Ronan Farrow was a media darling for approximately 15 minutes after he wrote blistering, heart-wrenching column condemning Hollywood sycophants for supporting Woody Allen even after he married one daughter and molested another. It was a rare moment of brutal honesty in an industry that makes money from lying to their customers. Farrow quickly became a Twitter phenomenon, battling Allen defenders and putting his degrees from Yale and Oxford to good use in 140 character a pop.
With that sensational essay, movie-star good looks and a tantalizing celebrity mystery surrounding his parentage, Ronan was an instant sensation. And what do we do with instant sensations in the news industry? We give them their own shows. Tomi Lahren, Meghan McCain – a little buzz goes a long way these days. Despite having almost no television experience and being all of 25 years old MSNBC threw Farrow to the front of the line and gave him a coveted daily slot on the news network.
Reality set in pretty quickly and the viewers figured out almost immediately that what works on Twitter doesn’t necessarily work on television. It was obvious Farrow had no idea what to do with a major media slot and the ratings reflected it. Within months he was cancelled and then came the obligatory ridiculing.
It really wasn’t his fault. MSNBC chose pedigree over personality and Farrow was only saying yes to an opportunity any of us would have taken.
As it turns out, the young journalist has not dropped completely off the map. He’s actually returned to television…in a way. Farrow can now be seen working away in a cubicle in the background of the MSNBC anchor desk.
TV insiders are snickering that after Ronan Farrow’s MSNBC show “Ronan Farrow Daily” was canceled, the former host is still on-camera every day — he just sits at a cubicle over the shoulder of his replacement, Thomas Roberts, from 1 to 3 p.m.
“He’s behind them all day, typing,” noticed an insider who’s been charting his movements. “Yesterday he left at 3:30 p.m.” The source said he also can be seen “getting up to go to the bathroom,” putting his jacket on, and heading to lunch or talking on the phone.Farrow’s also at his desk during Tamron Hall’s show and others.
Apparently Farrow has been working as an online reporter since his show was cancelled, but it’s unclear exactly how instrumental he is at the network at the moment.
An NBC source told us that Farrow “sits with the entire investigative unit, they are in that area on-camera,” which includes Stephanie Gosk and Rich McHugh.
But another NBC source said of Farrow since his show was canceled: “Poor guy. He does nothing. He’s very nice, but other than a few pieces that [NBC News] pushes — including one on nukes last month — he just sits at a desk. They try to justify his salary.”
In November, Farrow contributed to a five-month investigation for the piece “Welcome to the Most Toxic Place in America,” about a Washington state nuclear site. He’s also contributed reports on “drunkorexia,” “academic doping,” sexual assault on college campuses and gender transition in college.
Admittedly there’s a bit of schadenfreude in watching the meteoric rise and fall of a silver-spoon celebrity child who was just handed an opportunity that people like me work our whole careers for. We love an overnight success, and we love to tear down one even more.
However, my own envies aside, it seems like sitting in a cubicle doing research for other people is exactly where a guy like Ronan Farrow should be. He should absolutely be in a position where he has to earn his way to a better job and more recognition. He should be the guy slaving away at a computer, doing menial work while someone else gets the credit. Farrow is obviously a very intelligent guy. He graduated high school at 15 and attended Ivy League colleges. He’s certainly got the face for television. There could be a day when he actually carries a show on his own once he has the life experience.
I like the guy’s passion and those baby blues ain’t bad either. I would expect someone like that to have success and longevity in his chosen career field. He just got swept up into something that wasn’t of his making. He started out backwards, but the good news is that he has the chance to earn his bonafides the right way this time.