Thursday, January 04, 2018


At Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft clutches pearls:
Chris Wallace went on FOX News on Thursday to discuss Steve Bannon remarks on President Trump and the First Family in the explosive and controversial book by Michael Wolff Fire and Fury.

... Wallace ... said the White House Communications Team told the entire staff to speak with Michael Wolff.
Chris Wallace: I was talking to a former senior administration official, White House official, he had, Michael Wolff did, almost free access in the White House. He was repeatedly invited in. The communications team in the White House urged all of the senior advisers to cooperate. They thought this was going to be a positive book for the president. And you can argue whether it’s accurate or not or whether the quotes exist or not. We’ll find out about that... But the fact that he was in the White House. This was with the approval of the president.
...It was as if Never-Trumpers in the White House set the administration up for a fall.

Right -- everybody on the White House communications team was a Never Trumper trying to sabotage the president. Trump himself was a Never Trumper trying to sabotage himself.

You just go right ahead and believe that, Jim.

Atrios reminds us that Wolff put a lot of effort into gulling the White House rubes:
He did spend the last year disparaging other journalists for being mean to Trump. I guess it was all part of his performance art for access.
That's true. Here's Wolff in a Newsweek column published less than a week after the inaugural under the headline "Why the Media Keeps Losing to Donald Trump":
The media view is that the Trump people are not only mendacious but nincompoops—“alternative facts,” ha-ha. To the media, it is a given that Trump is largely out of control and that the people around him are struggling at all times to save him from himself—and largely failing. This view persists (again in a series of unsourced stories this past week), despite Trump’s victory flattening almost every media assumption about his supposed haplessness and lack of strategy.
Here's Wolff writing for British GQ a couple of weeks later -- the headline this time being "How Donald Trump Fooled the Media":
We have an unimaginable answer to an almost unimaginable question ... what would happen if the entirety of the establishment media, that is every authoritative gatekeeper of fact and opinion, joined together to declare a political candidate unfit for office and to warn of the dire calamity of his election and, to boot, reveal all manner of scandalous behaviour about him?

The unimaginable answer - because how could someone, anyone, survive daily and concerted media opprobrium? - is that it would have no result at all. Actually, not no result, but the opposite result. The more media depredations, the more legitimate it made the candidate appear....

A crucial piece of the background here is the media assuming, in its superior fashion, that it was pulling his strings, rather than him pulling its strings....

Trump got it: the media itself was a symbol to be used and played - which would only generate for him more media attention.
Here was Wolff in an April 2017 Global Editors Forum interview:
It certainly seems like much of the media has decided that it will have failed in its calling if it does not defenestrate him as soon as possible. I don’t know whether that represents a new sort of conspiracy or a new sort of religion.
And from the same interview:
... I don’t think it’s good for anybody in this business to make their mission to correct. It’s school marmish and unattractive and just cedes the floor to the larger and more passionate voice.
Given Trump's gnat-like attention span, I suspect he didn't read Wolff's writings all the way through, but I'm sure he was made aware that Wolff was flattering him. We now know what resulted from that.

Joan Didion ended the preface to Slouching Towards Bethlehem this way:
My only advantage as a reporter is that I am so physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests. And it always does. That is one last thing to remember: writers are always selling somebody out.
Good luck trying to explain who Joan Didion is to Trump -- or, in all likelihood, to anyone in his White House.

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