Back to School Reading

Robert Brooks Contributor
Back to School Reading
Read Time: approx. 2:14

This is the top story from our daily newsletter published on September 10, 2020. To have this and more delivered directly to your inbox scroll down and enter your email or click here to sign up.


Back to School Reading: Yesterday veteran journalist, Bob Woodward released excerpts from Rage “an unprecedented and intimate tour de force of new reporting on the Trump presidency facing a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest.” Everyone in DC promptly blew a gasket and political journalists’ heads exploded on Twitter. If you live outside the Beltway, however, there’s a good chance that you probably didn’t even know this was happening. Nevertheless, snippets from Woodward’s book are newsworthy. Here’s how various outlets decided to cover the excerpts across the political spectrum:

On the Left, Washington Post: Former defense secretary Jim Mattis told former director of national intelligence Daniel Coats, “There may come a time when we have to take collective action” since Trump is “dangerous. He’s unfit.”

In the middle, Axios: Coats could not shake his “deep suspicions” that Russian President Vladimir Putin “had something” on President Trump, seeing “no other explanation” for the president’s behavior.

In the middle, The Hill: President Trump also bragged about a supposedly secret nuclear weapons system according to Woodward.

On the Left, Mediaite: Woodward also released audio of Trump privately admitting the danger of Coronavirus, and his plans to downplay it.

On the Left, CBS: Woodward will appear on 60 Minutes in his first interview about the revelations on Sunday.

On the Right, National Review: Who could have foreseen talking to Bob Woodward would generate bad headlines? Jim Geraghty asks sarcastically, pointing out that Trump did 18 on-the-record interviews with Woodward.

On the Right, Fox News: President Trump on Wednesday ripped into Bob Woodward’s new book as “just another political hit job” after the author claimed Trump said he knew the coronavirus was “deadly” but went to great lengths to downplay the virus in public. Keep reading.

Flag This: “If you feel like you can’t keep up with all of the bombshell books about President Donald Trump and his Administration, you’re not alone,” Philip Elliot writes for TIME Magazine. “In terms of raw numbers, there’s been an average of roughly one book about Trump and his inner circle released every single day for the last 188 weeks.” As the Economist noted this past June, “Donald Trump’s presidency has been a gift for booksellers.” The magazine took a look at which releases sold better: Anti-Trump or Pro-Trump novels. In summary, “Excoriating accounts have sold better than sycophantic ones,” The Economist notes. “The disparity in hardback sales between pro- and anti-Trump books could be down to the fact that divulging juicy tales about the president is more sensational than defending him. But it might also reflect differences in demand among book buyers. A survey conducted in 2019 by the Pew Research Center, a think-tank, found that Democrats read 12.9 books a year, on average, compared with 10.4 for Republicans.”