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News A look at President Trump's policies a year after election

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Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston brought another packed house to the Deer Park Tavern on Feb. 13, following up the debut of Front Page Cafe with Dr. Kathryn Miles in November 2017. 

If you couldn't be there, you can still have a front-row seat, thanks to a partnership with Delaware Public Media. Johnston's talk and audience questions were recorded for an edition of The Green, an open-air meeting place for Delawareans to discuss events, consider issues and share ideas. You can listen to the full evening here.

If you'd like to join us at Front Page Cafe, we'd be delighted to put you on our mailing list. Send your email address to The Journalism Program.  Front Page Cafes are always free and open to the public, and refreshments are always served.

The Green airs at 3 and 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday on WMPH 91.7 in Wilmington and WDDE 91.1  in Dover. Delaware Public Media is always online at

David Cay Johnston: 'We can have a better America'
David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston speaks to a full house at the Deer Park Tavern. Photo/UD Journalism.

The title of David Cay Johnston's latest book, "It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America," wasn't his idea.

It was his publisher's, Simon & Schuster, because his book covers what you haven't heard reported elsewhere.

Johnston was introduced by UD's own Pulitzer Prize-winner, Dan Biddle, who teaches in the journalism program. Biddle worked with Johnston at the Philadelphia Inquirer and had "fond memories of picking up my phone and hearing a kind of homicide-detective voice say, 'Johnston here!!,' typically with a tip on a great story."

When Johnston got his hands on one of Trump's tax returns, Biddle said, Trump tweeted about "FAKE NEWS" from a reporter "nobody ever heard of." That tweet was immediately answered by another from the dean of Temple's Klein College of Media and Communication, David Boardman: "A Pulitzer Prize winner and one of the nation's most respected journalists. So, yes."

Johnston was upfront about his opinion of Trump's performance ("He is the most manifestly unfit person ever to  hold that office") and then proceeded to lay out his case, from Trump's dismantling of federal regulations to his past relationship with a drug trafficker.

Johnston also raised questions about Trump's commitment to veterans, his handling of international relations and his understanding of global trade. Data about worker safety and environmental risks, he said, are disappearing.

David Cay Johnston signs books.

​David Cay Johnston signs a copy of his book for Leslie F. Goldstein, Morris professor emeritus of the Department of Political Science and International Relations. Photo/UD Journalism

To a question from the audience about why cable news focuses on topics like porn star Stormy Daniels, Johnston said, "It's TV. TV is entirely a ratings game."  He also noted that almost 20 years ago, the country was informed by 67 percent more journalists.

However, Johnston made a point of ending on a positive note:

"We can fix our country. We can have a better America. It only requires one thing:

"We need to recognize that the purpose of this country is to ennoble the human spirit, to see what people can achieve and to recognize that we control our destiny. So we have to get out and do the work of being citizens, and right now that means get people registered to vote and come November, get them to the polls."

The evening, which was covered by UD's independent student newspaper, The Review, was sponsored by the Journalism Program, the Department of English, the Center for Political Communication and the Department of Political Science & International Relations at the University of Delaware, and supported by Delaware Humanities.

A quick look at Johnston's career
David Cay Johnston and book, 'It's Even Worse Than You Think.'

​David Cay Johnston and his new book, 'It's Even Worse Than You Think.'

​When Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015, David Cay Johnston was the first journalist to predict Trump could win the White House.

Johnston, who received the Pulitzer for his investigative reporting on loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code, also was the only journalist to get a copy of a Trump tax return.

Johnston met the 45th president in 1988 and has tracked him ever since in two books: "Temples of Chance" and the bestselling "The Making of Donald Trump."

In his most recent book, "It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America," Johnston takes readers inside decisions that are remaking the federal government and touching the lives of all Americans.

"It's Even Worse Than You Think" is already No. 2 on The New York Times' hardcover nonfiction best-seller list and No. 3 on the Wall Street Journal's list. As described on, Johnston's nonprofit news service, the book is the "other side" of the story told in Michael Wolff’s book, "Fire and Fury": "Instead of exploring who Trump is and what his allies say about him, David’s new book explains what the administration is doing to damage our government and your income, health and safety."

Front Page Cafe

Time: 5:30  p.m.
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 13
Place: Upstairs at the Deer Park Tavern, 108 Main St., Newark

The Johnston folder

On the Record: WYPR interview
Washington Post: Book review
Democracy Now: Interview
Time: Interview

Twitter: @DavidCayJ

Story published on 2/14/2018 ; last modified on
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A look at President Trump's policies a year after election
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  • University of Delaware
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