Catch and kill is a surreptitious technique employed by newspapers and media outlets to prevent an individual from publicly revealing information damaging to a third party.

Using a legally enforceable non-disclosure agreement, the tabloid purports to buy exclusive rights to "catch" the damaging story from the individual, but then "kills" the story for the benefit of the third party by preventing it from ever being published. The individual with the information frequently does not realize that the tabloid intends to suppress the individual's story instead of publishing it. The practice is distinct from using hush money, in which the individual is bribed by the third party to intentionally conceal the damaging information.

The National Enquirer and its parent company American Media, Inc. have attracted attention for using the practice.[1][2]

It may also refer to the practice of buying up competitors to eliminate competition and maintain a monopoly or oligopoly,[3][4] or as an antonym to catch-and-release, in hunting wildlife.[5]

Examples

Instances where newspapers have been accused of using catch and kill include:

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Stelter, Brian (February 16, 2018). "'Catch and kill': How a tabloid shields Trump from troublesome stories". CNN. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  2. ^ Radford, Benjamin (November 9, 2018). "'Why Isn't The Media Covering This Story?'—Or Are They?". Center for Inquiry. Archived from the original on November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Case, Anne; Deaton, Angus (April 14, 2020). "Opinion | America Can Afford a World-Class Health System. Why Don't We Have One?". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Pesca, Mike (July 30, 2020). "Why Zephyr Teachout Wants to Break Up Big Tech". Slate Magazine.
  5. ^ "Father of two Chris Boyd killed by shark in Gracetown, WA". The Australian. AAP. November 24, 2013.
  6. ^ Nicholas, Peter; Hall, Carla (August 12, 2005). "Tabloid's Deal With Woman Shielded Schwarzenegger". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  7. ^ Twohey, Megan; Kantor, Jodi; Dominus, Susan; Rutenberg, Jim; Eder, Steve (December 5, 2017). "Weinstein's Complicity Machine". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  8. ^ Farrow, Ronan (2019). Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. New York: Little, Brown and Company ISBN 9780316486637
  9. ^ Daniel Lippman (October 14, 2019). "Ronan Farrow: National Enquirer shredded secret Trump documents". politico.com. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Stelter, Brian (July 29, 2018). "How Ronan Farrow keeps landing bombshells". CNN. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Moghe, Sonia (August 25, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: ex-Trump World Tower doorman's "catch-and-kill" contract released". CNN. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  12. ^ York, Chris (August 25, 2018). "Dino Sajudin Releases 'Catch And Kill' Contract 'About Donald Trump's Illegitimate Child'". HuffPost. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  13. ^ Farrow, Ronan (April 12, 2018). "The National Enquirer, a Trump Rumor, and Another Secret Payment to Buy Silence". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  14. ^ Borchers, Callum (March 21, 2018). "Why efforts to silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal are failing". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  15. ^ Farrow, Ronan (April 12, 2018). "The National Enquirer, a Trump Rumor, and Another Secret Payment to Buy Silence". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  16. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (July 3, 2017). "The National Enquirer's Fervor for Trump". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.