To me this is an amazing book. It works on so many levels that Ye Olde Blogge is interested in: politics, psychology, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s mental health, sexual assault, sexism, misogyny. Somewhere some place in the book is something interesting on each topic and more. It is a great look into what it is like to be a reporter — if you were wondering if the life were for you — and what it is like to cover a presidential campaign.
It is very readable. It is smooth like Vaseline over a baby’s bum. It is equal parts entertaining and shocking. And, it is packed with dignity, integrity, and a real organic humanness.
I’m about halfway through at this point — I woulda been further, but I spent the week camping on the beach with seventh graders — and am so excited that I will review it chapter by chapter. Luckily the chapters are loooooong. Okay, they aren’t that long; there are eleven of ’em. Christ, reading on a kindle ain’t like reading in a book. You have no physical sense of the book, amirite? So, I’ll do a couple at a time. It looks like I could do the first three.
The title, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History, is her thesis. It is very personal, very informal, very pop culture. But, I think my point isn’t that it was such a crazy campaign — we all know that — or her front-row seat — that’s illuminating and interesting, but it’s her point-of-view. My point is that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber was who he was from the very beginning. He was gaslighting us from day one. He doles out narcissistic abuse like candy on Halloween and it rots your soul just like the candy rots your teeth.
Chapter 1: “Katy Hasn’t Even Looked up Once at Me”
I love the start of the book. It sets the tone for the entire book — not the part about her unfortunate French boyfriend, Benoit (I thought I et one of those in New Orleans when I was there, kind of a doughnut-like thing), and idyllic Parisian-London life. Nice though it is, and Paris is my favoritest city in all the world and I was envious of her as I read through those first couple of pages. Thank god, she wasn’t more detailed about her sex life. I had some doubts and more than a little fear… She has a friend named Anais for cripe’s sake. Do they really make French people named Anais? I thought that was for the red light district tourism trade or something.
No, I mean, the first thing she covered with the Ol’ Pussy Grabber! She started on 23 May 2015 — approximately a year before Ye Olde Blogge was begun — at a small rally in New Hampshire. Or was the date a reference to her time in France before jetting off to NYC to make the wish for a severely ill teen to shadow her come true. And, she never went back to her old life again — sorry Benoit. I guess it must be since the Ol’ Pussy Grabber didn’t announce until June…
See? It’s crazy just like the campaign!
Anywho she’s at the rally sometime in June or maybe July who knows, and the Ol’ Pussy Grabber singles her out! Her, an obscure beat reporter who has been on a variety of assignments for NBC! What the hell?
Katy hasn’t even looked up once at me. He’s interrupted his pathetic meandering barely comprehensible speech-like thing to focus the attention of the tiny toney gathering on her.
There Right from the Beginning
He started eight o’clock day one!
- He attacked the press: he’s clearly expressing his disappointment in her behavior.
- She’s attractive, just google her name, you’ll find out. He didn’t know her before she started covering his campaign and there weren’t many events before this one. Obviously, he saw her, asked someone about her, and made sure to single her out. Maybe he was dreaming of taking her furniture shopping.
- He’s intimidating a young reporter by focusing the attention on her. It coulda been anyone. If it hadn’t been her, it woulda been someone else. He’s being aggressive and intimidating to another human being and the press.
- He’s attempting to manipulate her. The equation works like this: if she sees my power to focus attention on her, she’ll either like it and seek more or hate it and want to avoid it. Either way, she’ll do what I want — gross sex stuff, you can be sure and better coverage.
And, that’s what I mean: every theme and trend that has haunted us since was right there from the beginning. But, wait there’s more!
You’ve heard people describe the Ol’ Pussy Grabber as being new to governance and Washington and the entire human condition alluding but never directly promising that he’ll get better at governing, manipulating Washington politicos, mavens, and dons, and eventually might even become human. He won’t become human and he won’t get better at those other things, either.
Well, that’s there from the beginning, too! Politicians have strategies for their careers and upcoming campaigns. They’ve carefully courted allies and softened up enemies. Developed positions on issues. Visited key constituencies. Given blow jobs to bloated donors. Not the Ol’ Pussy Grabber! He woke up with gas one day in May and thought he’d run. Then in June, he figgered he should announce, so got one of his underlings to arrange something.
The networks were caught, too. So, Katy Tur — a true gem of a reporter — caught the assignment of a lifetime because, like everything else the Ol’ Pussy Grabber does, it was unplanned. It was unplanned because the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is incapable of planning or executing plans because of his extreme executive dysfunction.
Chapter 2: “You’ll Never be President”
Chapter two revolves around an interview she did with the Ol’ Pussy Grabber at Pussy Grabbing central. Like everything else, it doesn’t go as planned or expected. But, I love her description of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber:
And he’s orange. There’s no other way to describe him. He’s the color of orange marmalade, perhaps a shade darker, like marmalade on toast…
He smiles and squints, and the sound seems to slip out the side of his face. His voice is lilting, almost cartoonish.
I just love that. And, the book, so far, is chock-a-block full of those pithy little descriptions and insights.
His Schitty Schtick
Again, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is doing his schtick to her: Don’t you want a picture? he wanted to know before the interview started. She didn’t. She’s a reporter. She’s a professional. She don’t want no fucking picture. He insists… of course. He can now brag that she wanted the picture. What a creep. And that would be the end of it, if he weren’t a narcissistic abuser!
He also knows that the crew is watching and more than likely the scene is being seen back in the studio. He’s setting her up to look unprofessional in front of her bosses. He’s undercutting her position. The sadistic fucker. Her description of her reaction in the moment is perfect. It is every woman’s reaction to every unwanted unanticipated advance that any man has ever made: Um… why is he thinking that this is what I want? Maybe this is a mind game. Maybe he thinks this is the way interviews go. Did other reporters want photos with him?
After the interview, that she thought went okay, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber yells at her. He demands the interview be aired in full to protect himself from deceptive editing. Surprisingly, Katy Tur stands up to the mean old goat: It’s not up to me… Then, he threatens her and NBC, If you don’t (air it in full) we have cameras in here, we’ll release the full footage.
Whoa, if true, amirite? But, doesn’t that sound familiar? I mean his entire schitty schtick was there from the beginning.
“You Stumbled Three Times!”
His hostility continues: You stumbled three times! I guess that’s a reporter thing. Who gives a shit. Speaking is spontaneous, it ain’t always perfect. He should know that better than anyone, I mean is that the sticky urine-stained public bathroom floor calling the backed up shit-filled toilet rank or what? But, Katy is a super-star and stands up to him. I’m not running for president, she replies. You’ll never be president, he sneers. How the fuck did she keep from laughing at him. I mean, what the actual fuck? That’s nuts and exemplary of executive dysfunction: he can’t manage his emotions.
Back at the studio, the execs cave and run the interview. I remember the interview. That first question, Why are we in New York and not on the campaign trail, really stuck with me. It seemed telling. But, then Katy makes another key observation:
In person, during the interview, she didn’t realize how angry he was. She knew he was upset, but it seemed an act. She thought he was acting. But, when she sees the play back on the tube, it’s clear how angry it is. That is so fucking narcissistic! That’s narcissism and personality disorders in a nutshell: their emotions aren’t real; they’re just play acting. The frame of the TV set makes that clear. In person, it lacks the punch and focus of real in-person emotions. The TV should put distance into the equation diluting the emotions, but not with the personality disorder.
She reviews some of the more interesting points of the interview actually daring to question his veracity since he led the birther movement. No the fuck wonder he was pissed. Narcissists are never wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault. And, they certainly don’t contradict themselves since only the things they remember and are considering right now count.
But, here’s the telling point:
I bring up his party. Republican pundits like Charles Krauthammer are calling him a “rodeo clown.” He mocks Krauthammer and appears to take a shot at his waist-down paralysis: “a totally overrated guy… a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants.”
Aside: He was paralyzed in a diving accident in his first year at Harvard Med. He went on to become a psychiatrist and contributed to the DSM-III (FYI). No wonder he’s calling the Ol’ Pussy Grabber a rodeo clown, it’s the technical term for narcissistic asshole.
Again, remind you of anything? Christ shitting on a shingle, he can’t and won’t change.
Chapter 3: “I had to Grab Katy and Kiss Her”
Then, there is the KISS. Christ what this woman endured. There should be a Noble Prize for reporting.
Apparently, the interview really set the tone between them for the rest of time bouncing between aggressively angrily berating to giving her backhanded complements all before his rally crowds. He tries to Mutt and Jeff her, but the truth is — and she knows it — is that he needs her more than she needs him. For most reporters that’s not true, but most reporters covering campaigns are political reporter. Katy is Heinz 57 Sauce — spicey, smooth, and covers anything. After the campaign, she’ll go back to her old life. She doesn’t need to suck up to him. She fights for the assignment to be sure, but she don’t need it. He, however, needs the adulation of beautiful women. He needs to know he can affect her one way or another. It doesn’t matter. His biggest fear is being irrelevant being found out as the imposter. He needs her to react to him. His need is desperate. Without it, he’ll cease to exist. Even if she loses her job as a reporter, she’ll go on and have a perfectly happy successful life.
Man, there is so much in this book. It is fantastic.
off to find the book and download it! Thanks, Jack!
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You’re welcome, Suze! Let me know what you think of it. I’d love to know. I still crack up at the, he’s orange and his voice is cartoonish, bit. I mean he really is a caricature of a human being, ain’t he?