May 20, 2024
The publishing industry seems to think tell-alls about former President Donald Trump's administration -- all painting him as a uniquely disgraceful, pitiable dunce -- are great business. And who knows? Maybe behind the disappointing sales many of these tomes seem to generate and the fact that all of the juicy...

The publishing industry seems to think tell-alls about former President Donald Trump’s administration — all painting him as a uniquely disgraceful, pitiable dunce — are great business.

And who knows? Maybe behind the disappointing sales many of these tomes seem to generate and the fact that all of the juicy parts usually show up in the media well before the volume is released, there’s some kind of business model in which anything that purports to tell How Bad it Really Was™ inside 1600 Pennsylvania during the Trump years makes money no matter how many units it shifts.

At least “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America” comes with a big name attached to it: Author Maggie Haberman has won the Pulitzer Price and was one of the mainstream media’s most prominent print chroniclers of the Trump White House via her work with The New York Times.

That said, it seems one of the book’s major revelations (which isn’t quite a revelation, but we’ll get to that in a moment) isn’t being received quite the way that Haberman would have wanted it.

In “Confidence Man,” according to an Axios report Monday, Haberman wrote that in October of 2020, the then-president had planned a surprise exit from Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, after being treated there for COVID-19: He would come out in his regular attire before revealing a Superman shirt.

Trending:

Republican Congressional Candidate Flips the Script on Debate Moderator When Asked ‘Is Joe Biden President?’

“He came up with a plan he told associates was inspired by the singer James Brown, whom he loved watching toss off his cape while onstage, but it was in line with his love of professional wrestling as well,” Haberman wrote, according to Axios.

“[H]e would be wheeled out of Walter Reed in a chair and, once outdoors, he would dramatically stand up, then open his button-down dress shirt to reveal [a] Superman logo beneath it. (Trump was so serious about it that he called the campaign headquarters to instruct an aide, Max Miller, to procure the Superman shirts; Miller was sent to a Virginia big-box store.)”

The plan, however, was abandoned.

Now, this shocking bulletin, unfortunately, isn’t necessarily new. In fact, it was reported in October of 2020 — by, uh, Maggie Haberman in The New York Times, in a story co-authored by Times staffer Annie Karnie.

Do you wish Trump had done this?

Yes: 60% (3 Votes)

No: 40% (2 Votes)

“In several phone calls last weekend from the presidential suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Mr. Trump shared an idea he was considering: When he left the hospital, he wanted to appear frail at first when people saw him, according to people with knowledge of the conversations,” the report stated.

“But underneath his button-down dress shirt, he would wear a Superman T-shirt, which he would reveal as a symbol of strength when he ripped open the top layer. He ultimately did not go ahead with the stunt.”

I guess if you’re going to duplicate someone’s work, it might as well be your own. Nevertheless, the rest of the mainstream media has jumped on this as if fresh meat had been tossed to them by another Trump-chronicler:

Related:

Photos of Jill Biden En Route to Florida Show Same Attire Mainstream Media Grilled Melania Trump For

The implication, of course, is that Trump wasn’t taking his COVID diagnosis seriously enough. The thing is, the response section blew up with commenters who thought this was an awesome idea:

Not only that, but — as one user noted — that “stunt” would have occurred after plenty of other accomplishments, most of which probably aren’t chronicled with relish in Haberman’s book:

Someone might want to inform this Twitter user about Haberman’s anti-Trump bias, however:

Mind you, the Superman anecdote is what’s drawing the most attention from the mainstream media, but it’s hardly the only thing. From a USA Today report about Haberman’s book: “In the book, she also reported that, when Trump saw congressional staffers of color at the White House, he assumed they were waiters at a January 2017 reception.

“CNN also obtained a copy of ‘Confidence Man,’ and the network reported that Haberman wrote in the book that Trump almost fired his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Both served as senior White House aides during his administration,” the report added.

“Confidence Man,” which was released Tuesday, comes with a $22.40 hardcover price tag on Amazon.com. If you have that kind of money to spend to read about those things being elaborated on in greater detail (if questionable authenticity), by all means, go for it.

However, before you click “Buy Now,” ask yourself this: Do you really want to read a book by a New York Times scold so humorless she found out the president wanted to open his shirt reveal a Superman outfit when leaving the hospital after beating COVID, then thought this was a bad thing?

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).

Birthplace

Morristown, New Jersey

Education

Catholic University of America

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish

Topics of Expertise

American Politics, World Politics, Culture