Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Culture

Bob Woodward Booed At Shul For Talking Over Weinstein Reporters

On October 2 at the Sixth & I synagogue in Washington, DC, celebrated investigative journalist Bob Woodward interviewed Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the Pulitzer-winning New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse story. It didn’t go so well.

According to audience members who posted their reactions to social media, Woodward, whose interview was planned to promote Twohey and Kantor’s new book “She Said,” repeatedly interrupted the authors and asked inappropriate questions, prompting jeers and walkouts from the crowd. Getting booed in shul – it’s not just for Haman anymore.

In a long thread posted to Twitter, Robyn Swirling, the founder of Works in Progress, an organization aimed at combatting sexual harassment, documented Woodward’s questions, which she said “made clear he didn’t understand the first thing about rape culture.”

Woodward, Swirling wrote, asked Twohey and Kantor if they found “any women who made up allegations,” and, when told that Weinstein’s pattern of abuse was about power, added, “It’s about sex also though, isn’t it?”

In response, the audience reportedly shouted “No!” According to Swirling, Woodward then suggested that Weinstein’s behavior was a kind of “weird foreplay.”

When Woodward continued to interrupt Twohey and Kantor, Swirling said that Media Matters writer Rachel Tardiff screamed from the balcony to “let them finish!”

Journalist and Recode co-founder Kara Swisher, who called Swirling’s thread a “perfect reporting of the event”, wrote on [Twitter] that Woodward was “blowing this interview,” calling him “interruptive.”

“It’s a exercise in how not to interview,” Swisher concluded.

Attendee Anna Kain, speaking to NBC News, was a bit more forgiving, telling the outlet, “It was an example of well-intentioned questions from someone everyone respects, but without any forethought to the nuances and complexities surrounding the dynamics that allowed what their reporting uncovered to persist in the first place.”

Speaking to the New York Post, Woodward, who, with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein, broke the Watergate story in the Washington Post, defended his interview.

“All I did was praise the book as a real handbook to investigative reporting and actually a masterpiece, and I asked questions about it,” Woodward said, adding that Twohey and Kantor even signed his book and called his questions “fabulous.”

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture fellow. He can be reached at [email protected]

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.