Questions continue to swirl about the credibility of the sourcing for Michael Wolff’s latest book, Confider has learned. The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Empire will be released tomorrow but was never fact-checked with Fox News or Fox Corp—and despite Wolff’s claim that he reached out to all principals in the book, neither Sean Hannity nor Laura Ingraham were contacted for comment—according to two people familiar with the matter.
The book contains no footnotes or citations, raising concerns about the validity of several of its key claims. Chief among them is the assertion that Tucker Carlson was fired by Fox as part of the Dominion settlement—a claim strenuously denied by both Dominion and Fox.
Another controversial passage in the book has also been called into question, with both Carlson and Ron DeSantis denying a claim that DeSantis shoved and possibly kicked the TV host’s dog. (Wolff, showing how easily he will throw his sources under the bus, outed Carlson on Monday as the alleged source of the incident.)
Meanwhile, in interviews with eight people who have dealt with Wolff in his previous books, a pattern has emerged of how he uses flattery to gain access and then takes real events and allegedly embellishes them.
“It’s like when you are watching one of those adapted-for-TV movies and it says it’s based on real events. It’s not saying it’s based on the truth. That tells you everything about the way he writes,” former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who dealt with Wolff when he was writing Fire and Fury, told Confider. Spicer claimed that Wolff’s Trump books were riddled with “falsehoods, inaccuracies and exaggerations.” Among those include insinuations Nikki Haley was having an affair with Trump and that special counsel Robert Mueller had drawn up a draft indictment for Trump.
“It’s not about journalism. It’s about him reporting his impression of facts,” said a person who has direct knowledge of how Wolff works.
The Fall is seen by publishing insiders to be a “contract filler,” a book Wolff needed to produce to meet contractual obligations with his publisher. Wolff had been considering writing a book about former British PM Boris Johnson, Confider has learned, but the pandemic and Johnson’s eventual ouster nixed that idea.
“You can’t trust anything he writes because … he needs headlines, because headlines mean more money,” a publishing insider told Confider.
Wolff and a rep for his publisher, Henry Holt, did not respond to a request for comment.