N.Y. Times Journalists Talk Igniting #MeToo Movement, Harvey Weinstein on 'Late Show'

The New York Times' Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss their new book She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement plus share their thoughts on critics of the #MeToo movement. 

The book, which hit stores Sept. 10, details the journalists' experience exposing Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct, which led to his arrest two years ago. She Said sheds light on those who enabled Weinstein's behavior and names key sources who helped Kantor and Twohey break the story. 

The Pulitzer-winning duo were congratulated by Colbert for winning the "best" Pulitzer in 2018, public service, and described their investigation as the All the President's Men of the #MeToo era. The host noted that the results of their investigation impacted not just the entertainment industry but many industries and workplaces.

When asked if they had any idea "what was coming" when they published their investigative piece on Weinstein, Twohey shared, "All we knew at the The New York Times in 2017 was that we were committed to investigating sexual harassment across a variety of industries from Hollywood to Silicon Valley to the restaurant industry and even the auto plants. We had no idea what the impacts of those investigations would be."

When questioned as to why they decided to tell the story "behind the story," Kantor explained that the two journalists "wanted to bring everybody else with us on this journey."

"A lot of what originally happened in this investigation was off the record. So we needed to go back and find a way to share those secrets and to bring people through the process and really show you what we witnessed, bring you into our partnership, have you there in our office during the final confrontations with Harvey Weinstein."

Discussing the lengths to which Weinstein went to have the story shut down, Twohey said, "In the 11th hour as we were preparing to publish, Harvey Weinstein basically barged into the New York Times himself, surrounded by some of his lawyers, and folders with information that he was hoping to use to smear his accusers."

Weinstein, who is facing a criminal trial on charges of sexual assault and rape, has denied ever having had nonconsensual sex and pleaded not guilty.

Colbert mentioned that since the #MeToo movement began, there has been both support as well as criticism, with critics arguing "there have been casualties along the way." 

Kantor responded, "We've seen in our reporting that there's kind of a mounting sense of unfairness on both sides. Actually, I don't think anybody feels that our system works for the accused or the accusers."

The host praised Kantor and Twohey for this "nonviolent revolution" that has "changed how we think about sexual behavior in the workplace." He added, though, that it is puzzling how President Donald Trump remains "untouched" despite facing 17 accusations from women of varying inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment or sexual assault allegations. 

"We've wondered why certain stories stick," Twohey told Colbert. She explained that political figures often come with a loyal base. "When these allegations push into the political realm ... women are almost forgotten as political sides go to war against each other."

Speaking on a more recent #MeToo headline, Kantor touched on Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sex trafficking and later died by suicide while in a New York City federal jail cell. 

"What's so striking about Epstein is how reminiscent it is of the Weinstein, in some ways ... This feeling of this is vaster than we ever could have imagined ... How could all of these people have gotten swept up into actually helping with abuse? There's a bit of a feeling of deja vu for us," Kantor said.