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Best Choice: Do Not Waste Your Money on Michael Wolff’s Book of Lies

Posted: January 13, 2018 at 9:30 am   /   by

By Donna Garner

This is a lesson on recognizing fiction from non-fiction which all adults as well as students need to learn. Common Core and its emphasis on informational text, feelings, emotions, beliefs, and personal opinions have clouded the definition of “non-fiction.” Wolff’s book is definitely not “non-fiction.” — Donna Garner


The best thing we can do is to allow Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” to sit unread and unbought on bookshelves all around the country. If Wolff makes no profit on his book of lies, it will send a clear signal that the American people are much too smart to purchase a book advertised as non-fiction which is actually a pile of disingenuous garbage meant to destroy Pres. Trump’s efforts to Make America Great Again.

Wolff’s Prologue should be enough to build a case against this book of wild meanderings and fictitious unnamed sources.   

He states, “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.”

In other words, Wolff admits that he has made up his own version of the truth; and he asks readers to decide for themselves as to the veracity of his statements.  That is not what an authentic non-fiction writer should do — “play fast and loose with the truth.”

Wolff undoubtedly has opened a can of defamation lawsuits that will be coming his way.  

In a 1.5.18 LawandCrime.com article written by Ronn Blitzer (“Wolff’s Admission to Lies in His Book Puts Him in Legal Jeopardy”), the journalist states:

So Wolff flat out says that he believes that at least some of his sources were lying to him, and while he attributes some accounts to their sources, he acknowledges that this isn’t always the case.

This could be problematic for Wolff. He’s being accused of including fiction in what’s presented as a non-fiction book, and he admits that not all of his sources were trustworthy, but he doesn’t specify what’s fact true and what’s false. On its face, this sounds like a classic candidate for a defamation case.

Let’s run through the elements for a defamation claim. There has to be a statement that is 1) false, 2) defamatory, 3) published to a third party, and in the case of statements about public figures (like those included in Wolff’s book), 4) with “Actual malice,” meaning knowledge that the statement is false, or reckless disregard for whether it’s true.

At first glance, it sure sounds like Wolff is admitting to publishing statements-many of which are defamatory-that he knows to be false…

An article in CBS News, published on 1.5.18, and written by Kathryn Watson (“These Claims in Michael Wolff’s Explosive New Trump Book Are Being Challenged”) reads:

Another excerpt of Wolff’s book claims Fox News personality Sean Hannity expressed his willingness to let the president review questions in advance before interviewing him at an Air National Guard base in Pennsylvania last October, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Hannity, through a spokesperson, flat-out denied that he ever provided any questions in advance.

Wolff also says in the book, according to the Guardian, that one of Mr. Trump’s outside advisers and a close friend, billionaire Thomas Barrack Jr., said of the president, “He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid.”

However, Barrack denied ever having made the comment. “The quote attributed to me by Michael Wolff is completely and utterly false,” Barrack said in a statement to CBS News. “I have never been interviewed by Michael Wolff, nor did I give him any quotes, nor did he attempt to verify this totally false comment with me. It is clear to anyone who knows me those are not my words, and they are wholly inconsistent with how I talk and feel about the President who is my longtime friend and for whom I have inordinate respect.”

The British publication the Independent claimed Wolff’s book says former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner during the campaign that British spies could have the campaign under surveillance. Blair has since denied the report, calling it a “complete fabrication” through his spokesperson.

An excerpt published in the New Yorker also describes Mr. Trump as dismayed on Election Night by his unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton. Anthony Scaramucci, who was communications director for less than two weeks, disagreed with that claim and the claim that Mr. Trump didn’t know who Boehner was, although Scaramucci was not reported to be present when those events transpired.

On top of all of these lies, Wolff tells another big whopper.  

He says that when Roger Ailes suggested John Boehner as a potential chief of staff, Trump asked, “Who’s that?” Of course, the truth is that Trump and Boehner played golf as recently as 2013!

Yet another person in Michael Wolff’s book,  

Anna Wintour, denied his fabricated tale that she had asked Pres. Trump to name her as the U. S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Anna Wintour has been the editor-in-chief of Vogue since 1988.   Her representative told Business Insider:

“I think it’s pretty clear where Anna stands politically, which makes this laughably preposterous.”

Anna Wintour is a big-time Democrat donor and bundler who led the efforts to elect John Kerry, Obama, and Hillary Clinton to the White House.

Conclusion:

Michael Wolff has a well-known reputation for twisting statements, writing his own assumptions into his tales, making up salacious garbage, and using unnamed sources (one of whom is “himself”).  He needs to get a really good lawyer when the defamation lawsuits start tracking him down.

As Sect. of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin recently tweeted,  

“We have become used to #FakeNews, now we have #FakeBooks!”

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Best Choice: Do Not Waste Your Money on Michael Wolff's Book of Lies