Arts and Culture

Author and satirist P.J. O’Rourke says he was as surprised as anyone with the results of the last presidential election. It’s reflected in his new book, “How the Hell Did This Happen?”

O’Rourke will be interviewed by NPR’s Robert Siegel Monday night at the University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum. But first, O’Rourke spoke with me about the book and the state of journalism. You can listen to our conversation in the media player above.

On his reaction to Donald Trump running for president:

“When it became clear that he actually was the candidate, I’m going, gee…words that aren’t radio words. I say this as a pretty conservative Republican, kind of conservative libertarian Republican. A: It wasn’t like I wasn’t used to nuts. I have plenty of them in my own camp. And secondly, it wasn’t like I was a big, enthusiastic Hillary or Bernie fan. But then I felt that, come on, here’s Hillary Clinton probably the most predictable politician that we’ve run since I don’t know who. And surely people will vote for four more years of the eight years they’ve been through.”

On what he thinks of the Trump administration so far:

“It’s just one thing after another…having his phones tapped by the Obama administration in a way that was so secret that even the Obama administration didn’t know it. My mouth hangs open.”

On the current state of journalism amid criticism:

“There are a lot of people still out there still just trying to tell what Carl Bernstein calls ‘the best available version of the truth.’ And they may be colored in that pursuit of the truth a little bit but everybody possesses bias whether its a liberal bias or a conservative bias. When I read The New York Times I have to allow for a certain liberal bias, when I read The Wall Street Journal I have to allow for a certain pro-business bias. But nonetheless there are still a lot of people at work trying to do their job and it is my hope that they will prevail.”

P.J. O’Rourke will be interviewed by NPR’s Robert Siegel Monday night at the University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum. There’s more information here.

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.