Ever since excerpts of the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” surfaced last week, reporters and activists have been excavating the past of author Michael Wolff. Down that path lies some Google hits, with various critics arguing that Wolff, a New York-based media critic, has played loose with the facts and takes a liberal approach to quotes and the like. “Fire and Fury” is going through the fire and fury of a randomly crowdsourced fact-checking.
Keying off of the criticism, MSNBC’s Katy Tur, who covered the Trump presidential campaign from wire to wire, pressed Wolff himself on Monday afternoon in a must-watch interview. When the host asked Wolff about the possibility of releasing the tapes he professes to maintain, he responded, “I work like every journalist — I have tapes, I have notes,” responded Wolff.
Why not release the materials? “Because that’s not…I’m not in your business,” said Wolff, contradicting what he’d said a moment earlier. “My evidence is the book. Read the book. If it makes sense to you, if it strikes a chord, if it rings true, it is true,” he said.
Bolding inserted to highlight a very faulty formulation, also known as the Doctrine of Too Good to Check.
Michael Wolff asked on MSNBC about the factual errors in his Trump book.
His actual response: "If it makes sense to you, if it strikes a cord, if it rings true, it is true."
Katy Tur response: "I read it, I — a lot of the did feel true"
This is Journalisming. pic.twitter.com/IOowlxWNvV
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 8, 2018