Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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Trump couldn’t resist talking to Bob Woodward

Timothy L. O’Brien writes:

Maybe it’s all Senator Lindsey Graham’s fault.

“It was Lindsey Graham who helped convince Donald Trump to talk to Bob Woodward,” Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson told his TV audience Wednesday night. “Lindsey Graham brokered that meeting. Lindsey Graham even sat in on the first interview between Bob Woodward and the president. How’d that turn out?”

It hasn’t turned out well, of course. Trump admitted in a taped interview with the veteran investigative reporter that he knew in February that the coronavirus was far more serious than he was acknowledging publicly. At least 190,000 Americans have since died from Covid-19, hurried to their graves by Trump’s faltering, apathetic response to the pandemic.

Trump spent nine hours across 18 interviews with Woodward for his new book, “Rage,” which has also spurred lots of finger-pointing in the White House. Senior Trump aides, according to Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, are also casting about for targets to blame for granting Woodward relatively lavish access to the president, as well as to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and many others.

I don’t work for Fox News or the White House, but I can help both outfits sort through the blame game: It’s Trump’s fault, and nobody else’s.

Trump is a media junkie who has a fixation on the very same reporters he loves to castigate, and he has a limitless belief in his own powers of persuasion. He has spent decades jousting with the media, successfully and unsuccessfully, to shape his public image while snaring his ultimate prize along the way: the spotlight. Trump as a canny, experienced entrepreneur willing to break things to get the job done was a media creation that “The Apprentice” put on steroids — and a chimera that helped propel him into the White House.

In reality, Trump is like a juvenile delinquent: willing to break things just because he likes to break things. Still, he always believes that his version of himself and events will eventually win out. So he keeps his shoulder to the wheel, constantly engaging with the media even if it’s counterproductive and leads to self-immolation. [Continue reading…]

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