Lots of people are criticizing Bob Woodward, often in really awful ways, for not revealing the information from his new book earlier. Asserting that he had a responsibility to tell us about Trump and that he is somehow guilty for not doing so. I disagree.
To figure this out, I have been trying to imagine the benefit if Woodward had told us this earlier and cannot see any. Everyone with a brain knew that Trump was lying to us. We already knew that he was dishonestly pretending that covid19 was not really a problem. We knew that he was intentionally injuring blue states. The only material thing we didn't know is that it turns out he actually *is* smart enough to understand the situation at some level.
If Woodward had released these tapes when they were happening, Kaylie MacaNinny would have lied more. Trump would have had to make up his "I wanted calm and they wanted me to jump up and down" line earlier. Sane people would have screamed. Press would have asked hostile questions.
I don't see what difference it would have made. I do not see what material, actionable information Woodward withheld. I do not see how we could have used this knowledge to coerce better behavior in Trump or change our behavior to induce a better outcome.
I do think that it would have diminished the impact on the election. I do think that this is very important information for voters. I do not see how knowing this stuff would have saved one life or altered the course of the disease at all.
The only differences I can see redound to the benefit of Trump himself. As soon as Woodward told us these things, Trump would have stopped the interviews. Of eighteen interviews, seventeen of them would never exist and Donny would have been spared the consequences of his own egotistical motor-mouth.
But even if he had continue the interviews, the facts would then have dribbled out. Trump would be able to deflect them one-by-one. The sheer quantity of awfulness and dishonesty would have been lost as details arrived mixed with all the other horrible details each day.
The significance would have been diluted to death. And it would not have a significant effect (one hopes) on his election chances because of that.
I am in complete disagreement with any assertions that Bob Woodward did anything wrong by waiting to publish his book.