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Ronan Farrow believes the partisan rancor that has swirled around the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and the allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him has had the effect of chilling additional accusers.
“We are seeing every shred of information spun and weaponized and turned into a political football,” he said Friday night at The New Yorker Festival. “It is very clear the effect that partisan sniping has had on the potential of additional information coming to light. There are more sources who might come forward in a different context.”
Assessing the Kavanaugh confirmation process, Farrow said, “This politicized race to confirm … has precluded the truth coming to the fore in a way that could help everyone involved.”
Asked during a Q&A session about the power of truth, he addressed the nomination, which appears headed to a confirmation vote on Saturday and said, “There was a battle over the truth, and the truth lost a lot this week.”
Without giving into false equivalence, Farrow said, “I do think writ large on both sides people retreating into their corners is really bad for society, and partisan politics in its current form is pretty bad for society.”
He said the confirmation process has taken him back to the rough-and-tumble world of cable news he had escaped after leaving MSNBC. “I was fed up hosting cheap panels of Republicans and Democrats yelling at each other,” Farrow said of his time hosting a show on the network.
During a 90-minute-long, sold-out session, Farrow said he was at “rock bottom,” professionally, a year ago, as he worked on his exposé into Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual assault.
“This was a moment for me personally where I didn’t know if i was going to have a journalism job in two weeks, or two months, or ever again,” he said “The truth is I wasn’t swaggering into those rooms. I was scared shitless and I was heartbroken and I had absolutely no idea if i was doing the right thing.”
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