Bob Woodward’s Fear

Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear’ has inspired questions about how he gets information from all of these people, why do they talk to him and is it all made up. I strongly suspect that the stories are true. It is possible that some of the speakers did not use the exact words but someone who told Woodward they were in the room attributed those words to the identified person. My first basis for saying this is that while Woodward is far more specific the stories that he records are consistent with many things we have heard and read about the chaos of the Trump White House (see the books by Michael Wolf and Omarosa Manigault for example).

The second basis is that, in my experience, political people love to talk about themselves. They love to be part of the story. When a writer of Bob Woodward’s reputation calls them up and wants their thoughts and recollections they are eager to step up to the plate. Many are also looking to cement their place in history or establish a record that in some way justifies their own participation in events.

To the extent that you wonder about this I direct your attention to a Australian Broadcasting series that was pointed out to me by my friend Mark Spiro. It is the Killing Season and has very detailed interviews from the main protagonists of a series of ‘spills’ in Australian politics. Spill is that Australian word to describe caucus members coming together to unseat their leader. My impression throughout is that the main players should have been talking to their therapists or religious advisors but they certainly were willing to unburden their souls.

Author: Tom Jarmyn