In the Suburbs / Fire and fury creates a lot of fire and brimstone for the Trumps
This past Sunday, when I checked our waiting list for author Michael Wolff’s new Trump tell-all book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House”, at the Fairfield University Bookstore, I saw that we already had 30 names. During my shift, I probably received another 5 inquiries.. Clearly, the demand was “unpresidented” or is that “unprecedented” and for a lot of readers this new book represents a breath of fresh air. I heard it had already sold more than a million copies.
For a lot of other readers, however, including some journalists, politicians and other authors, there are suggestions of holes, sloppy writing and some inaccuracies. In an article on Politifact.com by Angie Drobnic Holan, the reporter listed several factual inaccuracies. According to Holan, “Wolff said then-Speaker of the House John Boehner resigned in 2011; it was actually 2015. Wolff said Wilbur Ross was Trump’s choice for labor secretary; it was actually commerce secretary. Wolff misspelled the name of Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen (not Hillary Rosen. There are many typos, as well as wrong word choices (‘pubic’ instead of public; a dream ‘differed’ instead of deferred.”
According to NBC’S Meet the Press, “From coast to coast, bookstores have been reportedly selling out of the book, if they had any copies in the first place. In newsrooms too, Fire and Fury is a hot commodity. Some journalists have been sharing copies with each other.
Of course, while there has been a landslide of skepticism about the accuracy of the book, Wolff, a journalist, author of several books and a columnist, stands by his writing and has said so repeatedly during interviews. After all, the White House gatekeepers provided him with access and he set up numerous conversations with staffers at all different levels and, according to Wolff, had a conversation with President Trump himself.
From a story in The New Yorker Magazine by Masha Gessen, a staff writer and a noted author herself, “Early tidbits, released ahead of the book itself, have, predictably, proved to be the tastiest morsels. Trump didn’t expect to win. Trump is semi-literate! Ivanka wants to be the first female President!”
At the end of the piece, however, Gessen criticizes Wolff’s efforts and calls the book “poorly written”. “But worst of all, Wolff’s reporting is not reporting,” she points out. Despite the White House communication to the publisher to Cease and Desist in publishing the book and Communications Director Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling the book all lies, the timing of “Fire and Fury” couldn’t be better. President Trump continues to be plagued by the Mueller investigation. Steve Bannon has either permanently or temporarily fallen out of favor with Donald Trump, especially given his comments about Trump’s son committing a treasonous act by meeting in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer. Trump is defending his intelligence and ability to lead with Tweets.
When Wolff appeared on “Meet the Press” last Sunday, he told host Chuck Todd that the content of the book is “25th Amendment kind of stuff. The 25th Amendment establishes procedures for replacing the President or Vice President in the event of death, removal, resignation or incapacitation.
“Fire and Fury”, for better or worse will join some 25 other books about Trump in our bookstore. Ironically, just before it arrived, we had a small waiting list for another book called Let Trump Be Trump.. That book, written in defense of Trump, just made the New York Times bestseller list and we only started receiving copies this week.
Meanwhile, I found two other books on Amazon that we’ll probably have in the store soon - Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic and It’s Even Worse than you Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.
I can’t wait to read “Fire and Fury”, no matter what the critics say, and decide for myself whether Wolff’s assessment is accurate. For now, I’ll go with the final paragraph of the Politifact.com article. “Like much of the Trump presidency, battles over political power seem to go hand in hand with battles over the nature of ultimate truth. Whether the big picture shown in Wolff’s book is accurate will be answered as time passes and the Trump presidency unfolds.”