NBC News correspondent Katy Tur wears several different hats within the network’s news infrastructure. In addition to serving as the anchor for MSNBC Live and reporting for Early Today, Today, NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and more, Tur serves as the network’s resident Phish fanatic, frequently working subtle references to the band’s music into her on-air news scripts and her other professional endeavors.
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) August 7, 2017
Last week, Tur officially released her new book, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat To The Craziest Campaign In American History, which chronicles her time covering the political circus that was the Donald Trump presidential campaign. Unbelievable has been hugely successful in its first week on the shelves (or whatever the e-book equivalent of a shelf is…e-shelves?), instantly becoming a national bestseller.
According to the book’s description on Amazon, “Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry shampoo….From day 1 to day 500, Tur documented Trump’s inconsistencies, fact-checked his falsities, and called him out on his lies. In return, Trump repeatedly singled Tur out. He tried to charm her, intimidate her, and shame her. At one point, he got a crowd so riled up against Tur, Secret Service agents had to walk her to her car…She visited forty states with the candidate, made more than 3,800 live television reports, and tried to endure a gazillion loops of Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’—a Trump rally playlist staple.”
Sure, everyone loves “Tiny Dancer,” but hearing in that context, at that frequency, under Tur’s dumbfounding “Trump Tour” circumstances, would be enough to make any of us crazy. So how did Tur drown out the craziness and try to relax? The same way many of us do: by listening to the Phish.
In one passage in the book, she recounts late-night reflections from a red-eye flight to New York on the eve of Election Day. “I want to finish my beer, but it’s getting late and Morning Joe wants me at 7 a.m., so I go back to my seat and try to get a few minutes of sleep before we get back to New York City. I put in my earphones and play a Phish song. I haven’t really listened to the band in earnest since college. Now I find it is the only thing that can steady my nerves and slow my brain.” Relax, Katy, the world will spin beside itself and suck you in…”
That’s not the only explicit jam-themed reference in the book, either. As she recalls from a long bus ride following Trump’s motorcade in Grand Rapids, MI, “The bus is quieter than usual. We’re exhausted. Whatever trip Jerry Garcia was on, it couldn’t have been as long and strange as this.”
The Trump campaign was a long, strange trip indeed, and his presidency has somehow felt equally uncomfortable and slow-going (has it seriously only been 9 months??). So, Katy, while we appreciate all your continuing work chronicling the bizarre happenings of Trump’s Foul Domain, we’re glad you’ve got good music to help you drown out the noise when you need a breather.
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat To The Craziest Campaign In American History is available now wherever books are sold.
[Cover photo via The Hollywood Reporter]