Saturday, January 6, 2018

Does Fire and Fury Signify Nothing?

Author Michael Wolff bragged to BBC Radio that  his book "Fire and Fury" will help the public to see that Trump is the Emperor who has no clothes and that realization will end his presidency.  While that is great copy designed to stoke book sales, it does not jibe with reality.

Speaking of reality, consider "Fire and Fury"'s prologue, which admits that Wolff included contradicting narratives and many may be boldly untrue.  Including, it would seem, Wolff's supposed "interviews" with President Trump.  When a prologue basically states that he is just printing lies "in a Trumpian fashion" with no editorial discretion nor effort to ferret out the truth, it makes the narrative quite dubious.

Wolff has intimated that he has some of the interviews on tape.  If so, release them as the publisher Henry Holt takes two weeks to rush print a second edition.  Ex Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon had profane prognostications about Russiagate and scathing assessments of the First Family.  This sounds plausible considering the persona of "Sloppy Steve",and Bannon never really denied the quotes. It would be interesting, however, to hear his state of sobriety as well as put his charges on a time line.  Civic minded journalists anxious to impeach might want to facilitate testimony for Special Counsel Mueller.

Wolff thinks that books flying off the shelves at tony District of Calamity bookstores is a bellweather for the end of the Trump presidency.  But away from the talking heads circuit on the Eastern seaboard, it is unlikely that "Fire and Fury" is electrifying the public or changing minds.

On the one hand, those suffering from progressive Trump Derangement Syndrome will eat up the Wolff accusations, and other politicos will presumably buy books which soon after will be repurposed as door stops.  But they are willing to buy anything which comports with their confirmation bias.  

For example, a Twitter wag circulated a post about President Trump demanding "The Gorilla Channel" be available for watching in the residence on his first night at the White House.  

Even after it was disclosed that many Trump haters had been taken for a joke posting, MSNBC's Joy Reid insisted that it still rang true.  

And there was also the Los Angeles Times Op/Ed columnist who contended: "Why we believe Michael Wolff? Because, for now, it is too good not to". 

On the other hand, Trump's so called Basket of Deplorables will brush off any accusations against the 45th President.   And many Republicans who were not keen on Trump will see the liberal media campaign against him and have a "rally around the flag" effect.

It would seem that the major effect of the "Fire and Fury" rollout is the self-immolation of Steve Bannon.  At the 2017 Values Voters Summit, Bannon re-emerged after his ouster from the West Wing of the White House with a strategy of declaring war against the GOP Establishment.  That would be in alignment with the Trump "Drain the Swamp" rallying cry.  

[L] Steve Bannon [R] Judge Roy Moore

To that end, Bannon championed failed Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. But Bannon's caustic comments in "Fire and Fury" towards his boss and the Trump operation at the campaign and in the White House exemplifies his "burn the whole system down" reputation, thus alienating him from Trump devotees.  Now Bannon is without obvious political allies and he may well lose his bully stick platform with Breitbart News. 

Even some scrupulous left-of-center friends wonder why Wolff's tome has drawn so much attention, considering his sloppy journalism.  It seems like the most plausible answer is that "Fire and Fury" is another means to feed the beast to stoke hatred against Trump. 

In order for "The Resistance" to prosper, it needs to maintain the Orwellian "Two Minute Hate" that inspired a half million women gather on the National Mall on January 21st 2017 to protest President Trump's inauguration as 45th U.S. President wearing "pussy hats". 

Women [Who Hate Trump] March, January 21, 2017, Washington, DC

But when that failed to engender follow-up identity politics mass protests, the emphasis shifted to Russiagate.  But after a yearlong barrage of "Russia, Russia, Russia" negative news against Trump, it seems that Hillary! 2016 campaign and Democrat operatives were the ones colluding with the Russian Federation.  The emphasis on sexual harassment did not turn towards Trump but instead implicated many liberal media and entertainment figures.  So now, it seems that the modus operandi is highlighting Trump Administrative infighting, cementing the man-child meme of the Commander in Chief and perpetuating the myth that Trump's end is near. 

"Fire and Fury" may not signify nothing, but the implosion of Steve Bannon might not have been the outcome which the Trump-hating industry would desire in the long run.

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