Feed your enemies some scandalous piece of gossip that reinforces what they aleady believe about you, and mix in some things you want them to start thinking about you. They'll eat it up.
Let us all smear Trump with gook!
Now confused on Trumpy day!
Oh the scandal! Oh the dirt! Salacious Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff tops the best-selling charts nationwide for its incendiary commentary of the disarray within the White House. So exciting. This is what we’ve all been waiting for: an exciting rag dripping of damning, juicy gossip. Surely, Trump must be shaking in his boots. Oh look, indeed! He had his lawyer try and block the book? Oh my! The flagrant disregard for the first amendment! Trump is evil, evil, evil! This is the biography he doesn’t want us to know about! Such a corrupt and evil man, trying to ban a book; I’m going to buy twenty copies!
As they say, it’s easier to con people than to convince them they’ve been conned.
Listen up: Fire and Fury is a con, put forth by Trump.
Ask yourself this: here is a man who is nothing if not a master of using lies and trickery to manipulate the public. He understands nothing if not how to sway people’s opinion and perception. Do you really think he intended to block that book from publication? Does it make sense that someone so consistently astute when it comes to manipulation would try to shut down a book against him by publicly attempting to shut it down?
The ‘attempt’ is so half-hearted and flagrant that it stands to reason he had every intention of pushing sales. One wonders if he got a percentage — he tried so hard to sell it. Tell me it didn’t work. Fire and Fury has been on every news outlet for weeks before its release, it now tops the bestseller list, and everyone is talking about it (including me). I honestly can’t think of a better way for Trump to increase exposure than the way he went about it. And for someone so skilled at manipulating the public, I don’t see how that’s accidental.
And, there’s the reputation Michael Wolff had as composing salacious, scandalous biographies, coupled with the unfettered access he was freely given at the White House.
Which leads to the question: why would he do such a thing? It’s so damning!
No, it isn’t. First off, there’s nothing new or original in Fire and Fury. Nothing at all. Long before this book came out, we knew his administration was disorganized and filled with chaotic infighting. We knew he was an idiot, a racist, and a complete nutjob, along with a host of other things. These things we knew about him long before this text came to print. So all the book really does, as far as his opponents are concerned, is reinforce a perception we already had of him as being grossly incompetent. So the damage it’s done is not unlike the damage we did to that Syrian airfield: meaningless and inconsequential. There is no evidence Mueller can use in his probe, no smoking gun about his mental faculties, nothing of the sort. So what if he eats at McDonalds; so do I sometimes.
Now let us take a look at how Fire and Fury augments his position, starting with the Russia probe.
The single thing that we need to establish is a direct connection to Donald Trump himself and his collusion with Russia to influence the election. While we shouldn’t doubt he was directly involved, so far we have his son, his son-in-law, his aides, his daughter, some former staffers, and basically a circle of people all of whom bear some responsibility for the crime, which essentially amounts to a whole circle of pieces for the king to hide behind. Without proof of his complicity, there will be no checkmate. Fire and Fury, for all its sensational and plausible gossip, reinforces the narrative that Donald Trump had nothing to do with the collusion. And the whole feud between Bannon and Trump is a smokescreen set up to make his cooperation with the book that much more plausible — else what did you think Bannon meant when he said upon leaving the White House that he would continue to serve Trump and his agenda?
It worked, too. Polls already show that a majority of Americans believe he wasn’t involved in the collusion.
Fire and Fury achieves other ends: it floats the idea of Crooked Ivanka for president among other things. I won’t get into that here.
Long story short, everything Trump did had the effect of augmenting this book’s exposure and sales, and everything in the contents of the book serve to advance his position and insulate him from wrongdoing. If you actually think this wasn’t done on purpose, send me an email because I’m the manager of the First National bank of Nigeria and I need to speak with you about a sum of $10,000,000 US dollars.
If Fire and Fury said anything truly damaging to him, he would have said something about Hillary’s emails.