homeaboutarchives + tagsshopmembership!
aboutarchivesshopmembership!
aboutarchivesmembers!

kottke.org posts about Bob Woodward

Fear and Loathing in the Trump White House

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 04, 2018

Bob Woodward’s much-anticipated book, Fear: Trump in the White House, comes out next week. The Washington Post somehow “obtained” a copy (did they swipe it off Woodward’s desk?) and provided a summary of some of the book’s main points.

A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump’s inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead.

Woodward describes “an administrative coup d’etat” and a “nervous breakdown” of the executive branch, with senior aides conspiring to pluck official papers from the president’s desk so he couldn’t see or sign them.

Again and again, Woodward recounts at length how Trump’s national security team was shaken by his lack of curiosity and knowledge about world affairs and his contempt for the mainstream perspectives of military and intelligence leaders.

The degree to which the people around Trump handle and describe him like a small child is still, after more than a year and a half of this nightmare, completely batshit insane and unbelievable. Arrested development.

Update: All other considerations about the anonymous NY Times opinion piece written by “a senior official in the Trump administration” aside, it’s another example of Trump being treated like a toddler by his staff.

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

“Half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back” … “literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next” — is he 3 or 72?

Ten lessons from the Bush years

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 10, 2009

Bob Woodward offers ten lessons that the Obama administration can learn from the eight long years that George W. Bush held office. The advice basically boils down to “keep your head out of the sand and your ass”.

[Bush] made probably the most important decision of his presidency — whether to invade Iraq — without directly asking either Powell, Rumsfeld or Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet for their bottom-line recommendations. (Instead of consulting his own father, former president George H.W. Bush, who had gone to war in 1991 to kick the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, the younger Bush told me that he had appealed to a “higher father” for strength.)

(via lined & unlined)

Abridged version of Bob Woodward’s State of

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 06, 2006

Abridged version of Bob Woodward’s State of Denial, which “details the infighting, disarray, and mistakes made by the Bush war council during the Iraq war”.

Bob Woodward on how Mark Felt became Deep Throat

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 02, 2005

Bob Woodward on how Mark Felt became Deep Throat.

How the Vanity Fair article about Deep Throat came about

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 01, 2005

How the Vanity Fair article about Deep Throat came about. Sounds like Woodward and Bernstein kinda got the shaft.

The Washington Post confirms that Mark Felt is Deep Throat

posted by Jason Kottke   May 31, 2005

The Washington Post confirms that Mark Felt is Deep Throat. Woodward, Bernstein, and Ben Bradlee confirmed the story as well. Woodward is writing an article about the experience to be run on Thursday.

Identity of Deep Throat finally revealed

posted by Jason Kottke   May 31, 2005

Identity of Deep Throat finally revealed. Mark Felt, who was second in command at the FBI at the time, helped Woodward and Bernstein with their research into Watergate.