January 6, 2018
Michael Wolff: He certainly looks Jewish to me.
It’s not really normal for a journalist to start a book with “yeah, I don’t even know if this stuff is true, lol.”
The author of the explosive new book about Donald Trump’s presidency acknowledged in an author’s note that he wasn’t certain all of its content was true.
Michael Wolff, the author of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” included a note at the start that casts significant doubt on the reliability of the specifics contained in the rest of its pages.
Several of his sources, he says, were definitely lying to him, while some offered accounts that flatly contradicted those of others.
But some were nonetheless included in the vivid account of the West Wing’s workings, in a process Wolff describes as “allowing the reader to judge” whether the sources’ claims are true.
In other cases, the media columnist said, he did use his journalistic judgment and research to arrive at what he describes “a version of events I believe to be true.”
Well. The important part is that he believes it.
Or wait no – that’s not the important part.
Here’s the relevant note:
Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. These conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book.
Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in the accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.
This guy has a very spotty record. He’s actually been accused of outright fabricating quotes before.
This isn’t the first time author/journalist Michael Wolff has been accused of fabricating quotes.
A caustic gossip columnist more accustomed to taking down New York media moguls than Washington politicians, Mr. Wolff trained his fire on President Trump and his inner circle in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” an incendiary tell-all that has the president and his supporters fuming.
Mr. Wolff’s witty, provocative style has earned him accolades over the years — as well as criticism and controversy.
He won the National Magazine Award for commentary in 2002 and 2004, the latter for a series of columns he wrote as a war correspondent in Qatar. He’s also the founder of the news-aggregation website Newser.com.
But his critics contend that he has a tendency to play fast and loose with the truth.
When current and former members of the Trump administration came forward to dispute the version of events presented in the book — or even quotes attributed to them — Mr. Wolff said he has dozens of hours of audio recordings to back up his assertions.
The now-defunct website Brill’s Content reported in 1998 that more than a dozen people said Mr. Wolff embellished or outright invented quotes attributed to them in his 1998 book about Silicon Valley, “Burn Rate: How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet.”
“Wolff says he has notes and email that back him up, but refuses to release them,” Brill’s Content reported.
Writing in the pages of The New Republic in 2004, Michelle Cottle took Mr. Wolff to task for exploiting artistic license in his writing.
“Much to the annoyance of Wolff’s critics, the scenes in his columns aren’t recreated so much as created — springing from Wolff’s imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events,” Ms. Cottle wrote. “Even Wolff acknowledges that conventional reporting isn’t his bag.”
So, that doesn’t look especially good.
And I mean, just look at this:
Wow, this extract from Wolff’s book is a shocking insight into Trump’s mind: pic.twitter.com/1ZecclggSa
— the gorilla channel thing is a joke (@pixelatedboat) January 5, 2018
I can’t hardly imagine that
Oh, that is fake. Okay. Well, there is probably stuff exactly like that in the real book I’d betcha.
The fact that the entire book is based on gossip that he admits he doesn’t know the actual truth of, plus the fact that he’s been repeatedly accused of embellishment and faking quotes, does not for a very reliable tomb make.