by Joe Berger, President
Ken Auletta, masterful journalist, will talk about his new book on Harvey Weinstein and the Hollywood and media culture that enabled him, at the season’s first Silurians lunch, Sept. 21.
Ken Auletta, it can be said without exaggeration, is the nation’s media maven. This son of Coney Island has written 13 books, including five best sellers, that together with his Annals of Communications columns for The New Yorker magazine have charted the revolutions in the newspaper, television, film, Internet and advertising industries and what the upheaval reveals about our country and ourselves. He has profiled Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, Sheryl Sandberg, and John Malone as well as Facebook, Google. AOL Time Warner, and the New York Times. Columbia Journalism Review concluded, “no other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta.”
His latest book, published in July, is Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein And The Culture of Silence. It is the story of an unsavory but devilishly complex figure who behaved like a monster while also giving birth to acclaimed movies like Pulp Fiction, The Crying Game, The King’s Speech, Shakespeare in Love and The Artist. Hollywood Ending uncovers what made Weinstein a talented ogre and how a culture that prioritized fame and box office success enabled and shielded his numerous sexual assaults and outright rapes. Those Silurians who were here when Ronan Farrow spoke about Weinstein will be surprised how fresh and riveting is Auletta’s book. He provides the personal, psychological and economic context for Weinstein’s crimes. And he vividly opens a window on the intrigue, rationalization and valor that took place within the media world as Weinstein, armed with a battery of prominent lawyers and a firm of former Mossad agents, tried to squelch the assault story and courageous reporters and editors kept burrowing. It is a measure of the respect with which Auletta is held that among the subjects who sat for interviews with him were the Weinstein brothers. No wonder Auletta has won numerous journalism honors, including a lifetime achievement award from the Silurians.