Trump inspires many a ‘stormy’ book

By Rong Xiaoqing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/27 17:48:40


Illustration: Liu Rui/GT




A day will come when America will realize President Donald Trump's contribution to the English language and literacy and honor him with a medal.

He is a person who relies on the simplest words like "bad," "sad" and "great" to convey the most complex ideas concerning major domestic issues and international relations. But he has also minted new words like "covfete" that outsmart the auto spelling check on your cell phone, and showcased how powerful a nimble transition between negative and double negative can be when addressing political controversies such as his stance on alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election. And most importantly, he seems to have turned everyone around him into aspiring authors, and created a new genre of literature about him and his administration.

Since Trump began his campaign for the White House and now he is inside it, Trump-related books have been coming out at a stunning pace. His current and former family members have written theirs. His first wife Ivana Trump talked about their tumultuous relationship in Raising Trump. His daughter Ivanka's Women Who Work, although more about her own career, inevitably shed light on her role in her father's campaign.

Those ousted by him have tried to turn their job loss into gains in royalties and the marketability that a book gives their post-White House careers. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer talked about his short-lived career behind the podium in the White House press room in The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President. Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) James Comey talked about his treacherous interaction with the president in A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. And former Director of Communication for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault Newman, who equipped herself with many secretly recorded conversations inside the White House, talked about the racism and craziness of Trump in Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House.

His friends in Fox News wrote books. Judge Jeanine Pirro's Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy aims at the "deep state" that she thinks is plotting to take him down. Howard Kurtz's Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press and the War over the Truth confronted the "fake news" cohort.

Journalists from the "fake news" gang shot back by writing their books. This year indeed started with Michael Wolff's bombshell Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, a book coming out of the incredible accessibility the author enjoyed inside Trump's White House and contains jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes snapshots of the first year of Trump's presidency. And the latest blockbuster is Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward who exposed Watergate with Carl Bernstein.  

Some of these books were destined to be scoffed at by the White House, and they were. Nevertheless (or maybe, because of it), the readers are more intrigued. Several books that were labeled "lie" and "fiction" made the New York Times Bestseller list. Fear, which was released on September 11 this year, sold more than 1.1 million copies in its first week, a historic record for Simon & Schuster, its publisher.

These books have been churned out at a speed to even make the fastest readers feel challenged to catch up. But they made our midnight oil worth burning by revealing some details that are hilariously shocking. We learned that former Trump adviser Steve Bannon called Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner's 2016 meeting with the Russians "treasonous" and "unpatriotic," Trump used the N-word on the set of his reality TV show The Apprentice, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly called Trump "idiot" and Secretary of Defense James Mattis said his understanding is the equivalent of "a fifth or sixth grader," and Kellyanne Conway is the biggest leaker in the White House.

But all these revelations lose some color when compared to the upcoming Full Disclosure, Stormy Daniels' tell-all book about her intimate relationship with Trump. The adult movie actress who was paid $130,000 during Trump's presidential campaign to keep silent, talks about her own choppy life experience which she claimed is "a lot more interesting than an encounter with Donald Trump." But unsurprisingly it is the salacious depiction of the president's genitalia and everything happening around their relationship that became an instant hot topic in the media as well as on the dinner table (Clue: it has a huge mushroom head, and looks like the video game character Mario Kart). And the book isn't officially out until October.

I don't mind having one more book to fill at late night leisure hours after getting drunk on a vacation. But I have now started to be sympathetic to those in the Trump orbit who haven't been fired yet. Everyone may have a book in them, and it could be even better written because they have more time to plot. But when others have already revealed what the president's private part looks like, how do you trump that to go further? Sorry about the pun. Stormy Daniels may be a category killer for the thriving genre of Trump-horror in the publishing industry.

The author is a New York-based journalist. rong_xiaoqing@hotmail.com

Posted in: COLUMNISTS,VIEWPOINT

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