Excerpts from Michael Wolff’s explosive upcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” hit various websites this week, sending the mainstream media into a tizzy with endless tidbits that paint President Trump in an unflattering fashion despite clear signs that not everything in it may be accurate.
MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle summed up the situation on Thursday when she essentially declared that it didn’t matter whether parts of the book were flat-out wrong.
“I've spoken to people inside the White House in the last 24 hours who have said, ‘Even if not all of it is true, the spirit of the book is and it's troublesome.'"
“I've spoken to people inside the White House in the last 24 hours who have said, ‘Even if not all of it is true, the spirit of the book is and it's troublesome,’” Ruhle said.
Wolff has developed a reputation as someone capable of exaggerating the truth, but he also is a world-class writer who managed to obtain unprecedented access to the Trump White House. The result is a product that is too juicy for the mainstream media to ignore, even if some of it may be fictitious. In fact, the book’s release date was moved up because of the anticipation.
Wolff presumably will pop up on every mainstream talk show starting with a scheduled appearance on NBC’s “Today” on Friday. NBC apparently has gone all-in, as Wolff will also appear on upcoming episodes of “Meet the Press” and “Morning Joe.” CNN did not respond when asked if Wolff will appear on the network to promote “Fire and Fury.”
The liberal media are eating up the salacious details and CNN’s Alisyn Camerota even pressed Trump’s friend, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, on whether the president eats cheeseburgers in bed – one of the unflattering details Wolff wrote.
However, New York Times star reporter Maggie Haberman got her hands on an advanced copy and called it “thin but readable” and made it clear that she didn’t believe everything Wolff claimed.
“Several things that are true and several that are not. Light in fact-checking and copy-editing,” Haberman tweeted.
Washington Post senior political reporter Aaron Blake noted that most of the excerpts were unbelievable before adding, “Some of it, literally so.”
Blake pointed out, “Wolff has taken some of the most gossiped-about aspects of the Trump White House and put them forward as fact – often plainly stated fact without even anonymous sources cited.”
It’s fair to question why the details are being taken as gospel to the liberal media when respected reporters such as Haberman and Blake are questioning its content.
Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told Fox News “it’s obvious” a lot of people don’t believe in Wolff.
“They just don’t care whether it’s accurate as long as it attacks Trump."
“They just don’t care whether it’s accurate as long as it attacks Trump. Here's a direct quote from The Washington Post: ‘Wolff has a penchant for stirring up an argument and pushing the facts as far as they’ll go, and sometimes further than they can tolerate, according to his critics.’ I guarantee most stories won’t include that qualifier,” Gainor said.
“Imagine Obama being treated with the same journalistic strategy where every little hyped nugget of information becomes national news. It would have crushed his every initiative, which is what the press is trying to do with Trump,” he added.
One passage of the controversial book was quickly debunked, as Wolff alleged that Trump didn’t know who former House Speaker John Boehner was when he was suggested as a chief of staff candidate.
“Who’s that?” Trump replied, according to Wolff.
Well, Twitter sleuths quickly pointed out that Trump had tweeted about Boehner several times over the years in addition to name-dropping him on the campaign trail. Trump and Boehner even played golf together in 2013. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the claim that Trump didn’t know who Boehner was “ridiculous” during Thursday’s press briefing, but she didn’t stop there.
Sanders called the book “sad, pathetic” while claiming it was “complete fantasy” and filled with “tabloid gossip.”
Trump’s legal team has agreed with Sanders, as it sent a letter to both the publisher and Wolff on Thursday demanding they immediately stop its publication. It also demanded “a full and complete retraction and apology.”
The book featured antidotes on Steve Bannon slamming the president’s son, Donald Jr., Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort and calling their infamous meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” It also claimed many of the president's top advisers disparaged him in private and that he didn’t want to win the election in the first place, all peppered with information from seemingly private conversations.
“This book is mistake after mistake after mistake,” Sanders said.