Ronan Farrow responds to critical NYT column: 'I stand by my reporting'

Ronan Farrow responded Monday to a critical column by New York Times media critic Ben Smith, stating he stands by his reporting after the columnist described the Pulitzer winner's journalism as a "dangerous approach."

Farrow, who won a Pulitzer and other major accolades for his reporting into sexual assault allegations by multiple women against former Hollywood mogul Harvery Weinstein for the New Yorker in 2018, defended his work in a series of detailed tweets.

The reporter was responding to a column from Smith on Monday titled "Is Ronan Farrow too good to be true?" in which he cast doubt on some aspects of Farrow's reporting on Weinstein as well as a piece on former Trump personal lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump Organization adds veteran criminal defense attorney Manhattan DA investigating Trump says he won't seek reelection John Dean: 'Only a matter of how many days' until Trump is indicted MORE's financial records. 


"I stand by my reporting," Farrow said in one of his tweets.

When contacted by The Hill, Farrow referred to comments from New Yorker digital editor Michael Luo, who pushed back on aspects of Smith's column in an extended thread of tweets.


Luo wrote that while he has "respect" for the former Buzzfeed editor-in-chief, he also says Smith sands "the inconvenient edges off of facts in order to suit the narrative he wants to deliver."

"We take corrections seriously and would be happy to correct something if it were shown to be wrong. But Ben has not done that here," Luo wrote.

"We are proud of @ronanfarrow’s reporting, and we stand by it," Luo added.


In his column, Smith pointed out to what he believed were inconsistencies in Farrow's reporting.

Farrow "is not a fabulist," Smith wrote. "His reporting can be misleading but he does not make things up."

Smith then criticized Farrow's work as "a kind of resistance journalism that has thrived in the age of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE."

The concept, Smith noted, was "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," Smith also noted.

Since its publication on Sunday night, Smith's piece has issued two corrections. 
"An earlier version of this article misstated the month of Harvey Weinstein's conviction. It was in February, not January," reads the correction note at the end of the column. 
"The earlier version also misstated how long after Michael Avenatti's tweet that he was contacted by an Internal Revenue Service analyst, John Fry. It was later that day, not less than three hours," it adds. 

Reactions on social media by other journalists to Smith's piece varied widely.


Smith joined the New York Times as its media columnist in January after nearly eight years at Buzzfeed.