Veteran reporter Bob Woodward was accused of derailing an event on Wednesday night with the two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein sexual-abuse story that ushered in the #MeToo movement.
At the Sixth & I synagogue in Washington, D.C., to discuss their new book, She Said, about the consequences of the Weinstein scandal and what his accusers went through, New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey attempted to have a meaningful discussion about rape culture and how the #MeToo movement has changed society. But they were reportedly repeatedly interrupted by Woodward—with questions that left the audience at once outraged and baffled.
“Tomorrow there will be stories about how horribly Bob Woodward bombed this discussion. Repeatedly asked why Harvey Weinstein did what he did. The authors responded, multiple times: power. He accused them of dodging the question,” ProPublica reporter J. David McShane tweeted.
Reporter Kara Swisher, the co-founder of Recode, described Woodward’s behavior during the discussion as “interruptive, not focused on the women who were victimized by Harvey Weinstein and weirdly obsessed with that creep, it’s a exercise in how not to interview.”
Robyn Swirling, the founder of Works in Progress, an organization that aims to confront sexual harassment in progressive spaces, wrote a tweet thread detailing the audience’s frustration with Woodward, who she said repeatedly failed to let Kantor and Twohey speak.
On the topic of Weinstein, Woodward was said to prefer to focus on the disgraced movie mogul’s motives rather what his alleged victims endured.
“Showing exactly why he was the wrong person to have any sort of public (or private) discussion about #metoo,” Swirling wrote, Woodward repeatedly asked Kantor and Twohey why Weinstein allegedly preyed on so many young women. When they answered that they believed it was about power, Woodward reportedly said, “It’s about sex also though, isn’t it?’”
The audience repeatedly booed him, though Woodward, apparently undaunted, went on to claim Weinstein’s behavior constituted a “weird foreplay,” Swirling tweeted.
Later in the discussion, he reportedly asked Kantor and Twohey, “Did you find any women who made up allegations? That’s very important” before asking them if they believed Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations were credible enough to be published.
Kantor and Twohey exposed decades of sexual-harassment allegations against Weinstein in a bombshell New York Times report in late 2017, sparking a reckoning of sorts in Hollywood, Weinstein’s downfall, and the rise of the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct by dozens of women, faces a sexual assault trial in New York in January.