I couldn’t write about those kind of hazy journalistic lines, of course, without revealing my largely friendly relationship with Mr. Wolff. I first met him in 2009, when he introduced my then employer, Politico, and casually wrote that I was a “total dweeb” who was “the only one so interested in what I do. its sources than themselves “. I felt both insulted and pretty much seen.
After that, I approached him for occasional career advice, which he gave generously. In 2014, he invited me to a dinner with Uber executives and failed to ask me to accept that it was unofficial. When I published an executive’s explosive suggestion that the company was digging up dirt on journalists covering the company, Mr. Wolff, then a columnist for USA Today, lambasted me in the press as “a blogger. gotcha policy ”who had grown up“ censoring and moralizing ”. (Right.) A few weeks later, he got his revenge again by posting an indiscreet comment I made to him in private. I was furious. I also thought we were quits. And when I was thinking last year about writing a book, I asked him how to do it. He told me, you start with a blank sheet of paper, and on top you write the amount of money you want.
Mr. Wolff appears to be taking his own advice as he builds on the success of “Fire and Fury” with his third book in four years. But it offers a rare commodity in a media market that has moved away from its genre of journalism. A hot political environment has taught many journalists to see their work in moral and even didactic terms. Magazine editors are looking for heroes, not villains, and they seem to have little interest in understanding why our villains do what they do.
But monsters are fascinating. And Mr. Wolff “doesn’t have that kind of natural retreat from some of the most obnoxious people in the world,” said Janice Min, his former editor-in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter.
After we parted ways, he emailed me that he would prefer his beat not to be described as “aged sex abusers”. It just turned out that the class of media mogul he covers “has been disproportionately found to include many sexual abusers,” he said.
This generation could finally get old, which means Mr Wolff may run out of topics. When I asked who was going to hold his interest in the years to come, he said he was “looking for the next generation” of powerful media figures.
“Too Famous” includes a few of them – Jared Kushner, Tucker Carlson and Ronan Farrow. And Mr. Carlson, for his part, was happy to sit down with Mr. Wolff. “He’s one of the last interesting people in the American media,” Mr. Carlson texted me. “Anyone who doubts that should have lunch with him.” “