Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Whose whom?

From New York magazine’s excerpting of Michael Wolff’s forthcoming Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House:

He didn’t process information in any conventional sense. He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate.
From Donald Trump’s statement today about Steve Bannon:
Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.
Those tidy hyphens, that complex syntax, that whom — I’d bet a Happy Meal that Trump didn’t write this statement.

It was though written by someone adept at channeling and stroking the executive ego. Notice the demotion of Bannon to a “staffer,” the celebration of Trump’s primary victories, the references to the “base” and “our historic victory,” and the claim that “Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.”

I suspect that Trump thinks of all books as phony, except of course those written by his ghostwriters.


January 4: The Daily Beast reports that “Trump personally dictated key parts of the statement bashing his former chief strategist to senior communications staff” and that he was “emphatic about including put-downs,” among them the assertion that Bannon had little to do with “our historic victory” and the line about making winning look easy. I would note though that insisting on put-downs isn’t the same as creating them. And more importantly, dictation isn’t writing. (“One hyphen on hyphen one?” Really?) I still cannot imagine Trump writing the sentence I wrote about in this post.

Related posts
Another tweet with a hyphen
Donald Trump’s spelling
Who’s tweeting?

comments: 0