'What Is the Deal With Donald Trump?' Or With Buzz Bissinger?

Those ever-droll Scots strike again.

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I mentioned earlier today that our new Atlantic issue has a lot of very strong stories. One of them, by William D. Cohan, is a delightful profile of America's favorite birth-certificate skeptic, under the title "What Exactly Is Donald Trump's Deal?"

A friend in Scotland sent a photo of this front page from the Daily Record, about Trump's latest dispute with the Scottish government. You'll appreciate it all the more after reading Cohan's article. I have seen this particular "hell toupee" news-headline pun popping up in different places over the years, but this rendition offers a nice words/picture combo.

Speaking of "What Exactly Is the Deal?", I have gone back and forth about Buzz Bissinger's extended "shopaholic" confession in GQ. This is either one of the most subtly skillful and elaborate April Fool's Day hoaxes anyone has ever pulled off ... or one of the most unintentionally embarrassing, you-have-to-turn-away-because-it's-cruel-to-keep-watching acts of unaware self-humiliation anyone has ever committed. Because I so greatly admire Bissinger's A Prayer for the City -- yes, even more than Friday Night Lights -- I am really hoping it's the former. And, 51-49, betting that way too.

Photo of Bissinger, after a (spoofed? this can't really be true?? can it???) leather-pants buying spree, from GQ below.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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