It didn’t take long before the book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff was linked on Wikileaks for anyone that wanted to read it. I’m not sure if this is a deliberate attempt meant to hurt Wolff, President Trump… or both.
Even before the free version was posted on-line, most everyone with a network news show dedicated the past week gossiping about the supposed sensational chatter. The round table discussions in the mainstream media were conducted in the same way I imagine my wife’s book club discussions. In my mind, my wife and her friends spend about 5 minutes going over the book (that only half of the club actually read,) followed by gossip about the members that didn’t show up and jokes about husbands and kids. At least the book club gossip would be mostly accurate.
Wolff has been called out in the past for many questionable things, like posting photos of Michael Jackson’s dead body and filing for divorce before telling his wife about it.
In December of 2015, Wolff wrote in an article that said, “The inherent flaws of journalism — bias, arrogance, oversimplification, overdramatization, plain laziness, basic lack of fairness — are so obvious and so common at every news organization and, given search engines, so problematic for the victims of those flaws, that the news business finds itself in a permanent defensive crouch.” I don’t think Wolff believes he holds the same level of integrity as true journalists, but he certainly must of known his work would be used to fuel the flaws of modern journalism.
He’s quoted as saying to the BBC Radio that his book, “…will finally end … this presidency.”
From what I can tell, Wolff is a strong proponent of news aggregation as opposed to doing the dirty work of hard journalism. He believes once news is out in the universe, the story is free for the taking… to be shared (and stolen) from the original source with little to no web traffic directed back to the source. He co-founded the website Newser, which is a news aggregation that does exactly that.
I’ve seen in an interviews that he prefers to re-purpose news stories for his own purpose with the source being irrelevant. That’s an important thing to remember, because in the case of this book I think it gives him the ability to redirect criticism to sources other than himself.
If you put all of this together, you’ll understand that Wolff knows how to manipulate the media and the news cycle. His mission is to sell books, not publish the most accurate account of the inside workings of the Trump Administration. He knows what has the potential of becoming popular (viral) in the news. Don’t be fooled into thinking he’s savvy enough to write this book without that in mind.
His credibility is certainly in question, and that should be enough to dismiss this book.
e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ryanwrecker
I want to give a shout out to Sam for producing this great video. This week I had a chance to give out coffee and donuts to hard working people in the cold:
It’s been a tough stretch of weather for everyone working outside in #STL this week. Our @MarkReardonKMOX @rbrandtraffic @RyanWrecker, & @OldTownDonuts wanted to make sure those people know they are appreciated https://t.co/IDTKP0NH43
— KMOX St. Louis News (@kmoxnews) January 5, 2018