“Fire and Fury” Lights up the Media
January 11, 2018
Yesterday morning on FM 94.9, instead of the typical talk show banter, I was surprised by a new radio game. The radio hosts, Dana and Jason, offered concert tickets to callers who completed mad libs on air with passages from journalist Michael Wolff’s new tell-all book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
This book hasn’t just made an appearance on 94.9 – it is showing up everywhere from memes to your mom’s reading list (probably) to President Trump’s vehement tweets. “Fire and Fury” is exploding after an unintentional plug from the White House. Trump, demanding to stop the book’s release, sent Wolff a cease-and-desist letter. Instead of abiding by the president’s request, the publisher released the book four days early (this past Friday, instead of January 9).
The book flew off the shelves, selling out on its new release date in bookstores nationwide.
Unlike the many anti-Trump books released since he won the presidency, “Fire and Fury” goes the extra mile. Wolff conducted hundreds of interviews with White House staff members, including Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon. Wolff stated that he took up “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing,” and the book details his experience.
Along with revealing the wrongdoings in the Trump presidency, the book questions his sanity. While many voters explained Trump’s erratic and attention-grabbing behavior as a campaign strategy, the book suggests his crazy person act is his true nature and being in office hasn’t normalized him in the slightest, as many had hoped. As Trump’s first physical as president approaches, people note that he will not receive tests for cognitive and neurological function that are typical for most elderly patients.
Some have questioned Wolff’s seemingly fluid relationship with the truth. The internet was already in a frenzy the night of the “Fire and Fury” ‘s release when Twitter personality @pixelatedboat mocked the book with a fake passage. It suggested that on Trump’s first night, his White House staff had to compile a collection of gorilla documentaries into a “Gorilla Channel” to placate him when he believed that his television wasn’t working. While satirical, many viewers were initially fooled, a fair indication of the sometimes outrageous nature of Wolff’s claims.
WikiLeaks also released a pirated copy of the book, although the PDF was taken offline shortly after its release. This caused some controversy on its own, seeing that WikiLeaks typically only releases censored information. Some alleged that they were attempting to hurt the sales of “Fire and Fury,” as some believe they helped Trump during the 2016 election.
Trump has already responded in typical fashion, tweeting that, “Michael Wolff is a total loser” who published a “Fake Book,” while also ridiculing “Sloppy Steve Bannon” and comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. He re-tweeted a photo of the parody book cover, “Liar and Phony.”