Entertainment

The Plot Thickens: Authors Capitalize on a Self-Created Scandal

Two liberal writers aim to cash in on fiction masquerading as fact in an upcoming 'tell-all' of Trump's election in 2016

The Michael Isikoff and David Corn upcoming tell-all, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,” is already a number-one best-seller in Amazon’s “politics of privacy and surveillance” section. It’s not slated for release until March 20, 2018.

Isikoff is the Yahoo News reporter who, in fall 2016, peddled information from Christopher Steele as if it were news. Steele is the former British spy responsible for the DNC-financed opposition research dossier. David Corn is Washington bureau chief of the left-wing publication Mother Jones.

Later, when going to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court for a warrant to spy on American citizen Carter Page — a former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump — the FBI cited the dubious dossier and the story Isikoff wrote as corroborative evidence.

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In other words — the FBI used information from Steele to prop up Steele’s own flimsy dossier, according to the GOP’s memo released Friday on the matter. The memo was released after the White House declassified it.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the problems here.

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In a Yahoo News story that ran Friday, editor Dylan Stableford reported that “Isikoff said he was introduced to Steele by Glenn Simpson, the former journalist who founded the research firm Fusion GPS, who invited him to meet a ‘secret source’ at a Washington restaurant.”

In the same article, Stableford indicated that Isikoff’s original story on the supposed “collusion” was based on more than Steele’s information alone. “‘I talked to a senior U.S. law enforcement official who was well aware of these allegations,’ Isikoff said. ‘For me, the key piece, the reason that this was a story, was the fact that the FBI was investigating Page.'”

A blurb on Amazon describes the Isikoff-Corn book as “the incredible, harrowing account of how American democracy was hacked by Moscow as part of a covert operation to influence the U.S. election and help Donald Trump gain the presidency.”

“Incredible”? “Harrowing”? Judging by some of David Corn’s tweets a while back, those words could more adequately describe how his mind was made up on this subject well before he started writing this book:

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Unless the publisher — Twelve, a division of Hachette — takes a page from Henry Holt and Company/Macmillan, which released the now-disgraced anti-Trump “Fire and Fury” book by Michael Wolff ahead of schedule, these authors may find few takers. Many Americans have had their fill of fiction masquerading as fact. The so-called Russian collusion narrative is unraveling at breakneck speed, and Americans are not about to have the wool pulled over their eyes yet again.

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Yet Isikoff, Corn, and the publisher are already pushing the March book on social media.

Hang on for the ride.

Related: Trump’s SOTU Success Wipes Wolff Off the Map

Is there no limit to the actions some will take to turn a buck?

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This isn’t the first collaboration between Isikoff and Corn, by the way. More than a decade ago, the pair penned “Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.” The book was described as “the inside story of how President [George W.] Bush took the nation to war using faulty and fraudulent intelligence.” It was said to be the “basis for the MSNBC documentary of the same name.”

Interestingly, Isikoff and Corn appeared Friday on MSNBC — just after the release of the GOP’s memo, in which they appeared as the only two journalists named in the document.

Michele Blood is a freelance writer based in Flemington, New Jersey, and a regular contributor to LifeZette. 

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