THE BLOG
01/18/2014 11:35 am ET Updated Mar 20, 2014

How Great Is Ronan Farrow?

Some at NBC are worrying that Ronan Farrow may not be their golden boy and too much of a loose cannon.

After all, he disrupted the carefully scripted Woody Allen tribute at the Golden Globes by turning the axis of Diane Keaton's gushing spin and forcing the dialogue to return to another actress, namely his mother, Mia Farrow, as well as his siblings.

In his tweet, Ronan wrote: "Missed the Woody Allen tribute -- did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?"

Ouch. That can't be as airbrushed as easily as Lena Dunham's Vogue shoot.

Because that salvo dives right through the superficial and exposes an uncomfortable truth -- which when you think about it is what we want in a news anchor.

The uncomfortable truth is while Allen's narcissism sparks laughs in movies, it isn't so funny when at 56 he dismissed the public outrage over marrying his 21-year-old stepdaughter Soon-Yi by saying, "the heart wants what the heart wants." That phrase is Allen's most enduring but hardly endearing quote.

Because he -- along with that ingrate adopted daughter -- heartlessly murdered a family's trust and left not only Ronan's mother but the remaining kids emotionally bloodied while his father yelled, "plot twist" and "time to turn the page."

So as a result of these life experiences Ronan focuses his lens on social justice -- shaped he said by seeing the heroism and struggles of his physically challenged siblings -- while his father focuses the lens on neurotics and narcissists. Ooh it must upset Woody that his only biological child can be so brilliant but he has no access to him.

Another trait you want in an anchor is someone who understands injustice, betrayal, compassion and the enduring power of love and possibility.

In his 26 years, the Yale Law School graduate was in the office of the chief counsel at the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs focusing on international human rights law, and was subsequently appointed by the Obama administration to examine civil society in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Executives can now check "foreign experience" off their list for the ideal anchor. But you know that executives really worry when someone is "too smart." Okay he is a boy genius some may say. But we don't want a bore and a snore. That doesn't get ratings.

Luckily, Ronan has inherited in his DNA cocktail a mix of showmanship and pitch perfect timing. Take for example this 2012 tweet. "Happy Father's Day -- or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law's day." Here is a guy who can take such a painful topic and make us laugh and cry.

And you know that anyone who has experienced a difficult divorce will definitely tune in to his show. He is the poster boy for showing that bad behavior should have consequences.

Divorce 101 is that you don't encourage alienation with the other parent. As I've written for both Huffington Post and for a CBS News series, sometimes fathers become better parents after divorce even though it's hard for moms to realize that someone can be a shit husband but a great dad.

Deep inside that wounded and rejected part of the parent; the idea that the kids would not support the other parent's bad behavior resonates as a dream wish. So often a parent thinks, "How can he forgive him for what he did to me?"

But Ronan is clearly not his mother's soldier. He has his own moral compass and it has led him away from his father for his own reasons...

As the Rhodes scholar explained to Life Magazine, "He's my father married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression. I cannot see him. I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent."

How nice it will be to have a TV host who has a moral compass.

He is also someone who can say no to those in powerful positions including his mother, who has wanted to convince the world that Ronan is the son of her former husband, Frank Sinatra, because that narrative would be so much more palatable and pleasing.

Ronan gave us a wink but not a nod.

Meaning he is respectful of authority figures but not a yes man. That's another check on the ideal anchor chart.

Furthermore, throughout the past 20 years, unlike many kids of divorce, Ronan didn't rush over to the cash rich parent and guzzle in the fame and fortune of his father. That says something about someone. It says he has principles.

And that is what you want not only in a friend, a colleague, a husband and a son but also as the anchor of a new MSNBC show. I sure will be watching and rooting for him.