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

Katy Tur was the NBC/MSNBC journalist assigned to the Trump campaign.  She spent a year and a half following him from rally to debate, uniquely incurring his wrath from the podium.  She was the reporter who asked Trump “Doesn’t it give you pause to invite a foreign power to hack into an Americans personal email?” (She did not actually get out the entire question.  He interrupted and then told her to ‘Be quiet.’)

She was also the one, who as a result of Trump’s volatile statements from the podium (during his rallies) that was threatened repeatedly and required personal security.  By the end of the race, all journalists covering the Trump campaign had security, except FOX News.   This need was a direct result of the candidate’s stump speech and derogatory speech toward the media (among other many others).

But all of this had been well reported.  The most interesting aspect of Tur’s account of the Trump campaign was a description of how political reporters did their job.  The Trump campaign was different for sure, but the basics of covering a campaign were not – the lack of sleep, lack of exercise, bad diet, the constant travel and sometimes forgetting what city and state you were in.  Not a job I would ever want to do.

And then the rallies.  The Trump rallies.  Tur met and spoke to many Trump supporters to get their perspective.  She was among the very few who predicted a Trump victory.  But she also describes the rallies themselves and how seemingly normal people become enraged and threatening inside the venue.  The description she brings of the supporters is fascinating, but also quite disturbing.   Given the approval of the candidate to be “politically incorrect,” meant not just a lack of decorum, but actual threats to Hillary Clinton’s life.  Tur speaks of chants, “Assassinate that bitch!” during the rallies with absolutely NO attempts by the candidate to quell the behavior.

In sum – it is a quick read that will provide the reader with an inside look into what it is like to be a journalist covering a modern presidential campaign.  What makes this unique of course, is the campaign she covered.


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