Friday, January 1, 2021

"Hoax" by Brian Stelter

My first completed book of 2021 is "Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth" by Brian Stelter, CNN's chief media correspondent and the anchor of "Reliable Sources," CNN's Sunday morning show about the media & how the news gets reported (and -- as a one-time reporter myself -- a personal favourite of mine). 

(ALI sidenote:  Brian & his wife Jamie are very open about the fact that their two children were born via IVF. Jamie has also had multiple miscarriages.) 

"Hoax" is a somewhat gossipy yet in-depth look at Fox News in the Trump era -- the sycophantic relationship that developed between the network and the president, and the ongoing battle between Fox's news and "programming"/opinion sides -- the Chris Wallaces of the network versus the Sean Hannitys & Tucker Carlsons, if you will.  

Stelter interviewed more than 250 current and former Fox News staffers for this book. Most of them chose to remain anonymous, and the book would obviously have been better, had more of them agreed to be named. Nevertheless, the sheer volume of voices corroborating each other paints a pretty damning picture.

The book was published in late August 2020, and ends well before the 2020 election campaign really got under way. Apparently Stelter is updating the book for the paperback version, to be published in May. Meanwhile, Trump and his hardcore supporters, having been radicalized by Fox and now finding it not sufficiently deferential to/supportive of Trump (!!), are turning away from the network to follow OANN and Newsmax instead. I'll be interested to read Stelter's take on these last few months! 

4 stars on Goodreads 

This was Book #1 read to date in 2021 (Book #1 finished in January), bringing me to 3% of my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 36 books. I am (for the moment, anyway...!) 1 book ahead of schedule. :)  You can find reviews of all my books read to date in 2021 tagged as "2021 books." 

1 comment:

  1. That does sound like a good read. I'll be very interested if he does an update later in the year.