By Jonathan Yuan ’14
At age 15, Ronan Farrow, the son of actress Mia Farrow, became the youngest graduate of Bard College in the college’s history, and then went to graduate from Yale Law School at 21. He then casually went on to win a Rhodes Scholarship to complete his studies at Oxford at the ripe age of 23. Furthermore, as Time reported, “he [Farrow] was a member of the Obama administration advising on NGO and humanitarian affairs in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009, and was appointed as Hillary Clinton’s special adviser for global youth issues in 2011.” He’s also been a regular contributor to The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, and other publications.
And oh yeah – he’s only 26.
This kid’s basically a walking success story. The combination of his beauty, brains, and famous mother has catapulted Farrow into celebrity status. But as we all know, with fame, comes gossip. As well as his own afternoon television news program…but more on that later.
The media world obviously can’t focus on something as uninteresting as Farrow’s academic and professional successes – it therefore desperately feels a need to dig into his personal life. The past year has been littered with stories and accusations about the young man’s history and private life.
Everyone can’t seem to stay quiet about the fact that his biological father might have been Frank Sinatra. As The Huffington Post reported, “Ronan Farrow recently sat down for his first interview since joining MSNBC and he was, of course, asked about his paternity. His mother, actress Mia Farrow, admitted in October that his father could be Frank Sinatra and not Woody Allen as was believed. When asked by The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie if he believed the story distracted from his work at MSNBC, he had this to say: ‘Don’t you feel like a quality journalist right now?’”
Furthermore, rumors have been swirling around Farrow’s sexual orientation. As first reported by Page Six of New York Post, “Farrow…has come under pressure from gays to come out of the closet. But a friend of his told me [columnist Richard Johnson], ‘He’s not in the closet. He’s been with guys, but he’s also been with girls. He’s open about both.’”
I genuinely cannot believe that “reporters” feel a need to constantly question Farrow’s personal life and take up time that could be better spent with him adding a voice to issues of actual importance – such as American foreign policy and humanitarian work.
But Farrow finally has that opportunity to add his voice to substantive issues in his expertise – the aforementioned fields of politics, foreign policy, and humanitarian work. This past month marked the debut of his daily afternoon news program, Ronan Farrow Daily. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Phil Griffin – the President of MSNBC – had been courting the young Farrow since last summer. Griffin had been recorded as saying, “Within 20 minutes I just knew that he had a certain presence and confidence. He knew what he wanted to say. I just had a sense that the guy could do it. What that thing is that enables people to communicate really well, he had it.”
Before we all scream “nepotism” in unison, I think we should look at the main positive that Farrow brings to the cable news network – a refreshingly youthful voice to a landscape filled with countless O’Reillys, Hannitys, and Matthews’, who largely lack the perspective of the Millennial generation. Just a look at topics covered on the premiere episode of Ronan Farrow Daily show a range that cannot be found on any other news program. Entertainment Weekly writes, “The whole show is very clearly being pitched at the college demographic…on the first episode, that manifested itself mostly in youthbait: weed, twitter, Girls.”
And this might not be a bad thing. For a generation that is oftentimes lacking in the desire to analyze what’s going on in the world around us, milennials may just be sucked into the news via Farrow’s sheer screen presence and star power.
Furthermore, older generations constantly gripe about the idleness of we millennial generation and what better way to prove them wrong by bringing onto a cable news network a 26-year old Rhodes scholar, Yale Law School grad, and former special adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?