Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, determined to take aim at the Trump administration, have acquired the rights to a book that details miscues in the administration’s Departments of Energy, Agriculture and Commerce.
The acquisition of the book, titled “The Fifth Risk,” authored by Michael Lewis, came as part of the Obama’s production deal with Netflix.
According to Deadline, “Lewis spoke with a number of federal workers from the Obama administration who worked in the Departments of Energy, Agriculture and Commerce. The previous administration created briefing books for the next staff, but those who showed up on behalf of the new administration were greatly unqualified and far and few between.”
Lewis interviewed John MacWilliams, a former risk officer for the Energy Department, who offered his doomsday scenarios for each department: an Energy Department snafu could trigger a nuclear-weapons accident, increased tension with North Korea or Iran, or an attack on the U.S. electrical grid; a reduction in the Department of Agriculture that could affect school lunches and food stamps; an improper census taken by the Commerce department, according to Deadline.
Lewis told Couric The Fifth Risk was a “a civics lesson … I did three departments, because it would be the work of many lifetimes to do the whole government, but you could do this in a fun way across the entire government.” Lewis has written a number of books, including some that have been made into Oscar-winning films, including “The Blind Side” and “The Big Short.” He also wrote “Moneyball.” His leftist credentials are pretty solid; he was the senior editor and campaign correspondent for The New Republic, wrote the Dad Again column for Slate, and was a contributing editor for Vanity Fair.
Last May, the Obamas signed a multiyear agreement with Netflix under their Higher Ground Productions banner.
Barack Obama stated, “One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience. That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix — we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”
Michelle Obama added, “Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others. Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership."
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos gushed, “Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better. We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”