In the current crop of Palace Gossip about the Know-Nothing Trump Mr. Luce places his bet on the respectable bourgeois Saint Simon, Bob Woodward. Luce places his ‘faith’ in the Woodward ‘brand’ : the vocabulary of Neo-Liberalism is the toxic incantation uttered here at The Financial Times as part of its catechism.
It is a misfortune of Bob Woodward’s timing that his book is packed with shocking material that by this point fails to shock. Woodward’s advantage is his brand. He has written numerous books since he made his name as the Washington Post’s investigative reporter who with his colleague Carl Bernstein uncovered Watergate. Some of them, such as State of Denial, Bush at War, enriched our view of a presidency. Others, such as Maestro, his paean to Alan Greenspan, do not stand the test of time. Woodward’s other advantage is his method. He persuades insiders to talk to him out of fear that other insiders will shape the narrative to their disadvantage. It is a tried and tested method. Those who refuse to co-operate tend to come off worse.
Mr.Luce presents Woodward here as the victim of both Wolff, Omarosa and their exercise of their political opportunism, that translates to ‘bad faith’ a long forgotten expression that describes the self-serving interventions of the pretenders to the role of truth teller. Aren’t all these books destined for the Best- seller list, not to speak of the remainder table, the pulping machine or a landfill?
Woodward’s Palace Gossip relies on a kind of respectable political blackmail :
He persuades insiders to talk to him out of fear that other insiders will shape the narrative to their disadvantage. It is a tried and tested method. Those who refuse to co-operate tend to come off worse.
As in the swift justice of the Revered Market, there are the winners and then there are the rest! The ‘shaping of the narrative’ is in sum propaganda, a form of the endlessly usable self-exculpatory method, employed by lawyers in and out of judicial robes.
Mr. Luce provides a narration of the unfolding political melodrama, to enliven breakfast table conversation, or for the commuter to while away the time it takes to arrive at work. The cast of characters is large, and all have their moments in the Luce Narrative of Heroes and Villains, or more pointedly in the world view of Posh Boys British Protestantism of Saints and Sinners. But his bit of unintentional comedy is too good to escape mention:
Others who seemed to have co-operated extensively include Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist and self-appointed Lenin of the Alt-Right, …
Mr. Bannon is in fact the latest incarnation of the political operatives like Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. Lenin was a pretentious intellectual and nihilist, that made a revolution that became not Communism but a reactionary State Capitalism, controlled by a corrupt elite. Both Lenin and Trotsky destroyed the workers councils, one of the founding principals of Communism. Luce as usual repeats the Party line on Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and her coterie are Marxist arcana unworthy of the attention of the bourgeois political chatterer.
Mr. Luce wallows in every tawdry detail in his lengthy essay, and the “devil’s workshop” as presented by Priebus is used by the headline writes of The Financial Times.