Fire and Fury

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By now most of you are probably aware of the excerpts making the rounds through the media from journalist Michael Wolff's new book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House." Just the stuff we've been shown prior to the book's release on Tuesday the 9th of this month is jaw-dropping and damning. New York Magazine has the official release of the excerpts. Some choice quotes:

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend ? Trump might actually win ? seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears ? and not of joy.

There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon?s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.

Few people who knew Trump had illusions about him. That was his appeal: He was what he was. Twinkle in his eye, larceny in his soul. Everybody in his rich-guy social circle knew about his wide-ranging ignorance. Early in the campaign, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate. ?I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,? Nunberg recalled, ?before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.?

(Rupert) Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America?s doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, ?We?ll figure it out.?

?What a fucking idiot,? said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone.

On Friday, January 27 ? only his eighth day in office ? Trump signed an executive order issuing a sweeping exclusion of many Muslims from the United States. In his mania to seize the day, with almost no one in the federal government having seen it or even been aware of it, Bannon had succeeded in pushing through an executive order that overhauled U.S. immigration policy while bypassing the very agencies and personnel responsible for enforcing it.

The result was an emotional outpouring of horror and indignation from liberal media, terror in immigrant communities, tumultuous protests at major airports, confusion throughout the government, and, in the White House, an inundation of opprobrium from friends and family. What have you done? You have to undo this! You?re finished before you even start! But Bannon was satisfied. He could not have hoped to draw a more vivid line between Trump?s America and that of liberals. Almost the entire White House staff demanded to know: Why did we do this on a Friday, when it would hit the airports hardest and bring out the most protesters?

?Errr ? that?s why,? said Bannon. ?So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.? That was the way to crush the liberals: Make them crazy and drag them to the left.

Ivanka maintained a relationship with her father that was in no way conventional. She was a helper not just in his business dealings, but in his marital realignments. If it wasn?t pure opportunism, it was certainly transactional. For Ivanka, it was all business ? building the Trump brand, the presidential campaign, and now the White House. She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others. She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate ? a contained island after scalp-reduction ?surgery ? surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men ? the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump?s orange-blond hair color.

And here's a bonus from Katy Tur, who received an advance copy of the book this week:

Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends? wives into bed. In pursuing a friend?s wife, he would try to persuade the wife that her husband was perhaps not what she thought. Then he?d have his secretary ask the friend into his office; once the friend arrived, Trump would engage in what was, for him, more or less constant sexual banter. "Do you still like having sex with your wife? How often? You must have had a better f*ck than your wife? Tell me about it. I have girls coming in from Los Angeles at three o?clock. We can go upstairs and have a great time. I promise?" And all the while, Trump would have his friend?s wife on the speakerphone, listening in.

It's not that I'm shocked by any of this. I've known for some time that Trump is a buffoon with the morals of a lizard. It's more that Trump has taught me what it is to feel hate. I've held grudges in the past. I still remember the names of every person who ritualistically bullied me in school. But Trump? This is moral and ethical repugnance that seeps down to the bone marrow. My heart is slowly transforming into the unfeeling void between the stars. I have never felt a hate this black and cold before, and I don't like it.

So, thoughts? What effect do you think this will have on the political narrative going forward?

None of what I read there surprises me. Trump's open "I manchild, herpdaderpderpderp Much sleaze, so con-artist, very bigleague womanizer who doesn't care about their personal space or feelings, I the most desirable I like magnet!" thing has been clear as day since he opened his mouth on the campaign trail.

BeetleManiac:
I still remember the names of every person who ritualistically bullied me in school.

Hot damn, I only remember the name of ONE of them, the single one I can never ever forgive under any circumstance (unless he freely gave me a liver transplant when I really need one or something). All the other ones I just sorta let go of hating because most of them were just morons and assholes, unlike the goddamn sociopath who was my main tormentor. XD

BeetleManiac:
By now most of you are probably aware of the excerpts making the rounds through the media from journalist Michael Wolff's new book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House." Just the stuff we've been shown prior to the book's release on Tuesday the 9th of this month is jaw-dropping and damning. New York Magazine has the official release of the excerpts. Some choice quotes:

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend ? Trump might actually win ? seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears ? and not of joy.

There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon?s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.

Few people who knew Trump had illusions about him. That was his appeal: He was what he was. Twinkle in his eye, larceny in his soul. Everybody in his rich-guy social circle knew about his wide-ranging ignorance. Early in the campaign, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate. ?I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,? Nunberg recalled, ?before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.?

(Rupert) Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America?s doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, ?We?ll figure it out.?

?What a fucking idiot,? said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone.

On Friday, January 27 ? only his eighth day in office ? Trump signed an executive order issuing a sweeping exclusion of many Muslims from the United States. In his mania to seize the day, with almost no one in the federal government having seen it or even been aware of it, Bannon had succeeded in pushing through an executive order that overhauled U.S. immigration policy while bypassing the very agencies and personnel responsible for enforcing it.

The result was an emotional outpouring of horror and indignation from liberal media, terror in immigrant communities, tumultuous protests at major airports, confusion throughout the government, and, in the White House, an inundation of opprobrium from friends and family. What have you done? You have to undo this! You?re finished before you even start! But Bannon was satisfied. He could not have hoped to draw a more vivid line between Trump?s America and that of liberals. Almost the entire White House staff demanded to know: Why did we do this on a Friday, when it would hit the airports hardest and bring out the most protesters?

?Errr ? that?s why,? said Bannon. ?So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.? That was the way to crush the liberals: Make them crazy and drag them to the left.

Ivanka maintained a relationship with her father that was in no way conventional. She was a helper not just in his business dealings, but in his marital realignments. If it wasn?t pure opportunism, it was certainly transactional. For Ivanka, it was all business ? building the Trump brand, the presidential campaign, and now the White House. She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others. She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate ? a contained island after scalp-reduction ?surgery ? surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men ? the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump?s orange-blond hair color.

And here's a bonus from Katy Tur, who received an advance copy of the book this week:

Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends? wives into bed. In pursuing a friend?s wife, he would try to persuade the wife that her husband was perhaps not what she thought. Then he?d have his secretary ask the friend into his office; once the friend arrived, Trump would engage in what was, for him, more or less constant sexual banter. "Do you still like having sex with your wife? How often? You must have had a better f*ck than your wife? Tell me about it. I have girls coming in from Los Angeles at three o?clock. We can go upstairs and have a great time. I promise?" And all the while, Trump would have his friend?s wife on the speakerphone, listening in.

It's not that I'm shocked by any of this. I've known for some time that Trump is a buffoon with the morals of a lizard. It's more that Trump has taught me what it is to feel hate. I've held grudges in the past. I still remember the names of every person who ritualistically bullied me in school. But Trump? This is moral and ethical repugnance that seeps down to the bone marrow. My heart is slowly transforming into the unfeeling void between the stars. I have never felt a hate this black and cold before, and I don't like it.

So, thoughts? What effect do you think this will have on the political narrative going forward?

What. The. Merry. Fuck?

How is any of this real? How craven and ignorant do you have to be that Rupert Murdoch calls you a 'fucking idiot'?

Gordon_4:

How is any of this real? How craven and ignorant do you have to be that Rupert Murdoch calls you a 'fucking idiot'?

Keep in mind this excerpt from the introduction:

Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.

There's going to be a lot of truthiness in this book. Stock up on salt.

BeetleManiac:
But Trump? This is moral and ethical repugnance that seeps down to the bone marrow. My heart is slowly transforming into the unfeeling void between the stars. I have never felt a hate this black and cold before, and I don't like it.

Yesss...let the anger flow through your being, my child. Let it boil over and scour away your weaknesses, leaving only hardened obsidian in its wake, and from that fathomless black stone you can forge a blade with an edge that reduces itself unto infinity, an endless razor that will shape the very world around you to the movements of your hand. Cut away the world's flaws, cut until there is nothing left, nothing but that perfect, timeless shape, the one true form that is hatred of all things, and hatred of one's self above all.

Or, like, make a cup of tea and chill for a bit. That's also a thing you can do.

BeetleManiac:
So, thoughts? What effect do you think this will have on the political narrative going forward?

Oh. Well, I don't trust books like this. They are always, always written with an agenda in mind, and they usually contain explosive claims intended to drum up as much publicity as possible and make the author as much immediate cash as possible. Memoirs, exposes, tell-alls - they all fall somewhere on the spectrum between spiteful gossip, historical revisionism, and outright hagiography.

This is being written by a reporter and professional biographer, so there's that. But I would wait for corroboration before taking anything in there as established fact. I mean, I can believe most of it occurred, but it's that very fact that makes me wary of confirmation bias.

As to the change to the political narrative? Absolutely no impact whatsoever. People who hate Trump will read this book and see more reasons to hate Trump. People who hate Trump but tolerate him for political reasons will not read this book and continue tolerating him up until they have achieved the political goals they wanted, and then they will dump him. People who love Trump will ignore this book, as they ignore all criticism of Trump, and double down on their support for the man, because the alternative would mean admitting that they bought into the biggest and most obvious con job in the history of politics.

Remember, even when Watergate was at its peak and Nixon was about to resign, he still had support from about a third of America. That third was the portion of his voting base who simply refused to accept that they had voted for a crook. It's the single hardest thing a person can do; admitting that they were wrong and made a stupid mistake. People would rather dig their own grave than say "eh, this is stupid" and let another guy help them up and out of the ground.

Like, Zontar. Where's Zontar? Come out here, buddy. Are you ready to consider that Trump was maybe kinda a dumb choice for President yet? I mean, I know you're Canadian, and you'll just say that Hillary was worse, but wouldn't you have preferred, I don't know, Ted Cruz? Marco Rubio, maybe? If I was a US voter, I could've settled for President Rubio. He's no worse than our PM.

At some point, the guy who decided to burn down his own house to spite the termites is going to have to recognise that they're sleeping in the rain, and maybe they could've hired an exterminator instead.

So a book full of rumours and gossip, suddenly being treated by the world media like it is gospel, on the grounds that it conforms with their preferred narrative.

C'mon, guys...

Catnip1024:
So a book full of rumours and gossip, suddenly being treated by the world media like it is gospel, on the grounds that it conforms with their preferred narrative.

C'mon, guys...

Yeah, we just need his tweets and publicly recorded actions to inform us he's a 3 year old in a mid 70s orange hued body.

The most disturbing thing here is the insinuation that Trump didn't want to win. Which I've obviously heard before, but chosen to ignore because the implications are not good for keeping one's paranoia in check. I mean, would that mean that he too was in on The Fix? That he was used to clear the field of other Republican candidates and then graciously take a dive for Her Majesty?

That would explain the sheer intensity of unmitigated hate for him on the part of partisans of the planned dynastic succession, wouldn't it? "That son of a bitch double crossed us!" Which is as good an argument for electing him as any.

As for his being a "dumb choice" for President, well, obviously that would be the case if there was a serious alternative who wasn't wholly a creature of the Corporate-SocJus complex. But as it happens, there wasn't. So, still a better choice, until he actually gets everyone nuked. It's an appalling gamble, to be sure. But an interregnum of chaos is sometimes required to allow for the cleaning up of the entrenched interests who would sacrifice any foundational principle that allowed whatever actual progress that has taken place in the US over the past couple of centuries. So how about getting with that program while there's still a chance to come through this necessary ordeal?

Catnip1024:
So a book full of rumours and gossip, suddenly being treated by the world media like it is gospel, on the grounds that it conforms with their preferred narrative.

C'mon, guys...

Saelune:
I love when right-wingers post comments that would make sense in response to right-wingers. It happens pretty often actually.

:)

StatusNil:
--

Can I ask what exactly you think social justice is? People asking for leaders that have basic social awareness and an understanding of civil responsibility isn't a tall ask. It's principally the reason why the rest of the Western world lives better than Americans do.

You know ... not cutting funding to education and installing a clinical retard like Betsy DeVos to head it up? Or trying to fire trans people in the military via tweet? Or colluding with foreign agents hostile to your democracy... or trying to pick fights with an allied nation's politicans? I mean, having a leader that does none of those things is totally 'social justice' (as in its actual definition of providing equality of opportunity and all that fun liberty stuff), they're also pretty beneficial. And hey, I would have voted for Bernie Sanders if I were an American ... the guy that isn't a megarich arsehole compromised by big corporate benefactors or Russian agents, that actually had a proactive stance to legitimately improving the stagnating living conditions of 90% of Americans and actually has charisma and experience.

He's like a Nixon without the codedly racist rhetoric and playing war for the sake of geopolitical gamesmanship. You know, science-friendly, looking to ecological solutions to tomorrow's problems, universal health coverage, desegregating schools, even played with ideas of a universal basic income (though I have my own political problems with that) ...

I get it ... installing competent, uncompromised people that don't have a metric fuckton of Russian leverage on them to positions of power is totally 'SocJus' now (heaven forbid)... but then again if that's the only reason not to do it, maybe people are just idiots?

When it gets to the point that one of your longest term allies had personally responded with intelligence as to the corrupt nature of the Trump campaign and how they were compromised by Russian agents and a mutual enemy of the Western world, and that's considered less impactful or meaningful than voting in a guy forsome vague, idiotic ideological bent ... 'bout time you had a good, long, hard look at your 'democracy' and question its legitimacy as the decades wind on. Anything else is mental gymnastics.

Catnip1024:
So a book full of rumours and gossip, suddenly being treated by the world media like it is gospel, on the grounds that it conforms with their preferred narrative.

"Their preferred narrative" being Trump acting like Trump. With the exception of Trump not expecting/wanting to win, which was only rumoured in the past, that sort of thing is more or less what he's been doing and saying since his campaign stated.

bastardofmelbourne:
As to the change to the political narrative? Absolutely no impact whatsoever. People who hate Trump will read this book and see more reasons to hate Trump. People who hate Trump but tolerate him for political reasons will not read this book and continue tolerating him up until they have achieved the political goals they wanted, and then they will dump him. People who love Trump will ignore this book, as they ignore all criticism of Trump, and double down on their support for the man, because the alternative would mean admitting that they bought into the biggest and most obvious con job in the history of politics.

I'm more thinking about the fact that Trump is so thin-skinned he cannot let any criticism of him go. He's already attacked Bannon, who has not disputed any of the claims about his words or actions in the book, and his lawyers have sent Bannon a cease and desist order.

The press is going to be all over this too, talking about the book and trying to follow up on anything they can to find corroboration or people willing to speak on the record. TV addict that he is, Trump will have a hard time getting away from this.

Catnip1024:
So a book full of rumours and gossip, suddenly being treated by the world media like it is gospel, on the grounds that it conforms with their preferred narrative.

C'mon, guys...

Unctuous finger wagging duly noted.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Yeah, we just need his tweets and publicly recorded actions to inform us he's a 3 year old in a mid 70s orange hued body.

Thaluikhain:
"Their preferred narrative" being Trump acting like Trump. With the exception of Trump not expecting/wanting to win, which was only rumoured in the past, that sort of thing is more or less what he's been doing and saying since his campaign stated.

Saelune:
]:)

BeetleManiac:
Unctuous finger wagging duly noted.

I mean, yes, he is an idiot. But after all the complaining about fake news over the last year, one would have hoped for at least some more caveating of stories about a book that is essentially pure rumour.

Saying, "well it sounds like something he would do" is the whole point of rumours. They have to be believable.

Yes, all sides are as bad at it these days. US Politics is fucked. The US media is fucked. That doesn't make the current issue any less stupid.

There's more than enough shit to have a go at Trump about without any need for hearsay.

Catnip1024:
I mean, yes, he is an idiot.

Then don't get shitty with people when you're not the one saying it.

Saying, "well it sounds like something he would do" is the whole point of rumours. They have to be believable.

Okay, here's a NYT editorial about the Fusion GPS business. A relevant quote from that:

Yes, we hired Mr. Steele, a highly respected Russia expert. But we did so without informing him whom we were working for and gave him no specific marching orders beyond this basic question: Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?

What came back shocked us. Mr. Steele's sources in Russia (who were not paid) reported on an extensive - and now confirmed - effort by the Kremlin to help elect Mr. Trump president. Mr. Steele saw this as a crime in progress and decided he needed to report it to the F.B.I.

Now juxtapose that with one of Bannon's alleged quotes from the book:

The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor - with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers.

Even taking Wolff's book with a grain of salt, I have a hard time believing that the Mueller probe will not be following up on this. Bannon has not publicly refuted these alleged quotes of his either. There's smoke, so the cops on the beat are going to be checking to see if there's fire.

If it all turns out to be a nothingburger, you can have the emotional satisfaction of gloating guilt-free. Until then, I actually have to live here and can't afford to be as flip about this as you.

Yes, all sides are as bad at it these days.

No, we're not playing that game today. Sorry.

So, a deranged sociopath with ties to organized crime is not a very nice person? Who the fuck is surprised by this? I guess Trump supporters would be, but they're so stupid they will probably call it fake news. And that's if they even care enough since most of them are about as devoid of morality and critical thinking skills as their dear leader.

This feels a little too close to an elaborate political gossip mag for my liking. The only difference being some slight more integrity expected, ties to an ongoing political investigation, oh and the overarching subject being the people currently in control of the entirety of the US for the coming 4-8 years!

That aside, I'd rather leave this one for others sift through. I know too well the kind of morally bankrupt detritus personalities that exist on this planet, living grand lives off the backs of the silent suffering many, believing, seemingly correctly, that they are above any and all judgement and justice.
All has been portrayed more than enough already from this one gold-plated turd and its' sycophant opportunists; validation is personally of no use, only potential solutions and respite meanwhile for those that need it most.

The narcissist gets his monkey-paw wish, however...expect multiple Twitter breakdowns in the coming future, depending on how long it takes for him to read through it, with assistance for the longer words. An audiobook may alleviate some difficulty there.

Catnip1024:
So a book full of rumours and gossip, suddenly being treated by the world media like it is gospel, on the grounds that it conforms with their preferred narrative.

C'mon, guys...

Well, it's more complex than that. I said above that I was immediately worried about confirmation bias as soon as I heard the news, but...once you factor in Trump's reaction to the news and Bannon's conspicuous failure to deny any of the quotations, it becomes slightly more credible than mere rumour.

I mean, this is a professional journalist and biographer. So it's not Sally at the coffee stand. That's one point in his favour. None of his quotations have yet been disputed by Bannon, which is something Bannon would do if the guy had made the quotes up whole-cloth, so that's another. And Trump has flipped the fuck out in response to the news, throwing Bannon to the wolves entirely. That's point three.

Think about it. Trump has probably just killed Breitbart. 95% of Breitbart's readership these days are hardcore Trumpets, and Breitbart has been the no. 1 defender of Trump online ever since early 2016. Trump has just...disintegrated that relationship, over some excerpts from a memoir that could really easily be dismissed as fake news. Trump wouldn't burn Bannon like that unless he believed the rumours himself.

Catnip1024:
Yes, all sides are as bad at it these days. US Politics is fucked. The US media is fucked. That doesn't make the current issue any less stupid.

Let's not play the "all sides" game today, okay? It's bullshit. I know it, you know it, everyone reading this knows it.

Like, on one end of the scale we've got Hypothetical Good President, and somewhere below that we've got Average President, and below that we've got Bad President, and then all the way down in the Stygian depths of Hell we have Nuclear-Cock-Measuring-Contest President, trapped in icy flame until Judgment Day, when he shall break free with his massive nuclear-armed cock and face the Lord Jesus in an epic nuclear cockfight to decide the fate of all human souls.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42570555

Burn the books!

The plot thickens.

A lawyer representing President Trump sought Thursday to stop the publication of a new behind-the-scenes book about the White House that has already led Trump to angrily decry his former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

The legal notice ? addressed to author Michael Wolff and the president of the book?s publisher ? said Trump?s lawyers were pursuing possible charges including libel in connection with the forthcoming book, ?Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.?

The letter by Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles J. Harder demanded the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., ?immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book? or excerpts and summaries of its contents. The lawyers also seek a full copy of the book as part of their investigation.

EDIT: Damn, Baffle beat me to it. Excellent ninja moves, good sir.

bastardofmelbourne:
Well, it's more complex than that. I said above that I was immediately worried about confirmation bias as soon as I heard the news, but...once you factor in Trump's reaction to the news and Bannon's conspicuous failure to deny any of the quotations, it becomes slightly more credible than mere rumour.

I mean, this is a professional journalist and biographer. So it's not Sally at the coffee stand. That's one point in his favour. None of his quotations have yet been disputed by Bannon, which is something Bannon would do if the guy had made the quotes up whole-cloth, so that's another. And Trump has flipped the fuck out in response to the news, throwing Bannon to the wolves entirely. That's point three.

Think about it. Trump has probably just killed Breitbart. 95% of Breitbart's readership these days are hardcore Trumpets, and Breitbart has been the no. 1 defender of Trump online ever since early 2016. Trump has just...disintegrated that relationship, over some excerpts from a memoir that could really easily be dismissed as fake news. Trump wouldn't burn Bannon like that unless he believed the rumours himself.

See, a lot of what's going on could just as easily be explained by having a lot of pricks with personal vendettas having to deal with one another. Maybe Bannon is happy to let things slide to get something back at Trump. I can't imagine any of them being particularly easy to deal with.

You are assuming that any of Trump's actions are properly rationalised, rather than spontaneous and impulsive. Which is probably your first mistake.

Let's not play the "all sides" game today, okay? It's bullshit. I know it, you know it, everyone reading this knows it.

I was talking about the confirmation bias aspect. And it is completely true. Both sides have wide swathes of supporters who will happily lap up anything about the opposition, regardless of how bullshit a story it is. See Obama birth certificate, for instance. Or the unsubstantiated Trump piss-dossier.

It's a perfectly valid thing to say because it has nothing to do with Trump or Clinton but everything to do with the media and the populace as a whole. Getting rid of Trump doesn't make people more critical of information. It's a systemic problem.

Baffle2:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42570555

Burn the books!

So if the book publishers defend the case, I assume the prosecution has to demonstrate wrongdoing / falsification / libel or some such as a reason for preventing publication?

That should be good.

Catnip1024:
See, a lot of what's going on could just as easily be explained by having a lot of pricks with personal vendettas having to deal with one another. Maybe Bannon is happy to let things slide to get something back at Trump. I can't imagine any of them being particularly easy to deal with.

You are assuming that any of Trump's actions are properly rationalised, rather than spontaneous and impulsive. Which is probably your first mistake.

On this point: I just read a breakdown of the book in question, as well as an analysis of its author's credibility and/or lack of credibility.

Short story: the man is regarded as a gossip-monger, so much of what he writes should be considered "stuff Michael Wolff heard" rather than "stuff Michael Wolff saw firsthand." That doesn't mean that it's completely baseless; Wolff is a professional with a long record in this field, he enjoyed extensive access to the White House in its early months, and a lot of what he describes matches the general picture coming from other observers in the White House. So he's not likely to have lied, but his sources are not entirely reliable.

I do still disagree with you about the participant's reactions. Trump is spontaneous and impulsive, but his reaction indicated genuine and dramatic outrage. Something must have triggered that outrage; the perceived slight against his son, maybe, or lingering resentment over Bannon's reputation as the power behind the throne. Maybe he's just still butthurt over Alabama.

Anyway, he's now taking the rather extreme step of suing to prevent the book from even being released. Which is something that Citizen Trump did regularly, that Candidate Trump threatened to do regularly, but which President Trump has entirely abstained from. Something about these leaks in particular has made him call up his lawyer and say "kill this shit right now, I don't care how it looks."

Of course, he might just be deranged. That's also possible.

Catnip1024:
I was talking about the confirmation bias aspect. And it is completely true. Both sides have wide swathes of supporters who will happily lap up anything about the opposition, regardless of how bullshit a story it is. See Obama birth certificate, for instance. Or the unsubstantiated Trump piss-dossier.

It's a perfectly valid thing to say because it has nothing to do with Trump or Clinton but everything to do with the media and the populace as a whole. Getting rid of Trump doesn't make people more critical of information. It's a systemic problem.

Oh, okay. That makes more sense.

Sorry, I guess I've become hypersensitive to the "but Hillary!" argument.

Catnip1024:
So if the book publishers defend the case, I assume the prosecution has to demonstrate wrongdoing / falsification / libel or some such as a reason for preventing publication?

That should be good.

Yes. The case is not likely to go anywhere; America has a higher bar for defamation lawsuits than places like the UK or Australia.

Because there's almost no chance of success, the purpose of this particular legal action would be to get a temporary injunction preventing the book from being published on schedule. This is probably because Trump hopes that if he can delay its release, people will forget it exists. The reverse is true; Trump could not have done more to boost the book's publicity. He'll never stop it from being published entirely; the best he can hope for is to delay it.

But he's brought monumentally frivolous suits before; it's certainly not out of character for him to do it now. In fact, the only surprise is that he hasn't tried this earlier.

bastardofmelbourne:
Short story: the man is regarded as a gossip-monger, so much of what he writes should be considered "stuff Michael Wolff heard" rather than "stuff Michael Wolff saw firsthand." That doesn't mean that it's completely baseless; Wolff is a professional with a long record in this field, he enjoyed extensive access to the White House in its early months, and a lot of what he describes matches the general picture coming from other observers in the White House. So he's not likely to have lied, but his sources are not entirely reliable.

This is essentially my point. It could be a book written by the most trustworthy guy in the world, but it essentially is still reporting on gossip. As for the "feelings in the White House" at various times that seems to be discussed, that is entirely one persons interpretation, and a person pushing to find stuff for a book might interpret things very differently to a regular Joe going to work.

A lot may still come out of the White House in the near future - but I think people are looking too hard for stories which will "get rid of Trump". Trying to make a big deal about the little stuff detracts from the inevitable big stuff.

I do still disagree with you about the participant's reactions. Trump is spontaneous and impulsive, but his reaction indicated genuine and dramatic outrage. Something must have triggered that outrage; the perceived slight against his son, maybe, or lingering resentment over Bannon's reputation as the power behind the throne. Maybe he's just still butthurt over Alabama.

Well, his son has essentially been called a traitor, one of his advisors has been bitching about him behind his back, and he's been told various things that his daughter has been reportedly saying about him too. It's not like he doesn't have a lot of reasons to be grouchy.

Yes. The case is not likely to go anywhere; America has a higher bar for defamation lawsuits than places like the UK or Australia.

Ta.

Catnip1024:
So if the book publishers defend the case, I assume the prosecution has to demonstrate wrongdoing / falsification / libel or some such as a reason for preventing publication?

Yeah, I believe that's always been the case in the US. The burden would be on them to demonstrate that the claims were false.

If they could do that, then it would come down to the defendant to show that the claims were made honestly even if they were false (and thus that they constitute fair opinion). In this case, that's likely to be pretty easy because of the little disclaimer mentioned above.

The chance of the libel case actually sticking is pretty non-existent. It just seems like an attempt to intimidate the publisher into backing down more than anything else.

Ivanka maintained a relationship with her father that was in no way conventional.

Fucking gross.

Also, apparently Trump's lawyers have been sending cease and desist notices to the author, publisher, and even to media outlets reporting on the book. Where my freeze peach fans at?

bastardofmelbourne:
snip

Apparently, Wolff's been recording these guys and the book is mostly based on those recordings. That's why we're not seeing anyone denying the content.

Catnip1024:
I mean, yes, he is an idiot. But after all the complaining about fake news over the last year, one would have hoped for at least some more caveating of stories about a book that is essentially pure rumour.

Pretty sure it was researched. That's not to say that is is all factually true, because no journalist can give that claim or guarantee everything they write couldn't possibly be wrong ... nor should be expected to.

That's a bad standard to pretend that shouldexist, precisely because the press have a moral duty to report what important information they do receive ... even if we don't live in a perfect world where all leads are perfectly guaranteed to be factual. We don't scream 'fake news' when a reporter upgrades or downgrades an estimated death toll from some natural disaster by a few points. Surely the impetus should be on getting the news out there of a killer flood and how potentially dangerous it is.

Saying, "well it sounds like something he would do" is the whole point of rumours. They have to be believable.

Right but you might easily find that such claims might have been cross-referenced by other people that were there or at least vetted people who were definitely known to be witnesses to an event.

Yes, all sides are as bad at it these days. US Politics is fucked. The US media is fucked. That doesn't make the current issue any less stupid.

Yeah, let's not push around that card, mate. Trump and his lackeys are not only dangerously clueless but has jeopardised longstanding alliances of the U.S. for the sake of political point scoring. U.S. officials likely close to Trump have jeopardised the intelligence sharing arrangement with another Five Eyes partner despite a mutual threat in Russia, and has repeatedly proven deleterious to basic diplomacy and civil liberty of the American people.

He's not 'bad' .... he's a traitor. The fact that people can try to whitewash his actions and those of his advisors and officials by pulling out this line of argumentation is pathetic.

But hey, if it makes you feel better ... I agree ... should have made Bernie, the guy that doesn't have millions in PAC contributions and kickbacks or invested in various industrial sectors, the Democrat pick. Then we could have seen a true test of just how much American idiots are willing to sell their country up the river if they still went with Trump.

Regardless, there was a better choice.

Catnip1024:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Yeah, we just need his tweets and publicly recorded actions to inform us he's a 3 year old in a mid 70s orange hued body.

Thaluikhain:
"Their preferred narrative" being Trump acting like Trump. With the exception of Trump not expecting/wanting to win, which was only rumoured in the past, that sort of thing is more or less what he's been doing and saying since his campaign stated.

Saelune:
]:)

BeetleManiac:
Unctuous finger wagging duly noted.

I mean, yes, he is an idiot. But after all the complaining about fake news over the last year, one would have hoped for at least some more caveating of stories about a book that is essentially pure rumour.

Saying, "well it sounds like something he would do" is the whole point of rumours. They have to be believable.

Yes, all sides are as bad at it these days. US Politics is fucked. The US media is fucked. That doesn't make the current issue any less stupid.

There's more than enough shit to have a go at Trump about without any need for hearsay.

You're doing that thing by the way, where you're supporting Trump. Throwing in a paltry "Yes hes an idiot" is null and voided by the rest of your posts in this topic, particularly the even paltrier "both sides are bad".

Trump's side is bad.

Adam Jensen:

bastardofmelbourne:
snip

Apparently, Wolff's been recording these guys and the book is mostly based on those recordings. That's why we're not seeing anyone denying the content.

The legality of that seems extremely questionable and rather Nixonesque.

Saelune:
You're doing that thing by the way, where you're supporting Trump. Throwing in a paltry "Yes hes an idiot" is null and voided by the rest of your posts in this topic, particularly the even paltrier "both sides are bad".

Trump's side is bad.

Nope. I'm criticising reporting. It's very different. Also, see my response to BastardofMelbourne regarding the "both sides" malarkey - youse are all misreading things.

If you can't see there being an issue with having widespread confirmation bias across the political spectrum, I'm kind of worried.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Yeah, let's not push around that card, mate. Trump and his lackeys are not only dangerously clueless but has jeopardised longstanding alliances of the U.S. for the sake of political point scoring. U.S. officials likely close to Trump have jeopardised the intelligence sharing arrangement with another Five Eyes partner despite a mutual threat in Russia, and has repeatedly proven deleterious to basic diplomacy and civil liberty of the American people.

He's not 'bad' .... he's a traitor. The fact that people can try to whitewash his actions and those of his advisors and officials by pulling out this line of argumentation is pathetic.

But hey, if it makes you feel better ... I agree ... should have made Bernie, the guy that doesn't have millions in PAC contributions and kickbacks or invested in various industrial sectors, the Democrat pick. Then we could have seen a true test of just how much American idiots are willing to sell their country up the river if they still went with Trump.

Regardless, there was a better choice.

The comment was nothing to do with a Clinton / Trump issue.

Catnip1024:
I was talking about the confirmation bias aspect. And it is completely true. Both sides have wide swathes of supporters who will happily lap up anything about the opposition, regardless of how bullshit a story it is. See Obama birth certificate, for instance. Or the unsubstantiated Trump piss-dossier.

It's a perfectly valid thing to say because it has nothing to do with Trump or Clinton but everything to do with the media and the populace as a whole. Getting rid of Trump doesn't make people more critical of information. It's a systemic problem.

Ravinoff:

Adam Jensen:

bastardofmelbourne:
snip

Apparently, Wolff's been recording these guys and the book is mostly based on those recordings. That's why we're not seeing anyone denying the content.

The legality of that seems extremely questionable and rather Nixonesque.

That depend on the state where the interview were conducted, in some place everyone need to be aware that the conversation is being recorded.

That being said, it doesn't change the fact that the recording exist. They might not be legal, but that doesn't mean that the media has to ignore there existence. And if they come to light, even if illegal, people will be forced to defend themselves on what they said.

I do agree that this won't really change anything of the political landscape, at this point people who sided with Trump aren't going to desert him. Most will either not hear about any of this or will just treat it as fake even with recording.

Ravinoff:
The legality of that seems extremely questionable and rather Nixonesque.

If they consented to be recorded, then that's that.

I have no idea if Wolff's book is "true" or not -- it seems like an incredibly bad policy to, as he's explained, take information and anecdotes from a single source, without verification, even if it's for the purposes of later exposing those sources as liars. And I have no fucking idea why publications like the New Yorker and others are publishing excerpts of this book when that practices of a gossip reporter don't meet their own editorial standards and requirements to publish information (i.e., one source stories are bad, and generally news outlets don't do it).

However....I do know this: Trump's decision to give unfettered access and almost weekly visits to a fucking Hollywood Reporter writer is incredibly boneheaded. This is a reporter who:
1) was on Rupert Murdoch's enemies list after writing a biography about him.
2) wrote a previous profile of Trump that was not exactly glowing, which apparently Trump didn't realize.
3) exposed Trump in 2016 for not knowing was "Brexit" was.
4) WRITES FOR THE HOLLYWOOD FUCKING REPORTER.

Good god. These people are so goddamn stupid it's beyond belief.

StatusNil:
But an interregnum of chaos is sometimes required to allow for the cleaning up of the entrenched interests who would sacrifice any foundational principle that allowed whatever actual progress that has taken place in the US over the past couple of centuries.

Er...

If you want an "interregnum of chaos" you need actual chaos. What you have is a daytime soap that is the tip of the governmental iceberg, whilst the vast mass machinery of government underneath carries on doing exactly what it normally does, and the even vaster bulk of society continues under that.

So how about getting with that program while there's still a chance to come through this necessary ordeal?

There is no program. It's Republican agenda as normal (the established interests just got their huge tax cuts), the lobbyists are busy lobbying, all those SocJus policies you hate are still embedded in universities, corporations, government, etc. All those people and institutions don't just go away because an overgrown, narcissistic baby is elected president. That baby has no loyalty to you and your cause, no interest whatsoever in seriously tackling what you want, and - hilariously enough - is even sucking the oxygen out of your own cause.

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