The White House—and the politerati diaspora — has just barely stopped reeling from author Michael Wolff's account of life in Trump's West Wing, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," and now another life-in-the-White-House book is about to drop, this one from Kurtz. Like the books that came before it, and almost certainly like the ones still to come, Kurtz's book, "Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War Over the Truth," offers a portrait of a White House riven by chaos, with aides scrambling to respond to the president's impulses and writing policy to fit his tweets, according to excerpts obtained by The Washington Post.
Among the book's revelations, per Parker:
Kurtz, who worked at The Post from 1981 to 2010, writes that Trump's aides even privately coined a term for Trump's behavior—"Defiance Disorder." The phrase refers to Trump's seeming compulsion to do whatever it is his advisers are most strongly urging against, leaving his team to handle the fallout.
Keep reading Parker's piece for a few more unsettling anecdotes.
In a separate article headlined "This new Trump book could do even more damage than Michael Wolff's. Here's why," the Post's Aaron Blake first throws shade at Wolff's book ("How much of his Trump tell-all is embellished or misrepresented is unclear and may never be known"), and then suggests that Kurtz—whose own track record for reliability he does not address—is a more damning messenger about White House dysfunction by virtue of his job and his previously expressed opinons. Blake writes,
Kurtz is a Fox News host who has regularly offered a skeptical take on the media's treatment of Trump. No, he's not Sean Hannity, but he has shown a willingness to question the overarching narrative that Wolff's book sold—and which Kurtz's book now seems to confirm, at least to some degree. A sampling: Kurtz has said that the media are too negative toward Trump and that reporters are too snarky on Twitter. He compared what he considered a quick avalanche of negative Trump coverage during the campaign to a "mob hit." He wrote a column last month arguing that journalistic mistakes had allowed Trump to "shred the media's credibility." He has defended Trump's Twitter attacks—even ones viewed as being sexist or advocating violence—as responses to the "battering" the president has taken.
Keep in mind that Blake says he hasn't yet read the book—he's only read his colleague's summary of excerpts of the book. And the book's own promotional language seems to suggest that it's more likely to slam the mainstream media than cast the Trump White House in a bad light:
Bestselling author Howard Kurtz, host of Fox News's Media Buzz and former Washington Post columnist, offers a stunning exposé of how supposedly objective journalists, alarmed by Trump's success, have moved into the opposing camp. Kurtz's exclusive, in-depth, behind-the-scenes interviews with reporters, anchors, and insiders within the Trump White House reveal the unprecedented hostility between the media and the president they cover.