶(Jane Mayer)壹起重寫了工作場所的性別和權力規則。《紐約客》作者肯·奧萊塔(Ken Auletta)幫助法羅將他的報道從NBC帶到雜誌上,他說,重要的是,法羅幫助向世人揭露了韋恩斯坦的好色成性,並讓他身敗名裂。

“Are all the Ts crossed and the Is dotted? No,” Mr. Auletta said of some of Mr. Farrow’s most sweeping claims of a conspiracy between Mr. Weinstein and NBC to suppress his work.

“You’re still left with the bottom line — he delivered the goods,” Mr. Auletta said.

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, defended Mr. Farrow’s reporting, calling it “scrupulous, tireless, and, above all, fair.”
《紐約客》的編輯戴維·雷姆尼克(David Remnick)為法羅的報道辯護,稱其“謹慎、不懈,尤其重要的是,公正”。

“Working alongside fact checkers, lawyers and other editorial staff members at The New Yorker, he achieved something remarkable, not least because he earned the trust of his sources, many of whom had to relive traumatic events when they talked to him,’’ Mr. Remnick said in a statement. “We stand by Ronan Farrow’s reporting. We’re proud to publish him.”

Mr. Farrow, in his own statement to The New York Times, said he brings “caution, rigor, and nuance” to each of his stories. “I’m proud of a body of reporting that has helped to expose wrongdoing and to bring important stories into public view.”

It’s impossible, however, to go back and answer the question of whether Mr. Farrow’s explosive early reporting would have carried such power if he’d been more rigorous and taken care to show what he knew and what he didn’t. Is the cost of a more dramatic story worth paying? Because this much is certain: There is a cost.

That becomes clear in an examination of Mr. Farrow’s debut article on Mr. Weinstein, back in October 2017, which provided the first clear, on-the-record claim that Mr. Weinstein had gone beyond the systematic sexual harassment and abuse revealed days earlier by The Times into something that New York prosecutors could charge as rape. The accuser was Lucia Evans, a college student whom Mr. Weinstein had approached at a private club, and then later lured to his office with a promise of acting opportunities. There, she told Mr. Farrow, he forced her to perform oral sex on him.
仔細閱讀法羅於2017年10月發表的首篇有關韋恩斯坦的文章,這壹點顯而易見。該文提供了第壹個明確的、有記錄的說法,即韋恩斯坦已經犯下可被紐約檢察官指控為強奸的罪行,超越了幾天前時報所揭露的有預謀的性騷擾和性虐待。指控者是大學生露西婭·埃文斯(Lucia Evans),韋恩斯坦曾在壹家私人俱樂部與她會面,後來誘騙她到他的辦公室,並承諾提供出演機會。她告訴法羅,在那裏他強迫她給他口交。

But a fundamental principle of the contemporary craft of reporting on sexual assault is corroboration: the painstaking task of tracking down friends and neighbors a traumatized victim may have confided in soon after the assault, to see if their accounts align with the victim’s story and to give it more — or less — weight. In much of the strongest #metoo reporting, from the stories about Mr. Weinstein in The New York Times to The Washington Post’s exposé of Charlie Rose and even some of Mr. Farrow’s other articles, clunky paragraphs interrupt the narrative to explain what an accuser told friends, and often, to explore any conflicting accounts. Americans are now watching this complicated form of reporting play out in the stories about Tara Reade, who has accused Joe Biden of assaulting her.
但是,對性侵進行報道的壹項基本原則是佐證:這是壹個辛苦的工作,即在性侵發生後不久,尋找受害者可能傾訴過的朋友和鄰居,以核對他們的說法是否與受害者的故事相吻合,使故事更具說服力——或導致說服力減弱。在最有力的“#我也是”報道中,從《紐約時報》對韋恩斯坦的報道,到《華盛頓郵報》曝光查理·羅斯(Charlie Rose),甚至包括法羅的其他壹些文章裏,故事的敘述中穿插著突兀的段落,以解釋指控者向朋友的傾訴,並且常常會對任何有爭議的說法進行探討。這種復雜的報道形式,可見於美國人現在正在關註的塔拉·裏德(Tara Reade)的故事中,她指控喬·拜登(Joe Biden)對她性侵。

Mr. Farrow’s first big story on Mr. Weinstein offered readers little visibility into the question of whether Ms. Evans’s story could be corroborated. He could have indicated that he had, or hadn’t, been able to corroborate what Ms. Evans said, or reported what her friends from the time had told the magazine. He wrote instead: “Evans told friends some of what had happened, but felt largely unable to talk about it.”

It appears Mr. Farrow was making a narrative virtue of a reporting liability, and the results were ultimately damaging.

A crucial witness, the friend who was with Ms. Evans when both women met Mr. Weinstein at the club, later told prosecutors that when a fact checker for The New Yorker called her about Mr. Farrow’s story, she hadn’t confirmed Ms. Evans’s account of rape. Instead, according to a letter from prosecutors to defense lawyers, the witness told the magazine that “something inappropriate happened,” and refused to go into detail.

But the witness later told a New York Police Department detective something more problematic: That Ms. Evans had told her the sexual encounter with Mr. Weinstein was consensual. The detective told the witness that her response to the magazine’s fact checker “was more consistent” with Ms. Evans’s allegation against Mr. Weinstein and suggested she stick to The New Yorker version, prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorneys office later acknowledged. The detective denied the exchange, but when Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers unearthed the witness’s contradictory accounts, the judge dismissed the charge. Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers gloated, though, of course, their client was ultimately convicted on other counts.

In his 2019 book, “Catch and Kill,” Mr. Farrow dismisses the incident as an issue with a “peripheral witness” and attacks Mr. Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman for “private espionage.”
在他2019年出版的《捕殺》中,法羅淡化了該事件,稱其與壹名“外圍證人”有關,並指責韋恩斯坦的律師本傑明·布拉夫曼(Benjamin Brafman)進行了“私人間諜活動”。

A similar problem appears at the heart of “Catch and Kill,” in a section in which he describes Matt Lauer assaulting a junior employee at NBC. In Mr. Farrow’s telling, Mr. Lauer’s accuser leaves his dressing room after the assault. “Crying, she ran to the new guy she’d started seeing, a producer who was working in the control room that morning, and told him what had happened.” Mr. Farrow and the fact checker for his book, Sean Lavery, never called “the new guy” to corroborate the story, both Mr. Lavery and the man told me.
類似的問題出現在《捕殺》的核心部分,他在其中描述了馬特·勞爾(Matt Lauer)性侵NBC的壹名初級員工。根據法羅的說法,勞爾的指控者在遭到性侵後離開了更衣室。“她哭著跑向她剛開始約會的新男友,壹個早上在控制室工作的制片人,告訴他發生了什麽。”法羅和這本書的事實核查人肖恩·拉威利(Sean Lavery)從來沒有打電話給“那個新男友”來證實這個故事,拉威利和那個男人都這樣告訴我。

“I might look at something and say that’s good enough, there’s enough other evidence that something happened,” Mr. Lavery said, speaking hypothetically, when I asked why he and Mr. Farrow didn’t call a potentially corroborating witness.

But the “new guy” told me that, in fact, he doesn’t remember the scene that was portrayed in the book. He spoke on the condition he not be identified.

When I told Mr. Farrow that in an email last week, he wrote back: “I am confident that the conversation took place as described and it was verified in multiple ways.”

Mr. Farrow did not share his methods. But this much is clear: Mr. Farrow and the fact checker never called the producer. And if they had, that element of the story would have been much more complicated — or would never have appeared in print.

Mr. Lauer was fired from NBC, and a series of reports and an internal investigation portrayed him as a star who abused his power in the workplace for sex. He declined to speak for the record during a telephone conversation, except to say that he had found issues with the corroboration of Mr. Farrow’s reporting on him.

It’s hard to feel much sympathy for a predator like Mr. Weinstein or to shed tears over Mr. Lauer’s firing. And readers may brush aside these reporting issues as the understandable desire of a zealous young reporter to tell his stories as dramatically as he can.

But Mr. Farrow brings that same inclination to the other big theme that shapes his work: conspiracy. His stories are built and sold on his belief — which he rarely proves — that powerful forces and people are conspiring against those trying to do good, especially Mr. Farrow himself.

At the heart of “Catch and Kill” is an electrifying suggestion: that Mr. Weinstein blackmailed NBC executives to kill Mr. Farrow’s story on his sexual misconduct with the threat that The National Enquirer would expose Mr. Lauer’s misconduct if they did not. This is the “conspiracy” in the book’s subtitle. And it is the thread that holds together its narrative.
《捕殺》的核心是壹個驚人的說法:韋恩斯坦敲詐NBC的高管,逼迫他們扼殺法羅關於自己的不當性行為的報道,否則《國民問詢》(The National Enquirer)就會曝光勞爾的不當性行為。這就是該書副標題中的“陰謀”。正是這條線把故事串聯在壹起。

In Mr. Farrow’s telling, by the end of July 2017, he had nailed down the story of Mr. Weinstein’s pattern of sexual predation, and the NBC brass had begun to shut him down. He has said repeatedly that he had at least two women on the record for his story at the time he left NBC for The New Yorker. He told NPR in an interview, “There is no draft of this story that NBC had that had fewer than two named women.” But NBC has disputed that claim, and an NBC employee showed me what he described as the final draft of Mr. Farrow’s script, as of Aug. 7. It had no on-the-record, on-camera interviews. (It did have one strong piece of reporting that Mr. Farrow took to The New Yorker: an audio recording of Mr. Weinstein appearing to confess to an Italian model that he had groped her. )

Nor does Mr. Farrow provide any proof that NBC executives were acting out of fear of blackmail when they refused to air his story, a central theme he promoted on his book tour. When the ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Mr. Farrow about “the suggestion that Mr. Weinstein was blackmailing NBC News,” Mr. Farrow replied, “Multiple sources do say that, and the way in which that’s framed is very careful.” Pressed on whether NBC had let the story go “because they were afraid information about Matt Lauer was going to get out,” Mr. Farrow replied, “That is what the extensive conversations, transcripts, and documents presented in this book suggest.”
法羅也沒有提供任何證據,表明NBC的高管們拒絕播出他的報道是擔心遭到脅迫,而這是他在巡回售書活動中宣傳的壹個核心主題。當ABC主持人喬治·斯特凡諾普洛斯(George Stephanopoulos)問法羅關於“韋恩斯坦恐嚇NBC新聞的說法”時,法羅回答說,“有多個消息來源確實這麽說過,報道對此的表述非常謹慎。”當被問及NBC是否“因為擔心馬特·勞爾的消息會被泄露”而放棄這個報道時,法羅回答說,“這本書中大量的對話、文字記錄和文件都說明了這壹點。”

But the reporting in the book does not bear that out. And in the absence of compelling proof, Mr. Farrow relies on what the critic and private detective Anne Diebel earlier this year described in The New York Review of Books as “New Journalism on the sly” — using novelistic technique to make his case. Mr. Farrow, for example, describes the facial expressions and physical gestures of NBC executives during his meetings with them, and then deduces dark motives.
但書中的報道並沒有證實這壹點。在缺乏有力證據的情況下,法羅依靠的是評論家和私家偵探安妮·迪貝爾(Anne Diebel)今年早些時候在《紐約書評》(New York Review of Books)上所說的“狡猾的新新聞主義”——利用小說技巧來證明他的觀點。例如,法羅在與NBC高管會面時描述了他們的面部表情和肢體語言,然後推斷出他們有陰暗的動機。

“If the Lauer threat was indeed made, and taken seriously, then NBC’s killing of the story is not just a case of muddy corporate cowardice; it’s a case of abject journalistic malfeasance and moral failure,” Ms. Diebel wrote. “But in the absence of persuasive sourcing, Farrow’s exploration of the alternatives is insufficient.”

Even Mr. Auletta, a supporter and mentor to Mr. Farrow, told me that Mr. Farrow’s central conspiracy allegation was unproven.

The one on-the-record source supporting the core conspiracy theory in “Catch and Kill” is William Arkin, a maverick journalist and acolyte of Seymour Hersh who departed bitterly from NBC soon after Mr. Farrow.
《捕殺》中唯壹公開姓名支持該核心陰謀論的消息來源是威廉·阿爾金(William Arkin),壹名特立獨行的記者,西摩·赫什(Seymour Hersh)的信徒,法羅離開NBC後不久,阿爾金也忿忿地離開了。

In a curious passage in “Catch and Kill,” Mr. Farrow writes that Mr. Arkin — an ally of his at the network — told him of two anonymous sources who made the charge. In a telephone interview last week, Mr. Arkin told me that his sources, only one of whom offered a firsthand account, had been unwilling to speak to Mr. Farrow for his book. Mr. Arkin said the firsthand source told him that Mr. Weinstein had made a threat to an NBC executive about exposing Mr. Lauer, but that he doesn’t know who told his source. And he said he had no knowledge of the other elements of Mr. Farrow’s shadowy suggestions — the involvement of The National Enquirer, or whether executives actually shut down Mr. Farrow’s story because of a threat. (NBC has denied that Mr. Weinstein threatened anyone and said most of the producer’s communication was with MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin, who wasn’t directly involved in the reporting on Mr. Weinstein.)
在《捕殺》中,法羅在壹個不尋常的段落裏寫道,阿爾金——他在電視臺的盟友——告訴他,有兩名匿名人士提出了這個指控。在上周的壹次電話采訪中,阿爾金告訴我,他的消息來源中只有壹人提供了第壹手資料,他們壹直不願就法羅的書與他交談。阿爾金說,提供第壹手資料的消息來源告訴他,韋恩斯坦曾威脅NBC的壹名高管要曝光勞爾,但他不知道是誰告訴這名消息人士的。他說,法羅的這些隱晦暗示的其他部分他並不了解——《國民問詢》的參與,以及高管們是否真的因為該威脅而停止了法羅的報道。(NBC否認韋恩斯坦曾威脅過任何人,並說同韋恩斯坦的大部分溝通都是與MSNBC總裁菲爾·格裏芬[Phil Griffin]進行的,格裏芬沒有直接參與對韋恩斯坦的報道。)

Two other NBC journalists, neither of whom would speak for the record, expressed a different view, which is shared by network executives: That Mr. Farrow was a talented young reporter with big ambitions but little experience, who didn’t realize how high the standards of proof were, particularly at slow-moving, super-cautious news networks. A normal clash between a young reporter and experienced editors turned toxic.

Mr. Arkin said he agreed with NBC’s view that Mr. Farrow didn’t have the Weinstein story nailed by August 2017, when he took the story to The New Yorker. But Mr. Arkin said he also believed that NBC didn’t really want the story.

The right move would have been to “take a 29-year-old and you hold him by the hand and you walk him through the story,” Mr. Arkin said in a telephone interview. “Instead what they did was they took him out to the deep end and threw him in — and then they said ‘Oh my God, you can’t swim.’”

That’s an account less heroic than Mr. Farrow’s. It’s also hard to argue that NBC wouldn’t have been better off staying close to Mr. Farrow and getting the story.

Mr. Farrow’s other irresistible conspiracy has even less to support it: that Hillary Clinton, whom Mr. Farrow had once worked for at the State Department, also sought to kill his reporting and protect Mr. Weinstein. In “Catch and Kill,” Mr. Farrow described receiving an “ominous” call from Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, in the summer of 2017 saying his Weinstein reporting was “a concern.” “It’s remarkable,” Mr. Farrow told The Financial Times about Mrs. Clinton during his book tour, “how quickly even people with a long relationship with you will turn if you threaten the centers of power or the sources of funding around them.”
法羅的另壹個引人入勝的陰謀論甚至更加無據可循:希拉裏·克林頓(Hillary Clinton)——法羅曾在美國國務院為她工作過——也試圖封殺他的報道,從而保護韋恩斯坦。在《捕殺》中,法羅說他在2017年夏接到克林頓的發言人尼克·梅裏爾(Nick Merrill)的壹個“威脅”電話,稱他的韋恩斯坦報道令人“擔憂”。“這真是驚人,”法羅告訴《金融時報》。“如果妳威脅到權力中心,或他們周圍的資金來源,即使相識多年的人也會跟妳翻臉。”

But Mr. Farrow appears to have misinterpreted Mr. Merrill’s call. Mr. Merrill said at the time that Mrs. Clinton was preparing to do a documentary film with Mr. Weinstein, and the Clinton camp was trying to find out if damaging reporting was about to be published about the producer. He had no way of proving it, but another reporter he spoke to at the time about Mr. Weinstein shared with me text messages that back Mr. Merrill’s account, and contradict Mr. Farrow’s. “We’re about to do business with him unless this is real,” Mr. Merrill wrote the other reporter on July 6. In other words, Mr. Merrill was trying to protect his boss, not Mr. Weinstein.

Predictably, Mr. Farrow’s account was seized on by Mrs. Clinton’s detractors, both on the right and left, who saw it as vivid confirmation that Mrs. Clinton was a devious and manipulative character.

When I asked Mr. Farrow whether he has evidence for his conspiracies, he first referred the questions to his publisher, Little, Brown. Sabrina Callahan, the executive director of publicity for Little, Brown, said in an email: “The book is very careful about laying out the facts uncovered by Ronan around NBC’s contact with Weinstein and his associates — and only going as far as the facts support,” adding, “We would encourage people to read it and form their own conclusions.”
當我問法羅,他的陰謀論是否有證據支持時,他先是說這應該去問出版商利特爾布朗出版社(Little, Brown)。出版社的公關執行董事薩布麗娜·卡拉漢(Sabrina Callahan)在壹封電子郵件中說:“這本書非常謹慎地列述了羅南在NBC與韋恩斯坦等人的接觸中發現的事實——並且只限於事實支持的範圍內,”並說,“我們鼓勵人們讀壹讀,並得出自己的結論。”

When I asked specifically about the Clinton conspiracy, she said, “Ronan‘s book recounts his own experiences.”

The essence of those responses — the first legalistic in a misleading way, the second to suggest Mr. Farrow’s journalistic conclusions are based on his subjective experience — captures the deepest danger of Mr. Farrow’s approach. We are living in an era of conspiracies and dangerous untruths — many pushed by President Trump, but others hyped by his enemies — that have lured ordinary Americans into passionately believing wild and unfounded theories and fiercely rejecting evidence to the contrary. The best reporting tries to capture the most attainable version of the truth, with clarity and humility about what we don’t know. Instead, Mr. Farrow told us what we wanted to believe about the way power works, and now, it seems, he and his publicity team are not even pretending to know if it’s true.

On Sunday night, Mr. Farrow offered another defense of the word “conspiracy” in his book’s subtitle, saying it “accurately conveys the substance of the book and efforts by powerful men to evade accountability.” He added, “With respect to Weinstein, I carefully lay out the various levers of pressure exerted against my reporting — through personal relationships, private espionage, legal threats, etc.”

I’m writing this for The Times, which competed with Mr. Farrow on many stories and shared the Pulitzer Prize with him in 2018 for coverage of sexual harassment. I wasn’t here during that coverage. What first set off my skepticism about Mr. Farrow’s work was reporting in 2018 by Jason Leopold at BuzzFeed News, when I was editor in chief there. (Disclosure: I don’t cover BuzzFeed extensively in this column because I retain stock options in the company, which I left in February. I’ve agreed to divest those options by the end of the year.) That reporting made clear that Mr. Farrow’s article on the Cohen documents was wrong — that they were not missing, but merely restricted to avoid leaks of sensitive materials.
我這篇文章是為時報所寫,時報在許多新聞報道中與法羅有競爭關系,而且在2018年與他並列獲得普利策獎,以表彰他們對性騷擾的報道。在那段時間裏我還沒有加入時報。引起我對法羅報道懷疑的是BuzzFeed新聞的傑森·利奧波德(Jason Leopold)在2018年的壹篇報道,當時我是那裏的主編。(聲明:我在2月離開了BuzzFeed,由於我保留了公司的股票期權,我在這個專欄裏不會對BuzzFeed進行過多介紹。我已經同意在年底之前剝離這些期權。)該報道指出,法羅關於科恩文件的文章是錯誤的——記錄並不是消失了,而是為了避免敏感材料的泄露而被限制了。

And I found more recently when I dug into the Cohen story that for all Mr. Farrow’s attraction to screenplay-ready narratives, he missed one that was made for this moment. The real story of John Fry, the I.R.S. employee who leaked Mr. Cohen’s records, went like this: Amid the swirl of the scandal involving Stormy Daniels, Mr. Avenatti, her lawyer, took to Twitter one day in May 2018, and demanded that the Treasury Department release Mr. Cohen’s records.
而且最近我發現,在我深挖關於科恩的報道時,盡管法羅對任何有潛力改編為劇本的敘事都很感興趣,但這個故事他卻坐失良機。國稅局員工約翰·弗萊泄露科恩記錄壹事的真實情況是這樣的:在涉及“暴風丹尼爾斯”(Stormy Daniels)的醜聞中,她的律師阿文納蒂於2018年5月的某天發推文要求財政部公開科恩的記錄。

Mr. Fry, a longtime I.R.S. employee based in San Francisco, was one of the legions of followers of Mr. Avenatti’s Twitter account, and had frequently liked his posts. Hours after Mr. Avenatti’s tweet that day, Mr. Fry started searching for the documents on the government database, downloaded them, then immediately contacted Mr. Avenatti and later sent him Mr. Cohen’s confidential records, according to court documents. “John: I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate this. Thank you,’’ Mr. Avenatti wrote to Mr. Fry, according to the documents, then pressed him for more.

Mr. Fry ended up pleading guilty to a federal charge of unauthorized disclosure of confidential reports this January. In Mr. Fry’s defense, his lawyer said he had been watching “hours and hours” of television, and described him as “a victim of cable news.”

Mr. Farrow has a big following on social media, too, and some of the same tendencies that undermine his reporting show up there. In January, when jurors were being selected for the Weinstein trial, they were asked what they had read about Mr. Weinstein to see if they could serve impartially. Mr. Farrow tweeted that a “source involved in Weinstein trial tells me close to 50 potential jurors have been sent home because they said they’d read Catch and Kill.”

Mr. Farrow was not in the courtroom that day, and he told me last week that his source stands by that figure. But the court reporter, Randy Berkowitz, told me that he recalled laughing with lawyers and court staff the day after about Mr. Farrow’s tweet, which he said was seen as “ridiculous.”
法羅那天不在法庭上,他上周告訴我,他的消息來源堅稱這個數字沒有錯。但是,法庭記錄員蘭迪·伯科維茨(Randy Berkowitz)告訴我,據他回憶,在法羅發出推文的第二天,他和律師及法庭工作人員壹起在笑這件事,他的推文被認為是“荒謬的”。

And Jan Ransom, a reporter who covered the trial for the Times, was there. The actual number of potential jurors who read the book, according to Ms. Ransom’s reporting? Two.
報道該審判的時報記者詹·蘭森(Jan Ransom)就在法庭。根據蘭森的報道,實際上有幾位潛在陪審員讀過這本書?兩位。

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