The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

For­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and for­mer first lady Michelle Obama have re­turned to the pub­lic stage. The pair are cam­paign­ing for midterm can­di­dates. They have a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar book deal. They founded Higher Ground Pro­duc­tions, a com­pany that came in handy in May when the Obamas signed up to pro­duce orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming for video stream­ing ser­vice Net­flix and its au­di­ence of 125 mil­lion sub­scribers in 190 coun­tries.

“We hope to cul­ti­vate and cu­rate the tal­ented, in­spir­ing, creative voices who are able to pro­mote greater em­pa­thy and un­der­stand­ing be­tween peo­ples, and help them share their sto­ries with the en­tire world,” Mr. Obama said in a state­ment — which de­lighted his fans and prompted some Repub­li­cans to can­cel their Net­flix sub­scrip­tions.

The first Obama pro­duc­tion, how­ever, is in the works.

The cou­ple has ac­quired the rights to “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis, pub­lished last month, cur­rently No. 8 on The New York Times best­seller list and fo­cused on the early days of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion and its “hap­haz­ard” tran­si­tion. Mr. Lewis an­nounced the new project dur­ing a pod­cast in­ter­view with Katie Couric. The book is crit­i­cal of Pres­i­dent Trump. “What are the con­se­quences if the peo­ple given con­trol over our gov­ern­ment have no idea how it works? Trump ap­pointees were few and far be­tween; those that did show up were shock­ingly un­in­formed,” pub­lisher W.W. Nor­ton ad­vised in ad­vance notes.

The up­com­ing pro­duc­tion is likely “a se­ries,” ac­cord­ing to Dead­line Hol­ly­wood. The New York Times hints that the project would “fo­cus on the civics lessons con­tained in the book and would not take shots at Trump.”

In­quir­ing minds won­der whether the pro­gram­ming will ac­knowl­edge the fact that Mr. Trump has had authen­tic and ver­i­fied vic­to­ries in the eco­nomic, diplo­matic and na­tional se­cu­rity realms de­spite a “hap­haz­ard” tran­si­tion. And will the new pro­gram­ming ad­dress the role of hos­tile me­dia cov­er­age, as well as per­sis­tent Demo­cratic ob­struc­tion that slowed the process? Mr. Trump has cer­tainly been aware of it.

“Hun­dreds of good peo­ple, in­clud­ing very im­por­tant am­bas­sadors and judges, are be­ing blocked and/or slow walked by the Democrats in the Se­nate. Many im­por­tant po­si­tions in gov­ern­ment are un­filled be­cause of this ob­struc­tion. Worst in U.S. his­tory!” Mr. Trump tweeted many months ago, when the cir­cum­stances be­came clear.


For­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will pro­duce pro­gram­ming based on “The Fifth Risk,” which crit­i­cizes the pres­i­dent.

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