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Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

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Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

evaluări:
4/5 (29 evaluări)
Lungime:
274 pages
4 hours
Lansat:
Sep 12, 2017
ISBN:
9780062684943
Format:
Carte

Descriere

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Compelling… this book couldn’t be more timely.” – Jill Abramson, New York Times Book Review

From the Recipient of the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism

Called "disgraceful," "third-rate," and "not nice" by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history.

Katy Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo. She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s "Tiny Dancer"—a Trump rally playlist staple.

From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car.

None of it worked. Facts are stubborn. So was Tur. She was part of the first women-led politics team in the history of network news. The Boys on the Bus became the Girls on the Plane. But the circus remained. Through all the long nights, wild scoops, naked chauvinism, dodgy staffers, and fevered debates, no one had a better view than Tur.

Unbelievable

is her darkly comic, fascinatingly bizarre, and often scary story of how America sent a former reality show host to the White House. It’s also the story of what it was like for Tur to be there as it happened, inside a no-rules world where reporters were spat on, demeaned, and discredited. Tur was a foreign correspondent who came home to her most foreign story of all. Unbelievable is a must-read for anyone who still wakes up and wonders, Is this real life?
Lansat:
Sep 12, 2017
ISBN:
9780062684943
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

Katy Tur is a correspondent for NBC News and an anchor for MSNBC. Tur is the recipient of a 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. She lives in New York City.

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Unbelievable - Katy Tur

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PROLOGUE

TRUMP VICTORY PARTY

NEW YORK HILTON MIDTOWN

10:59 P.M., Election Day

I’m about to throw up.

I’m standing on the press riser at Donald Trump’s New York City Election Night headquarters. Fox News is playing on two big-screen televisions, framing a stage covered with American flags and punctuated by two glass cases, each containing a MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hat. At the center, there’s an empty podium gathering historical significance by the second.

We also have a big call to make now, says Megyn Kelly, on the screen alongside Bret Baier.

As the clock strikes 11 P.M., the Fox camera pans across the studio to a jumbotron to reveal an oversized yellow check mark next to Donald Trump’s grinning portrait and the state of Florida. Trump has just won it, along with all twenty-nine of its electoral votes. The ballroom crowd of staffers, supersupporters, and volunteers goes absolutely wild. The journalists in the room fall silent.

If the future is a blank sheet of paper, this news rips it in two.

My phone vibrates. And vibrates again. It doesn’t stop.

Holy shit, you called it! flashes a text from a friend who had been insisting, like nearly all the polls on Planet Earth, that Hillary was a lock. I pick up my phone and check the New York Times election forecast. After predicting a Clinton victory for months, it has flipped. Trump has a 95 percent chance of winning the election, it says. Only two and a half hours ago, Hillary Clinton had an 85 percent chance.

Holy shit. I did call it.

In the seventeen months before now, I visited more than forty states, filing more than thirty-eight hundred live TV reports. I did all that as the Trump correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, and I did it with one audience in mind: the American voter. My goal was to explain what Trump believed in and how he would govern if elected. The job came with all the usual hardships of the campaign trail plus a few new ones, such as death threats and a gazillion loops of Elton John’s Tiny Dancer, a staple of Trump’s campaign rallies. I am proud of the work I’ve done but also quite ready for it to be over, thank you very much.

Ali Vitali weaves her way over to me on the crowded riser. She’s been NBC’s Trump embed since early on, a job that means not only attending virtually every campaign event, but also recording them for posterity. Katy! she says, with desperation in her voice. I am not prepared for the news she’s about to deliver.

Katy! she says again. He’s going to keep doing rallies.

At first I don’t understand her. He’s going to be president—why would he keep doing campaign rallies?

Trump, Ali says. He’s already planning victory rallies.

My head is a helium balloon.

Breathe.

The panic mounts.

More rallies?

I am nearly falling over.

More taunting crowds, more around-the-clock live shots, more airports, more earsplitting Pavarotti . . . I can’t. I just can’t.

The room goes wavy. My stomach churns. Lights flash in my eyes.

I’m never going on vacation. I’m never seeing my friends. I’m never getting my bed back. My brutal, crazy, exasperating year with Trump is going to end—by not ending at all. Trump will be president. The most powerful person in the world. And I will be locked in a press pen for the rest of my life. Does anyone really believe he’ll respect term limits? I have a vision of myself at sixty, Trump at a hundred, in some midwestern convention hall. The children of his 2016 supporters are spitting on me, and he is calling my name: She’s back there, Little Katy! She’s back there.

Anthony Terrell, my producer, taps me on the shoulder.

They want you, he says.

I put in my earpiece and hear Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow digesting the news. In seconds, I’ll be live in millions of homes. I can feel the bile in the back of my throat, but before I can swallow, I hear Brian building to a toss.

Katy Tur is just up the block from us after a 510-day Trump campaign, he says. What are you learning from there?

Well, I’ve learned that Trump insists that he has the world’s greatest memory, but his vision of the future got him this far. I’ve learned that Trump has his own version of reality, which is a polite way of saying he can’t always be trusted. He also brings his own sense of political decorum. I’ve heard him insult a war hero, brag about grabbing women by the pussy, denigrate the judicial system, demonize immigrants, fight with the pope, doubt the democratic process, advocate torture and war crimes, tout the size of his junk in a presidential debate, trash the media, and indirectly endanger my life.

I’ve learned that none of this matters to an Electoral College majority of American voters. They’ve decided that this menacing, indecent, post-truth landscape is where they want to live for the next four years. Look, I get it. You can’t tell a joke without worrying you’ll lose your job. Your twenty-something can’t find work. Your town is boarded up. Patriotism gets called racism. Your food is full of chemicals. Your body is full of pills. You call tech support and reach someone in India. Bills are spiking but your paycheck is not. And you can’t send your kid to school with peanut butter. On top of it all, no one seems to care. You feel like you’re screaming at the top of your lungs in a room full of people wearing earplugs.

I get it.

What I don’t get are the little old ladies in powder-pink MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hats calling me a liar. I don’t get the men in HILLARY SUCKS—BUT NOT LIKE MONICA T-shirts. I don’t get why protesting a broken political system also means you need to protest the very notion of objective truth. Because of Trump’s war on the media, networks have required a traveling security detail except for Fox News (which hasn’t been as demonized) and CBS (whose main correspondent is a guy who looks like he might be named Major—and is). A couple of weeks ago an advance staffer at a rally told me not to worry. Save for Trump, he said, you’re the most watched person in the room. The Secret Service always has eyes on you.

I worry.

I also know enough not to mention it.

The Trump campaign is feeling really good, I tell Brian, detailing what my sources are describing as the crazy, jubilant behavior inside Trump Tower at the moment. Trump himself has supposedly left. He is upstairs spending some time with his family as the prospect of him becoming—smallest of pauses—president of the United States is suddenly a little more real than it was even earlier today.

I make it through the hit and the nausea passes. I have work to do, and nobody cares how tired I am. But that wave of whoa lingers. It is unbelievable, I think. All of it. Utterly. Inescapably. Completely. Unbelievable.

I’m writing these words on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, seventy-seven days and at least seventy-seven thousand think pieces after Election Night. I’ve read countless articles about the 2016 election. Some have been insightful. Some have been absurd. As the very first national TV news reporter to cover the Trump juggernaut, I was there from the beginning—covering it every day for nearly two years, until the shocking end—and I’ve reached just one conclusion. Actually, two conclusions. First, no one can make perfect sense of it. Second, I’m smart enough not to try. The Trump campaign was the most unlikely, exciting, ugly, trying, and all-around bizarre campaign in American history. It roiled America and with it, my little life. I won’t pretend to explain it. I will tell you what I saw.

1

Katy Hasn’t Even Looked Up Once at Me.

MAY 23, 2015

535 Days Until Election Day

Paris.

I’m up with the sun, in a studio apartment that’s tiny even by New York standards. I think it is charming. The bed is in a loft, connected to the living area by a black iron spiral staircase. I climb down and tiptoe to the kitchen. In America, I’d make a giant cup of coffee, but I’m in Paris, where filter coffee, as the Europeans call it, would be a sin and a spell breaker. I pop a little espresso pod into a sleek French machine.

I sip my espresso and stare down into the courtyard through a giant wall of windows, each panel of glass the size of a dining room table. The neighbors are chatting over breakfast. This isn’t the Paris of tourists. I see gray tile roofs and smokestacks, not the Eiffel Tower. This is the real Paris, and I am an American cliché.

An NBC News correspondent dispatched overseas, I’m based in London but in love with a handsome Frenchman who is still sleeping up in that loft. The curtains are open, but Benoît has an extra set of blinds behind his eyelids.

You’re lazy and French, I often say, hoping to get a flirty rise out of him. It always works. You’re American and you are too much in a rush, he’ll volley back in broken syntax. I’m smiling now at the mere thought of his snoozing face, the way he looks in the morning, rumpled and groggy, and the only person who gets to see it is me.

We met six months ago on Tinder. Yes, Tinder. I logged on while on a weekend trip with a girlfriend. He had a lapel mic in one of his profile pictures.

He’s on TV. He can’t be an ax murderer.

Ever since, my free weekends have all been Paris. The Eurostar from London is quicker than the Acela from New York to D.C.

I turn on French TV and try to laugh along with Le Petit Journal, France’s version of The Daily Show. I understand precisely 3 percent of the dialogue but crack up anyway. The squawking television does its work. Benoît is up, looking down at me in disbelief, as if I’ve stirred him for a 3 A.M. fire drill instead of a 9 A.M. breakfast.

I’m hungry, I say.

"Allons au marché!" he says.

In English, please! I say.

"Mais, Katy, you need to learn," he says.

Pff, I say. I know ‘pff.’ That’s enough.

The rest of the day is one watercolor painting after another. The farmers’ market. Fish on ice. Bright green lettuce. Small red strawberries. Eggs for breakfast. A scooter ride to Parc Montsouris. We collapse on a grassy patch. No blankets. No plans. An entire country with a ban on e-mail after work.

On the way home, we stop at a café for cheese and bread and a bottle of rosé. Benoît’s friends Anaïs and François join us for another bottle—this time along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin. Whatever you think of when you think of French beauty, Anaïs is it. François is in love with her, and I am in love with all of this.

Katy hasn’t even looked up once at me."

The words boom through a microphone.

Huh?

I’m in New Hampshire just over a month later and it’s raining.

Twenty feet across from me, on the other side of a backyard pool, Donald Trump is interrupting his own speech to scold me.

How does he even know my name?

Lol. Trump keeps yelling at me, I text Benoît.

On July 11 Benoît and I are supposed to be in Sicily. The rooms have been paid for and so have the flights. Our first real vacation—two full weeks together. We’ll swim in the Mediterranean, climb Mount Etna, and see opera in the ruins of an ancient Greek theater. And eat pasta. A lot of pasta. Part of me is already there.

The rest of me is right here in Bedford, New Hampshire. Katy Tur, Fearless Foreign Correspondent and Lady Who Drinks Wine at Lunch, is—for the moment, anyway—Katy Tur, U.S. Campaign Correspondent who, for no apparent reason, is getting called to attention by a reality TV show host turned presidential hopeful.

I came back to America because of a boy named Aaron, a severely ill teen who asked to shadow me for a day through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Honored, I threw a few dresses into my carry-on and got on a plane. I didn’t even bother to take my laundry out of the dryer. I left milk in the fridge. I’d be back in a week, I figured, wrongly.

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump and his third wife, Melania, descended the Trump Tower escalator, waving to a cheering crowd padded with paid extras. Among the news media, the Trump announcement was seen as a sideshow. The headlines were savage:

DONALD TRUMP, PUSHING SOMEONE RICH, OFFERS HIMSELF.

FIVE FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS THAN DONALD TRUMP.

DONALD TRUMP IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT AND IT’S GOING TO BE SO HILARIOUS.

Trump’s speech added to the belief that he was not a serious contender. He said he’d be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. He vowed to build a wall along the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. He delivered his opening lines with a frown and a scowl. His words did not seem destined for the history books.

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Macy’s dropped him as a business partner. Univision followed. The outrage built to such a point that NBC needed a reporter to cover it for a few days.

Katy! someone said. She’s just standing around.

I did a Nightly News segment and followed up on Today. At the end of my report, I told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie that, despite all the anger, Trump was polling well in New Hampshire.

He’s number two, I said, behind Jeb Bush. Then I reminded them, It is very early.

All right, said Lauer before moving on to the next story.

To understand how truly unexpected Trump was you have to understand something about presidential elections in general. The politicians devise strategies and court donors years in advance. At the same time, newspapers and networks carefully decide which reporter they’ll match with which candidate. Trump wasn’t part of anyone’s plan. For that matter, neither was I.

Five days into my New York trip, while I was running an errand, I got a call from a friend at work.

Hey, Katy. Heads up, the friend said. Deborah Turness [my boss] is going to assign you to Trump full-time. [David, another boss] Verdi is going to call. If you don’t want to do this, you better figure out what you’re going to say to get out of it. Don’t let on that I told you, but get ready.

Anxiety. Indecision. Italy.

My vacation with Benoît is in just over a week. On the other hand, as good as life can be in Europe, there’s also a lot of professional boredom. It would be nice to get some TV time. And New York is unbeatable in the summer.

I hung up and paced the sidewalk. Then I called a friend from CBS.

They want me to cover Trump full-time, I told him. My friend had covered Romney in 2012. What do I do?

He laughed. The whole thing was ridiculous: me following Trump, me on the trail, Trump running for president. Still, he urged me to do it.

It will be fun, he said, and if you hate it, at least it will be short.

A few minutes later, just as my source said, my phone blinked with a message from Verdi asking me to come see him back at 30 Rock. I didn’t even make it to his office: he launched into his pitch in the hallway.

How’d you like to spend the summer in New York? he asked as we walked toward the elevators. Apparently Trump was not a sit down in the office and talk about your future kind of an assignment. More of a let me tell you what you’re doing as I walk to a more important meeting gig. We want you on Trump’s campaign. It will be six weeks, tops. But hey, if he wins, you’ll go to the White House.

He laughed. From everyone: so much laughing.

I said, Sure. Or, rather, I heard myself say Sure. In this business, your first answer is always yes. You can argue later.

Oh, and you better get going, Verdi added as the elevator doors closed. Trump has an event in New Hampshire tonight.

Political novice that I am, I decided to drive to New Hampshire. I figured I could make some calls on the road, and I like driving. Of course, any campaign veteran would get on a plane. There’s a shuttle flight; you’re there in a heartbeat.

My four-hour drive ended up being six hours, and I barely made the event. I pulled up as Donald Trump was taking the stage—really just a patio, with no podium. A kid in an ill-fitting suit introduced him to an audience of a couple of hundred overdressed people standing with umbrellas around a backyard pool.

Trump joked about his hair getting rained on. Then he launched into a speech focused on his unparalleled ability to run the country. I get more standing ovations than anyone, he bragged. So I have an expression that I use: the American dream is dead, but I’m going to make it bigger and better and stronger than ever before.

The crowd cheered. Then Trump paused.

That’s when I hear my name.

Here’s my only problem. When television, I mean, these people . . . he says. I mean, Katy hasn’t even looked up once at me.

My producer elbows me. Trump is looking right at me. So is the crowd. So are the other reporters.

Me?

Trump and I have never met. Maybe he recognizes me from my days at NBC’s local New York station. Or maybe he watched my recent pieces for Nightly News and Today. Or maybe there’s something about me he likes. Regardless, he knows me, and he’s now addressing me—first name only, as if we’ve been friends forever.

I’m tweeting what you’re saying! I yell back.

And I am.

At a campaign event in NH Trump repeats he loves Mexicans but that his statements about the border were true. #2016 . . . ‘It’s hard to believe I’m second to (Jeb) Bush. This guy is not going to take us to the promise land.’—#trump #2016 . . . Using a familiar campaign trope-Trump blaming the media for not getting the real story out. #2016

Trump considers my excuse for a moment and nods approvingly.

I hope so, he says. I think you do a good job, by the way, Katy.

A man in the crowd yells out that Trump should buy NBC.

Trump doesn’t disagree, and adds that he could fix NBC. I know what sells, he says.

The crowd seems to be refreshed by his whole performance. So I walk up to Trump’s twenty-six-year-old communications director, Hope Hicks. She has bright green eyes and long, pretty brown hair. She looks like she walked out of a Lilly Pulitzer catalog. She greets me warmly and with impeccable manners.

Can I get a pull-aside with him? I say.

Sure! she says. We’ll do it right after he’s done with what he’s doing now. We trade numbers. I’m feeling pretty good. Then Trump closes his speech, walks straight to his waiting SUV, and speeds away.

Now what? Trump’s gone. It’s pouring rain. Nightly doesn’t want me and neither does Today. My shoes are getting ruined. I consider calling Benoît. I still haven’t told him about the assignment. I’m not so sure about the assignment myself.

I could say no. I have a perfectly valid excuse. NBC moved me to London nine months ago. I need to focus on that gig. Besides, it’s not like they’re asking me to follow Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush. No one will wonder why I chose to go home instead.

Before I can dial Benoît, my phone rings and it’s Hope.

I’m sorry we left, she says. Mr. Trump would love to speak with you at a later date.

A sit-down is considerably better than a pull-aside. I hang up feeling victorious. And that’s when I realize that as much as I love my personal life overseas, I’m not completely satisfied professionally.

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  • (5/5)
    Lively, entertaining and not all about Trump, some good personal bits, too. I had a hard time putting it down even though I knew how it ended!
  • (5/5)
    Thank you for documenting this Katy Tur!

    Unbelievable as it was happening, still unbelievable when reading about it! I really admire her determination and strength in experiencing and writing about her experiences.
  • (3/5)
    NBC/MSNBC commentator Katy Tur about her experience reporting on the presidential campaign of Donalld J. Trump.
  • (5/5)
    I was hesitating to read anything MORE about this particular President but Katy Tur's book was perfectly delightful---all Katy--from behind the scenes! I always enjoy her on MSNBC and now I can see why she became someone the network grabbed to fill in anywhere they needed someone, along with her own show.
  • (4/5)
    I cannot even begin to imagine how it was to be assigned to Trump during this campaign!
  • (4/5)
    Don't blame Katy Tur. I was likely suffering from "politics overload" when my friendly local library informed me that "Unbelievable" was finally waiting for me in the "hold" section. Over the span of a year, I had already read books by Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken. I had also recently read "Shattered," a book that dissected Clinton's 2016 campaign. Hence, when I finally started reading Tur's work, I was battling politics fatigue. Not helping matters was the fact that I was aware of many of the anecdotes and encounters that Tur shares in her well-written work. The bottom line: I didn't find this book quite as enlightening or compelling as some other books that focused on contemporary politics. Still, Tur offers an interesting glimpse into the life of a television correspondent who was covering the most twist-filled presidential election in our lifetimes. It's a quick-read that serves up some intriguing nuggets.
  • (4/5)
    Katy Tur, a NBC News correspondent, has a much stronger constitution than I have and a much better stomach. If I had to spend 500 days, with Donald J. Trump, I would have contemplated ending my life. Tur was handed this assignment in 2015 but never thought Trump would survive the duration but she slowly became aware of his rising, cult-like popularity and soon had the unsettling feeling he was going to win it all.This is not an easy read, as Tur describes all the distasteful horrors that unfolded during these baffling and horrifying months, but it is a highly entertaining narrative and I have an immense appreciation of Tur's tenacity, sense of humor and clever insight.
  • (5/5)
    This was a wonderful trip down memory lane - has it only been a year since Trump won? Tur, who covered this unique and unconventional election from the very beginning, has had some experiences I would not wish on my worst enemy! Imagine singled out by a presidential candidate who turns an entire rally against you to the point where even the secret service feels that they must escort you out for your safety! Imagine getting death threats and being abused by Trump fanatics just because you are doing your job! All this and more are the experiences of the press who covered this bizarre election while they were in the Trump press corps. Tur was also one of the few, who despite the polls, predicted that Trump might actually win! This was a great look at the 2016 presidential election.
  • (4/5)
    How you like this book may come down to what you wanted and expected. It focuses on Katy Tur's experiences reporting on the campaign, and on the extremely heavy demands that reporters are expected to deal with. I hand it to them for endurance -- I personally wouldn't work that demanding of a job that allows nothing for a personal life. That was the most interesting part of the book, so I highly recommend people who want or expect that.I didn't learn much about the campaign that I didn't already know, and for me, that is a disappointment. And certainly we learned almost nothing about his supporters, except for the most obnoxious ones. In her author's note Tur says: "Thank you to the Trump supporters and protesters who were unfailingly polite to a reporter just looking to understand. Thank you to the Trump supporters and protesters who were anything but polite: you also helped me understand." I understand that being rude and crude stands out more than politeness, but we sure didn't hear about the former.Tur certainly made not the slightest attempt to understand why people voted for Trump, despite her "Author's Note". She was covering the candidate, so maybe she had neither the time nor the opportunity, but this general tendency worries me. I mostly don't understand why anyone would vote for Trump, unless I'm in a nihilistic mood, but that doesn't alter the fact that he is the president. Every time I read a comment or hear someone say that they are writing off anybody who voted for Trump, even those who voted for Obama in 2012, I think that the alt-right must be dancing for joy.So I recommend this as a view into the very strenuous life of a reporter, but I don't think it adds to our understanding of the Trump campaign and his followers.
  • (4/5)
    Katy Tur of NBC/MSNBC News covered Donald Trump's presidential campaign from its very beginning to the improbable end. This book gives us insight into the daily grind of covering rally after rally, constantly catching flights to wherever (sometimes she doesn't remember what city she's in), trying to grab air time for herself, enduring verbal abuse from the candidate himself and his supporters, etc. It's a quick read and written humorously, which is admirable - just listening to Trump and his followers would have driven me crazy after about a month.
  • (4/5)
    Hard to believe that the campaign could been more crazy...but apparently, it was. I don't envy any of the reporters who covered it, but definitely not Katy Tur!Nicely read by the author, which always adds an extra layer of credibility (and coolness) to any memoir. Rating: 4 stars / A-(audiobook borrowed from the library)
  • (4/5)
    What a fantastic memoir by Katy Tur - the NBC reporter who had the Trump beat for the 2016 presidential election. There were many fascinating behind the scenes anecdotes that made this worth the read, but more than that, Tur wrote in a friendly and funny style that had me laughing out loud more than once. I thought she was very fair in her evaluation of Trump, but she obviously was not a huge fan. High recommended for a look at the most improbably campaign in presidential history.
  • (5/5)
    I chose to read this book because in the past I've enjoyed books by other journalists, namely Anderson Cooper and Richard Engel. Katy Tur's book did not disappoint. Her description of covering a presidential campaign was fascinating to me. The chaos, uncertainty, and long hours she endured were almost unthinkable. I admire her passion for her work, her tenaciousness, and her thick skin. She also gave some insight into her personal life, which I thought helped the reader understand what drove her, and why she sacrificed so much for her job. I was riveted by this book, and recommend it to anyone interested in the life of a television political journalist.
  • (3/5)
    (Can you just imagine if Hunter S. Thompson got to cover this?)

    A very interesting (personal) look into what can only be called the most 'surreal' Presidential campaign in history. I'd like to say its a 'provocative' look at what Trump did to get to be President, but its not really, because we all lived through (through our digest of news, reading, video, blogs, etc.) the stunts and craziness that defines Trump and his bid to be President of the United States.

    Katy Tur does a good job detailing the events of her campaign, and a mostly fairly unbiased look into things. There's a small factor of biasedness which is hard not to - especially with such a polarizing candidate/President as Trump is.

    I did spend much of the book thinking of just how amazing it would have been to have had Hunter S. Thompson covering Trump's presidential campaign. The zaniness notched up even higher. Would have been great. I was originally not going to mention Hunter S. Thompson in the first line of this review, out of respect for Katy Tur's work on this, since its her first book, but I know most of my friends will only read the first paragraph, so I slid that in there to see if they notice or not.

    There is a few flaws to the book, and I do like the jumps from the yearly campaign to the election night, though it would have been nice to get more nearly by-the-minute like updates from election night. I also found the chapter about her parents interesting, because she describes their life, and then later on in the book makes a weird off-hand mention that her father is transgender, which didn't jive/fit with the chapter about her parents. And she doesn't mention his transgenderism or transformation at all in the paragraph either. So the random throw-away line where she says "My father is transgender" is very odd and is more of a "wait... huh?!" especially in its off-ness to the rest of that chapter/paragraph/page.

    Overall a fascinating read. Especially reading in conjunction with Scott Adams' "Win Bigly" which I took out of the Hershey Library at the same time as this. A bit of a juxtaposition if you will.
  • (5/5)
    I like the book. its give a nice reading experience
  • (4/5)
    Katy Tur’s thoroughly enjoyable account of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential run is a great read for those interested in campaign journalism. As a reporter for MSNBC, Tur covered Trump’s campaign for over a year, and her account is divided between her constant time on the road, and watching events unfold on election day. While much has been written about Trump, Tur chronicles the campaign’s controversies while also providing insight into her emotions, ambitions, and exhaustion. The day-in-the-life account of a journalist on the campaign trail is fascinating, and Tur’s writing is quick and easy. Tur doesn’t criticize the twenty-four news cycle as much as document the negative effects the demand for news has on her life. The struggle of ambition, and the idea of making it, made for a interesting narrative aside from the familiar campaign details. Understandably, Tur doesn’t fire shots or give into gossip, this isn’t a political tell-all. Overall, she plays it pretty straight, it’s her experience, and this is a great addition for those who enjoy political or journalistic memoirs.
  • (5/5)
    Katie Tur’s story of being the chief NBC correspondent following DJT’s campaign for the presidency from its inception to his inauguration. Remarkable book, not only for the replay of the whirlwind of startling that was his campaign but as an example of what covering and travelling with any campaign is for a journalist. As well as a very graphic overview of the role that the social media play in 21st Century politics.
  • (4/5)
    Katy Tur had what she considered her journalist's dream job: an international posting based in London with many weekends spent in Paris with her French boyfriend.Then, in a short visit to the United States, she was asked to cover Donald Trump's first campaign rally and his run for the Presidency. It was not thought to be a long- term commitment. It turned out it would last 510 days with barely a day or two off, as Trump unexpectedly won and won again.Tur was both reviled and exhorted by Trump. At one rally, the reporters were in a 'cage' while Trump whipped the crowd into an anti-media frenzy. Another time, Tur had to be escorted out of the venue by armed agents as Trump had reviled her to the point she and others feared for her life. Then, suddenly she would be back in Trump's good graces. It's not that there is a lot of new info in this book – most of it was covered in the campaign news. Still, Trump's behavior at rallies, such as offering to pay legal fees to anyone beating up protesters is shocking. The cumulative effect of reading incident after incident is dumbfounding. It's as if the American public got 'used to ' Trump's antics as time went on. To read them all reported in one place, is very sobering and is a telling report on the character of the man who is our current Commander in Chief. God help us all.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Two interesting stories in one book. First, you see the maturation and ambition of a novice reporter into a political journalist. Second, you see the immaturity and craziness of a political candidate as he gets elected President of the United States. I have to give a lot of credit to Tur. She was threatened, ridiculed and focused on and this was by Trump. Plus she had to face down the criticisms and threats by his supporters at campaign rallies. Not easy remaining remotely impartial given those circumstances.

    Some neat insights on how news organizations and their reporters cover campaigns and how the Trump campaign created some novel and different problems.

    Very good read. Enjoyed the story, just wished for a different ending.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I watch MSNBC religiously and have followed Katy Tur's career from when she first started covering the Trump campaign (he was a minor candidate, not expected to last long) until now, when she has her own daily hour-long show on MSNBC. She mostly seems intelligent and insightful, which is why I was so disappointed in this book.This is not a book analyzing the Trump campaign, and it offers no insight into how and why Trump won. Instead, it's a very frivolous book. We hear lots about breaking up with her boyfriend, how to look like you have an endless wardrobe when you're on the road and appearing on TV daily, her fights to get more air-time than other reporters, and more than once she describes the importance of dry shampoo for making her hair look great. Not what I was interested in knowing.There's a brief chapter on her early life which is interesting--her parents were the original "helicopter" reporters in LA--think the OJ chase. But then there's a whole chapter on her travails of making it to the airport on time to catch her flight to Iowa to cover the caucuses through a huge traffic jam and snow storm--it went on and on ad nauseum, and was apparently meant to be humorous.I didn't necessarily hate this book--it was just not what I wanted or expected. It is extremely light on political analysis or useful facts.2 stars

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I read this based on the fave reviews (such as the NY times book review). It was an interesting read and I enjoyed it, but there was not much unexpected in this book for me. It is hard to work as a TV reporter or any news reporter following a presidential campaign. I am glad Katy stuck with it. My book club may want to read this next year but I am glad to have read it now, finishing near the one year anniversary of the infamous and unexpected election. I liked her descriptions of how it all came down ....I feel a bit on overload as I recently read the Naomi Klein book. There are many good non-fiction books to read on politics, economics, world events, foreign affairs...... I need the reviews in order to select how best to spend my time.... the complexity of current events is amazing. I appreciate honest reviews.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    Full Disclosure: I am a big fan of the MSNBC crew. I have the TV on and off all day, M-F. I know their programming schedule by hour, forwards and backwards. I think they have a great crew of very talented, attractive, committed news reporters and analysts. I certainly have a bit of bias towards each and every one of their journalists. So I am predisposed to a favorable review of Katy Tur's book.But disappointingly, I found it so-so. It's 286 pages, and is a small book physically as hardbacks go, so it's a rather quick read. "Unbelievable" is a bit of a gloss-over collection of interesting moments, most of which were covered and covered and covered during the 2016 campaign - there is very little that was new to me, and at the moment I can't cite one example. I expected excitement, and what I got was routine. Her profession comes across as a job, a well paying job but not one I felt Katy is terribly passionate about. She did an excellent job of covering Trump throughout and the campaign and my sense was, prior to reading "Unbelievable", was that she significantly enhanced her skills over that 1 1/i2 year period, becoming a valuable asset to her network (but then so did several other MSNBCers).Her story is told somewhat chronologically, but the chapters are interspersed with brief cutaways to election night, hour by hour. A bit of a gimmick to be different, perhaps to create some tension, but it didn't work for me. I never felt the emotional peaks and valleys of that night. Incidents are highlighted, not much depth nor analysis. I wonder if this an unintended consequence for those forced to communicate 140 characters at a time, people who check their phone in the morning and find 180 new emails.I did gain an appreciation for Tur's abilities to go on air with very little allotted prep time, and give a quickie analysis timed to seconds. She does that so well and without ahs and ems nor repetition. But what next? Though she very much fights for her share of air time, and values recognition, I didn't sense a great ambition to advance in her responsibilities. She closes with an expression of hope to marry by the spring of 2018....

    2 people found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Being assigned to the Trump campaign in 2015 made Katy Tur's name in broadcast news. so she quickly produced this campaign memoir to capitalize on her sudden fame. While she is an engaging storyteller, and being embedded with the Trump campaign surely provided many on the trail anecdotes, there is very little political insight or analysis. This is just a book churned out for quick cash.

    1 person found this helpful