Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Understanding Woodward

Bob Woodward usually sticks with Washington subjects for his books, but his focus on John Belushi many years ago prompts an article in the National Post.
Wired is an anomaly in the Woodward catalog, the only book he’s ever written about a subject other than Washington. As such, it’s rarely cited by his critics. But Wired’s outlier status is the very thing that makes it such a fascinating piece of Woodwardology. Because he was forced to work outside of his comfort zone, his strengths and his weaknesses can be seen in sharper relief.
Wired is an infuriating piece of work. There’s never a smoking gun like an outright falsehood or a brazen ethical breach. And yet, in the final product, a lot of what Woodward writes comes off as being not quite right — some of it to the point where it can feel quite wrong. Getting the facts is only part of the equation. You have to present those facts in context and in proportion to other facts in order to accurately reflect reality. It’s here that Woodward fails.

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