Fire and Fury, released January 9th, 2018, is the supposed end-all insider account of the true nature of the Trump White House. Written by Michael Wolff, a Columbian educated author, this non-fiction work was meant to describe the perverse and horrifying nature of the American presidency.
During mid-2016 to late 2017, Wolff claims he was given access to the White House where he says he conducted interviews with staff and others who work under President Trump. The issue with this text isn’t the fact that Trump preceded to draw a lawsuit against Wolff or that this text seems to try to strain the already fragile relationships in the Conservative spectrum; the issue is that this non-fiction book has very fictitious and unsourced material that has, since release, been called out and debunked by sources all over the political spectrum.
PolitiFact, an award-winning fact-checking site, released an article soon after the book’s release, which by and large claims that the book has both errors and misinformation. PolitiFact’s main concern with the book is that many of the conversations that Wolff “says” to have taken place have no substantiation or sourcing.
It’s not clear who told Wolff of the conversations or if he was present himself. PolitiFact also states that Wolff makes claims as to the inner thoughts of White House members like Ivanka Trump, Stephen Bannon, and Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law).
The main concern with treating books like Fire and Fury with any sort of authenticity is that it gives way for more “yellow journalism” pieces. Increasing in the severity of claims until we enter an age of journalism where the “he said, she said” reporting will have more sway than truly sourced and researched information.
Fire and Fury is something that should never have left the publisher. It should never have reached the shelves and it certainly should not have sold 1.4 million copies and counting. In this heated political era, readers need to be careful as to the sources they trust. Especially when this source is widely considered inaccurate and slanderous.