Ronan Farrow Wouldn’t Know What to Do With a Vaporizer

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Journalist Ronan Farrow attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 most influential people in the world, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for TIME) Photo: Larry Busacca/2014 Getty Images

Ronan Farrow isn't fazed by the less-than-skyrocketing ratings for his afternoon cable news show, Ronan Farrow Daily — nor is he disturbed by rumblings of a possible cancellation. But he does want to remind folks that he's still got a lot to learn and the show is only just starting to come together. "Oh, man!" he laughed when Daily Intelligencer ran into him at the Time 100 Gala and asked how he felt about the somewhat rocky debut. "The learning curve lasts for decades, particularly in cable news," Farrow said. "Shows take a long time to come together, and I love where we are now. I consider it a success beyond my wildest dreams so far, but it’s early days, which is what makes it so exciting."

Farrow said that his show launched at a time when few other cable news programs (except those on MSNBC, obviously) "were hitting a diverse range of substantive topics. It was a time when one story was getting hammered over and over again." Ronan Farrow Daily, he insisted, did not aim for "low-hanging fruit" but "substantive hard news coverage."

"It's a tough business, and there is always that tension between speaking truth to power, and getting stories out there that actually affect people's lives." He explained that he actively looks for "under-covered stories," and lets the audience vote on what they want to know about next. "This week, everyone voted by a landslide for gerrymandering," he said. "So we're doing detailed coverage of that. You look at the map of electoral districts … and it makes no sense." These kinds of stories will continue to rub up against millennial concerns like marijuana legalization and the ban on e-cigarettes. Not that Farrow vapes himself: "Someone once handed me a vaporizer, and I didn’t know what to do with it!" he laughed. "That is how uncool I am."