Fire and Fury

The maelstrom of comment around the new book by Michael Wolf is interesting for two reasons.

Firstly, the apparent amazement surrounding what it says about President Trump and those around him. What in the book is a surprise? Anyone who has followed Mr Trump’s presidency with half an eye or indeed his election campaign can hardly be surprised with the picture that emerges from the book. A boorish narcissist with the attention span of a gnat, wholly incapable of high office.

A child for whom the word “no” has not occurred sufficiently often in his life. Someone for whom instant gratification is the norm, more, a basic requirement, as, if it is not achieved, he simply moves on without a backward glance to the next demand. Someone who wakes anew every day, his mind a tabula rasa for Fox news and innate prejudice to write upon.

The best that you can say is that it is a testament to the respect in which the democratic process is held that many people continue to try and translate his actions and comments into something coherent and sensible. Whilst he promotes a neoliberal agenda there are those who will have an interest in pretending he is something he is not. However, there are probably still some who cling to the hope that democracy cannot have gone so badly wrong.

As to the views of those working for President Trump about their boss these have been leaked frequently over the past 12 months. Back in October comments by Rex Tillerson about him being a moron were widely reported.

The second interesting thing about the book is how it got written. Mr Wolf is a well known journalist in the States’ whose metier is not journalism of the sober pedantic type. He is to political journalism what the bodice bodice ripper is to novels. President Trump now says he was was never interviewed by him and denigrates the man as a gutter scandal monger.

That may all be true but you have to wonder on what basis this man manages to secure access to the West Wing of the White House,… for a year? You would have thought any journalist given such privileged access for such a long period of time would a) have been thoroughly vetted and b) chaperoned 24/7.

The fact that this man was allowed to wonder around, at will, in what should be one of the most secure locations on the planet says something about President Trump but also those around him. It is a failure of security and judgement which would be inexcusable in any corporate entity but in the White House it is almost unbelievable.

Is Mr Wolf’s account accurate? As to detail, who knows. As to tone and substance it rings awfully true. In “Fire and Fury” President Trump’s first year in office seems to have secured the account it deserves.

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