Fact-challenged Michael Wolff fails upward, rewarded with a new book contract

Is the publishing world overdue for a hosing out, or what?  Mike Allen at Axios reports that Michael Wolff, the author of the lie-filled, gamily sourced, brimming-with-errors Fire and Fury book about President Trump's White House, has somehow been rewarded for his irresponsibility by getting another book contract.  I imagine it's for millions.


You'd think someone who got that many things wrong on his first run would be a pariah in the book-publishing world, especially from a respected publishing house such as Henry Holt.  When news of his errors on his last confection came out, not even bottom-ranked Megyn Kelly would host him on her show.  Allen reports that they actually gave him another contract!

In a scoop he maybe shouldn't be too proud of, given that the source is Wolff himself, Allen reports:

Wolff tells me he has signed with the same publisher, Henry Holt, for a sequel – although he says it's unclear what that means: His best sources (including Steve Bannon) have left the White House.  And he's lost the element of surprise that came with his soothing technique of acting as curious therapist to tortured, befuddled aides: "I'm just listening!" or "Tell me what it's like!"

Why is Allen giving a serial fabricator like Wolff the time of day?

Well, probably for the same reason Holt is giving him a new contract: Wolff sells a lot of books.  Two million copies of Fire and Fury sold, according to Allen.  Fine and dandy.  But publishing more of this guy's lies is a credibility-killer for a respected publishing house such as Holt.  It's going Martian tabloid with this one.  Is that the reputation the company like to have, all to sell books?

It looks like a strange deal for Holt, given that Wolff tells Allen he has no idea what he wants to write about, and Allen notes that the guy has lost his sources.  Allen writes: "Wolff told me: 'It's untitled, unscheduled, unfocused.'"

Publishing houses pay money for this?

Obviously, for these guys, the rules about facts, credibility and a plan of action go out the window whenever the topic is President Trump.  Trump has shaken up the political establishment in Washington.  He's also rattled the Hollywood establishment with the defection of Kanye West.  But who could have guessed he'd shake up the publishing establishment, making it ruin its high standards in the interest of catering to the fears and fever dreams of leftists, all under the erroneous category of non-fiction?  Have they gone nuts?  Their credibility is on the line, and with Trump living rent-free inside their heads, they don't seem to be perturbed in the least.

Image credit: FolsomNatural via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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