Already a member? Log In

Trump’s Fatigue, Merrick’s Motives, & the Jan. 6 Mega Producer

Trump at the "Stop The Steal" rally on Jan 6, 2021. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
Tara Palmeri
June 9, 2022
The Producer

When I first met James Goldston at Le Pain Quotidien on West 65th Street, near the ABC News studios, he kept repeating a line that Trump used frequently to praise his own team: “You’re a killer, you’re a killer.” It was 2017 and Goldston, then the president of ABC News, was recruiting me to join the D.C. Bureau as a White House correspondent. I was obviously enchanted by the prospect of joining a major network. And he was unbothered by my relative lack of television experience. He wanted a scrappy young reporter from Politico to help shake up the bureau. Goldston also liked that I had spent the formative years of my career working at the New York Post. 

Goldston always wanted a splash. While some people at the network questioned my experience as a former Page Six reporter at 22, Goldston defended it, and in fact, loved it. Given the mischievous glint in his eyes and his Fleet Street sensibility, I thought we would get on spectacularly. I’d worked with lots of Brits like him at the Post. And we did. Unfortunately, the thing I liked most about Goldston—his tabloid flair—wasn’t equally appreciated by some of my more self-reverential colleagues in D.C. They respected his Oxford degree, but looked down on him as a showman who cared less about the journalism and more about the shot.