On CNN today, Jake Tapper naturally discussed the hottest story in D.C. right now: the book “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff.
The controversy over the book and its contents rages, and the consequences of the book have already been felt; The ostracizing of Steve Bannon chief among them.
But as political exposes go this one has a lot of problems, and the author himself is the biggest one. Jake Tapper’s introduction today went over this.
Tapper presents the story of two unreliable individuals, Wolff and Trump. And while that may seem like a “they’re both bad”, it’s important to keep in mind that credibility is the central feature for making the book worth anything. It’s the primary sell, it is its reason for being. If it’s not credible, then what is the point?
It may make good fan fiction, and may make the author a lot of money (which this obviously is), but you can’t really use the accusations contained therein for anything of value and certainly not, as the left is hoping and advocating, as grounds for removing the president from office.
So what Tapper does here, actually, is absolutely devastating to Wolff. And what’s amazing is that this isn’t anything that wasn’t already known, and it’s not even a long list. It’s just that it’s presented so neatly and quickly and crushingly that it burns Wolff down entirely. If you’re an honest person and you put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never heard of this book until the very moment Tapper begins speaking, you cannot come away from this less than four minute clip thinking anything but that the book is a total waste of time.
That’s devastating. And that’s why this clip is being sent around by the GOP War Room with the headline “CNN’s Jake Tapper Eviscerates Michael Wolff’s Credibility & Accuracy Of ‘Fire & Fury’.
So let’s get to it.
“Wolff’s reporting should be met with skepticism. The book is riddled with errors, and rumors, and in his marketing of the book Wolff made the unbelievable assertion that 100 percent of the President’s family members and top advisers have concerns about his mental fitness for the job. One hundred percent, that’s simply not true.”
He then shows Wolff tell an outright lie, exposes an error, then another lie about the guy who he made the error about, and then shows a clip of his being presented with that mess and having basically no answer except that maybe he mixed up the names of two completely different people.
But of course, the video isn’t all. Tapper also tweeted about Wolff.
As you know, many of the people quoted in the book deny ever having said what was attributed to them, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who outright accused Wolff of making things up whole cloth.
Maggie Haberman has another person quoted who states without any equivocation that Wolff flat-out lied. Haberman, you may know, works for the New York Times.
Barrack said he spoke to Wolffe once, says he never said the quote attributed to him to Wolffe or anyone. "Totally false," Barrack said by phone just now.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 3, 2018
And herein lies the point. MAGA Twitter may howl and demand the mainstream press to abandon this story and rebuke Wolff, and then flagellate themselves and one another for ever mentioning it, but that’s not how things work.
However, when CNN, the New York Times, the Guardian, Mediaite, and other members of the MSM, the center left and the left media are out there saying “not so fast” or “he’s not reliable” about someone trashing Trump, that is the practical equivalent of taking him to the woods and putting him down. Like I said, that’s the reason the GOP is sending the clip around.
Credibility is how you make a book like ‘Fire and Fury’ stick, and Wolff just doesn’t have any. Without it, it’s not anything of value, and certainly not grounds for questioning the President’s fitness for office. You don’t make a federal case using something that is so lacking in foundation and credibility. (I mean, unless you’re in a FISA court, I guess. DAAAANG!!)
Wolff, as noted in the Tapper tweet above, incorrectly asserts that if something rings true, it is true. Wrong. But if something does NOT ring true, it definitely doesn’t become a game changer, no matter how hard you wish it.
And as Tapper’s video highlights, if there’s one thing that does not ring truthful here, it’s Michael Wolff.