In the Eye of a Political Hurricane
In the spring of 2015 Katy Tur was living large as an NBC correspondent in London. She had a French boyfriend with whom she was going on a Mediterranean vacation in July. However on a home trip to New York, of a sudden, the powers that be at NBC/MSNBC drafted her to cover the nascent Trump campaign. All the parties involved thought it would be a short term assignment. Little did they know it would last for 17 months and lead to a Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism for Tur.
In a very personal, candid and breezy style Katy Tur tells us of her getting caught up in a Category 5 political hurricane that was the Trump campaign. From the beginning she is attacked by Trump and as the campaign goes on she legitimately fears for her safety. So much so that NBC hires a security detail for her. Through her eyes we see Trump’s love/hate relationship with the press. He hates them personally but he is validated by them.
She gets very personal about her life on the campaign trail. She changes clothes in a car and falls in the snow while racing to catch a plane out of LaGuardia Airport. She lives on a diet of junk food and alcohol that makes it difficult for her to zip up her pants and look in the mirror. By reading her book I got to appreciate the hard work that journalist do to bring the news to me.
Although she does not like Trump, she is very respectful of his voters. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, she feels their pain. She recounts a vignette about a middle-aged woman who happens to be a hair dresser helping her with a curling iron in a restroom. Later that woman would be cheering Trump on with his personal attacks on the press. Tur gives a real sense of how decent people can get caught up in the madness of crowds. Further, she practically alone at NBC sees Trump winning.
I have previously written what great team of female reporters NBC has put together. I call them Oppenheim’s girls, after Noah Oppenheim, NBC’s current news director. (See https://shulmaven.blogspot.com/2017/09/from-murrows-boys-to-oppenheims-girls.html) Along with Katy Tur, there is Kasie Hunt, Hallie Jackson and Kristen Welker. I honor them by calling them “girls” because they are the modern day equivalent of Murrow’s Boys. They truly represent an all-star team in any journalism league.
I have one last and very personal point. While she was growing up she had a family dog named Daisy. My three children who are roughly Katy’s age also grew up with a dog named Daisy. She was the best dog.
I highly recommend “Unbelievable” for anyone interested in the 2016 election and the role of journalist in the hothouse of a presidential campaign.
For the full amazon URL see: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3D3WG5U2JR36I/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv