At this point, you’ve likely heard the name “Michael Wolff” more than a few times this week. He’s the guy who wrote Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House. The book — which was released today, January 5th — is currently flying off shelves, which may have you wondering: Who is Donald Trump expert Michael Wolff, and how did he manage to pull this off?
Fire and Fury is, perhaps, Wolff’s biggest claim to fame, but it’s certainly not his only work. Wolff, 64, is a seasoned journalist who has written extensively about other controversial men in power, like Harvey Weinstein and Rupert Murdoch.
Wolff got his start in journalism working as a copy boy for The New York Times. Since then, he’s been a columnist at New York Magazine and USA Today, a regular contributor for The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, the U.K.’s edition of GQ, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, and editorial director of Adweek Media. He won a National Magazine Award for commentary in both 2002 and 2004. In 2007, he launched his own news site called Newser.com.
In 1979, Wolff published his first book, White Kids, about coming of age in the 1970s. He would go on to write six more books, including a biography of Rupert Murdoch entitled The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch (after having access to him and his family).
In 2016, Wolff was granted access to the Trump administration by Trump himself (or so says Wolff; Trump has since denied this claim). The Trump administration insists that the claims Wolff makes in Fire and Fury are completely untrue.
While the legitimacy of Wolff’s claims have not been called into question by many outside Trump’s inner circle, his reporting tactics have. Critics have previously accused him of unethical reporting practices, and for this newest book, some say that he uses material that was supposed to be off the record.
Before writing Fire and Fury, Wolff allegedly appealed to the president through flattery. In an interview on the Today show, Wolff said, “I said what was necessary to get the story.”
Regardless what you think of Wolff’s tactics, the book seems like one we have to read.