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Hullabaloo


Thursday, January 07, 2016

 
"He is the most insincere human I have ever met, flat-out"

by digby




Journalist Tom Junod gave an interview to Esquire
to talk about the three longform pieces he's done over the years about Hillary Clinton. It's very interesting and worth reading. But his final couple of comments about Trump are just devastating:

EC: Speaking of Trump, he came across as a decent guy in your 2000 profile of him. Have you looked back on that piece and wondered, What the hell was I thinking?

TJ: I thought about right after it came out. The thing about that piece was that my mom was very sick at the time. That’s why I was down in Florida, visiting her, and which is why I could go spend some time with Trump. His mom was sick too. And we kind of bonded over that. At least I thought we did. I got the feeling that underneath it all he was trying to be a decent person.

I saw him a couple of months later at a party held at the Esquire apartment. [Editor in chief] David Granger had invited him. I walked up to Trump and said, “Hey, how you doing?” And he didn’t blow me off so much as make clear he was going to hang around with my boss instead. That it was much more important for him to be with the person in the room who could do him the most good. I’d written the story. I was done for him, I was over. I had thought that underneath his bullshit there was a germ of sincerity, but I knew that moment at the party that he is the most insincere human I have ever met, flat-out.

EC: Was your ego bruised?

TJ: It wasn’t so much my ego. I’m not like Larissa MacFarquhar of The New Yorker—she’s my favorite writer over there, and she’s always made it clear that she’s there to report a story as an observer. She doesn’t exchange emotion with her subject. For me, the stories I like to write are the ones where I feel like a real human transaction has taken place. I mean the pieces where you spend a considerable amount of time with people and you risk a few things, like when I risked telling Trump that my mother was sick and I was worried. I can’t say that I’ve stayed in touch with everybody I’ve written about, but in a lot of ways I think there is something real that happens between me and the person I’m writing about. I thought he was one of those guys. And I then realized he was not one of those guys. That it was really much more of a transaction. I think the only thing sincere about Trump is his need for attention. What’s insincere is everything else.

I think that's what his followers like about him. He plays to win by any means necessary. You cannot be sincere and do that.

I have always thought that this Village trope about "authenticity" was nonsense. Trump proves it.

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