Yesterday the president was crowing that Tapper is a hateful, unfair CNN flunky who’d been destroyed by Stephen Miller, today the GOP’s “war room” YouTube account is circulating this clip of him puncturing the Wolff hype balloon.
Which is it? Can I trust this flunky’s hatefully unfair analysis or can’t I?
More importantly, has Tapper’s eleventh-hour attack on Wolff jeopardized his chances to take home a coveted Fakey Award on Wednesday night?
I’m curious to see if jabbing at Wolff remains the province of more centrist news types or if other media start calling him out. They’d all love to cheerlead the book as a matter of pure partisanship, I’m sure, especially after seeing how much it’s gotten under Trump’s skin. But the fact remains that there are sloppy errors in “Fire and Fury,” not all of which are mentioned by Tapper here, and more are bound to come to light on social media and on oppositional outlets like Fox as readers make their way through it. The more holes are poked in Wolff’s narrative, the easier it’ll be to tar his entire media cheering squad with the label “fake news.” And why shouldn’t they be, if they’re more interested in hashtag-resistance than in fact-checking him? You can see the Wolff backlash coming from a mile away, particularly with the author himself mouthing Orwellian defenses about how his book is true if it rings true, which, uh, no.
What really is true, though, is that there’s irony in how Trumpy Wolff’s own approach to the truth seems to be. “In so many ways,” writes Michael Warren, “Wolff’s book is like its subject himself: fact-challenged, confusing, sensational—and hard to look away from.” Take Wolff seriously, not literally!