April 15, 2016

The Washington Post is writing a book about Trump, but promises not to hold back any scoops


(Image via Wikipedia)

(Image via Wikipedia)

The Washington Post is devoting significant resources—more than two dozen staffers—to a planned biography of Donald Trump. A team of Post journalists will contribute, and the book will be co-authored by investigative political reporter Michael Kranish and senior editor Marc Fisher.

The Scribner/Washington Post press release has the hows and whys:

Scheduled for publication on August 23, 2016, Trump Revealed will offer the most thorough and wide-ranging examination of Donald Trump’s public and private lives to date, from his upbringing in Queens and formative years at the New York Military Academy, to his turbulent careers in real estate and entertainment, to his astonishing rise as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. The book will be based on the investigative reporting of more than two dozen Post reporters and researchers who will leverage their expertise in politics, business, legal affairs, sports, and other areas. The effort will be guided by a team of editors headed by Executive Editor Martin Baron, who joined the newspaper in 2013 after his successful tenure running The Boston Globe, which included the “Spotlight” team’s investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Michael Calderone at the Huffington Post notes that the Post, like most of the media, has covered the Trump campaign extensively (you might say exhaustively): “Throughout the race, the Post has covered Trump exhaustively, publishing an average of 92 articles that mentioned him per day last month both in print and online, according to the Washingtonian.” Most recently, the newspaper has published stories critical of Trump’s claims of charitable giving.

Predictably, the Trump campaign has already complained, calling the book “ridiculous,” and telling Keith Kelly at the New York Post that “No paper, not even the New York Times, covers me more inaccurately than the Washington Post.”

In a departure from the typical publishing schedule, the Post will be regularly running parts of the book, adapting chapters into newspaper stories. Calderone spoke with Scott Wilson, the paper’s national editor, who promised there would be no withholding scoops from the public:

The Post intends to regularly publish stories from the book in the coming months. Wilson said the Post is “kind of flipping the script” on how news organizations generally produce such books.

“We’re going to be writing the book in real time and harvesting off stories from our reporting,” Wilson said. “We will be writing chapters in the book and then editors here will take those chapters and make them into newspaper stories.”

Calderone also confirmed that Bob Woodward would be one of the journalists contributing reporting to the book.

“I currently have no book project but am helping the Post with campaign coverage,” Woodward said in an email. “This is because the election is obviously one of those pivot points for the country—perhaps for the world.  I guess I would liken it to the 9/11 attacks when I dropped everything to work for the paper.”

And just because it’s always relevant, we’ll leave you with the Editor’s Note now accompanying all Huffington Post stories about Trump:

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims—1.6 billion members of an entire religion—from entering the U.S.


Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.