Real estate mogul Donald Trump, acting like a presidential candidate, is garnering attention by latching on to the “birther” issue -- the discredited notion that President Obama was not born in Hawaii but in another country, thus making him ineligible for the presidency. The New York Times ran a poll April 22 that asked: “Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or was he born in another country?” The Times then broke down the results out for Republicans (but not for independents or Democrats): 45% of Republicans answered Obama was born elsewhere, 33% said he was born in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Times has yet to bring up a 2006 poll showing more than half of Democrats believed Bush was complicit in the 9-11 attacks.
Times liberal columnist Charles Blow pounced on Saturday: “It further exacerbates a corrosive culture on the right that now celebrates the Cult of Idiocy -- from Glenn Beck to Michele Bachmann -- where riling liberals is more valuable than reason and logic, and where intellectualism and even basic learnedness are viewed with suspicion and contempt.”
Media members better get their facts straight when reporting about Donald Trump or they just might end up biting off more than they can chew.
On Friday, while CNN's Eliot Spitzer was doing a report contradicting Trump's claims about his net worth, the real estate mogul called into the studio to set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Don't be fooled by The Donald. Take it from one who knows: I'm a South Jersey gal who was raised on the outskirts of Atlantic City in the looming shadow of Trump's towers. All through my childhood, casino developers and government bureaucrats joined hands, raised taxes and made dazzling promises of urban renewal. Then we wised up to the eminent-domain thievery championed by our hometown faux free-marketeers.
America, it's time you wised up to Donald Trump's property redistribution racket, too.
Trump has been wooing conservative activists for months and flirting with a GOP presidential run — first at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington and most recently at a tea party event in South Florida. He touts his business experience, "high aptitude" and "bragadocious" deal-making abilities. But he's no more a standard-bearer of conservative values, limited government and constitutional principles than the cast of "Jersey Shore."
In bridge, a trump card is held in reserve for winning a trick. In politics, Donald Trump is anything but reserved and appears to think he might trick enough voters to win the next presidential election.
There's plenty to draw on when critiquing a possible Trump candidacy. His multiple marriages (three) and affairs provide fodder for the media and contrast poorly with President Obama's "family values" image as husband of one wife and father of young daughters, whom he clearly loves.
Why is it that Donald Trump is a creditable candidate with a significant segment of Republican voters? In some polls, he runs ahead of all Republicans save Mitt Romney, and all I have heard him say is that he wants to see our president's birth certificate. Imagine if he would ask to see budget cuts from the president or revenue enhancements.
Frankly, I would like to see President Barack Obama's birth certificate, too. But on the other hand, I have in hand a copy of a notice of our president's birth printed Aug. 13, 1961, from The Honolulu Advertiser. That has to count for something, no? According to the notice, he was born Aug. 4, 1961, but there are a lot of other things about him I would like to know. For instance, I would like to see those aforementioned budget cuts and the revenue enhancements.
CNN contributor John Avlon, labeled an "independent," was all but sounding the death knell for 2012 Republican presidential hopes on CNN Thursday. Avlon took Republican criticism of notable figures such as Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann and spun it to tout that the GOP is in trouble.
"This is the sound of Republicans getting nervous," Avlon ominously sounded. "It really hurts the Republican Party in the long-term."
Anchor Carol Costello opened the segment with a clip of Bush's former senior advisor Karl Rove dismissing Donald Trump as an "inconsequential candidate" over his "embrace of the 'birther' issue." Costello added that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Sarah Palin are under fire from other Republicans and conservatives for some of their own views.
Potential presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose controversial stance on President Obama's birth certificate has made waves in the mainstream media during the past weeks, for one reason or another, has avoided interviews on CBS's morning and evening news programs so far in 2011. In fact, Trump hasn't done an interview on either The Early Show or CBS Evening News in over two years.
There are times when I watch MSNBC and wonder if there are actually producers paying any attention to what's going on.
Consider the following brief segment from Tuesday's "Hardball" wherein host Chris Matthews first derided a Dallas, Texas, reporter for being tough during an interview with President Obama and then immediately chastised Donald Trump for being displeased by the constant interruptions during his interview with NBC's Savannah Guthrie (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday lectured potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, indignantly telling him that he was only after "the facts." Four years ago, however, Good Morning America had few tough questions for the 2008 Democratic contenders.
At one point during the nine minute interview, Stephanopoulos pressed Trump 16 straight times on the so-called birther issue. The host demanded, "You said that you sent investigators to Hawaii and you said quote, 'They cannot believe what they're finding.' What have they found?" The ABC journalist repeated this particular question four times.
Stephanopoulos did hit Trump from the right a number of times, pushing, "Today, the head of the Club for Growth, a major group inside the Republican Party, has said you're just another liberal..." However, by March 26,2007, GMA had already devoted a 26 minute infomercial to then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Host Robin Roberts allowed Clinton to speak for 18 of those 26 minutes.
So "The Donald" was dubbed by Charles Krauthammer on last night's "Special Report." Trump is an "unserious" "provocateur and clown," Krauthammer claimed. "I think he's going to harm the party if he runs for the same reason that Sharpton harmed the Democrats." Take a look at the video below the break, via the Daily Caller, and let us know what you think. And if you're a Trump supporter, make sure to chime in with your retort.
Appearing on Sunday’s Today show on NBC, Meet the Press host David Gregory seemed to lump people who think President Obama is "the worst President" or who "don’t like the President" in with "extremists" as he explained real estate developer Donald Trump’s appeal among some Republican voters as a potential presidential candidate.
After co-anchor Natalie Morales cited poll numbers showing Trump topping other potential Republican candidates, Gregory gave his explanation for the support:
Part of that, he’s got name recognition, he’s got money, and he's out there talking in a way that is attention-seeking and attention-grabbing, whether he's talking about the President's birth certificate which is a settled issue or talking about him being the worst President in the United States. So he's going to reach some of those extremists who don't like the President and will be able to grab some of that attention.
Below is a transcript of a greater portion of Gregory’s words from the Sunday, April 17, Today show on NBC:
CBS's Jan Crawford spotlighted the Tea Party movement on Monday's Early Show, but also played up how it might present a "challenge" for potential Republican presidential candidates due its apparent unpopularity: "Recent polls show 47% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the movement. So candidates looking for Tea Party votes have to be careful not to alienate moderates."
Midway through her report, after noting the would-be GOP presidential candidates, such as Tim Pawlenty and Donald Trump, who showed up at some of the weekend rallies, the correspondent turned to possible downside that these politicians might face in appealing to the Tea Party, playing up a result from a recent CNN/Opinion Dynamics poll:
A winking John Berman on Monday used only a little subtlety as he mocked Donald Trump for his "enormous" "size." The Good Morning America reporter turned financial comments by the businessman into something more suggestive: "We know he has a big ego, but he swears he has big ideas and also an enormous, well, see for yourself."
He then played a clip of Trump boasting about himself: "Much bigger and much more powerful, much stronger than anyone really knows." Berman jokingly questioned, "Really? Compared to, say, Mitt Romney..."
Hardball's Chris Matthews on Thursday slammed Fox News as a "roach motel" for possible presidential candidates, knocking the chances of that network's analysts, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Yet, the MSNBC anchor, who obsesses daily about the so-called birther issue, admitted he hasn't been as tough on Donald Trump as he could. (Trump, of course, hosts The Apprentice on parent channel NBC.)
After Time magazine's Michael Scherer contrasted Palin and Gingrich with NBC's Trump, Matthews blurted, "Well, that's why I've sort of been nice to him, if he hasn't noticed that."
When Scherer relayed that the reality star has people telling him to stop talking about Barack Obama's birth certificate, Matthews further explained the connection to his network colleague: "...I'm one of those guys. I was on the phone with him a couple weeks ago: 'Stop it!' I can't tell him what to do."
Today's Morning Joe offered an interesting contrast of MSM takes on Donald Trump. Politico honcho John Harris proffered the conventional Beltway wisdom, writing off Trump as a "silly season" candidate who adds only entertainment and amusement value to the race.
Meanwhile, Mark Halperin was surprisingly respectful of The Donald. Halperin opined that beyond the birther issue, Trump was doing a lot of smart things that other candidates should study. Among them, Trump is the only candidate, according to Halperin, willing to "get in Barack Obama's face."
"He feels things like a normal guy from Queens. Not like a politician."
That's Maggie Gallagher, stalwart defender of traditional marriage, on The Donald.
When asked about gay marriage, real-estate tycoon and longtime media celebrity Donald Trump sorta shrugs, sorta hesitates, because it's not something he wants to campaign on or particularly talk about. But he says he's against it, and has said so a few times now.
My brother, Rush, said on his program Thursday that Donald Trump, in taking the fight directly to President Obama, has provided a winning blueprint for defeating him in 2012.
Rush was referring to the way in which Trump — think what you will about him and his politics — has boldly challenged President Obama on a number of issues, including the notorious birth certificate fracas, obviously unconcerned about fallout from the liberal media.
As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews went on quite a Republican-hating rant Monday linking murder and violence in Afghanistan to GOP "zealots at home."
Such conservative bashing continued till the end of "Hardball" when the host finished with a two minute segment excoriating the Republican Party as one where "you can't say you believe in science, you can't say you believe in evolution or in climate change or in gay rights, or even in separation of church and state" concluding "Maybe this is God's will, that Obama not have a reasonable opponent out there" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC's George Stephanopoulos still doesn't understand the difference between the Tea Party movement and the birther movement.
On the March 17 edition of "Good Morning America," the former Bill Clinton campaign operative characterized Donald Trump's political maneuvering as an attempt to court the Tea Party by pandering to birthers.
Interviewing Donald Trump this morning, MSNBC's Chris Jansing put on her Democratic strategist hat to press the Republican real estate mogul with liberal talking points.
After Trump, responding to Jansing's question about what he would do to fix the economy, suggested cutting taxes to spur economic growth, the host of Jansing & Co. groused: "A lot of people sitting out there, with all due respect, saying spoken like a true businessman but not about the little guy. Tax breaks for the rich, not for the middle class."
Not missing a beat, Trump retorted: "But Chris we're the highest-taxed nation in the world, as it stands right now. And that's a pretty bad statement when you think of it."
Apparently not all successful businessmen are created equal. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos conducted a condescending interview with billionaire Republican Donald Trump on Thursday and oddly quizzed the Republican about abortion.
After Trump simply described New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as "a little on the liberal side," Stephanopoulos pounced, "Are you pro-choice?...Are you pro-choice?" Trump has claimed he is considering a presidential run and will make a decision next year. He replied that Stephanopoulos would probably be "surprised" by his opinion on abortion (but declined to give it during the interview.)
Stephanopoulos patronizingly wondered, "So, this isn't another reality show?"
Earning applause from the audience inside Manhattan's Ed Sullivan Theater for Wednesday's Late Show, Donald Trump gave David Letterman his take on placing a new mosque near Ground Zero: “I think it's very insensitive to build it there. I think it's not appropriate, a I think it's insensitive and it shouldn't be built there.” Letterman frowned, prompting Trump to point out to the audience: “I don't know if he agrees.”
Letterman eventually asked “what about the notion” of when the “pilgrims came over...looking for religious expression? And as far as I've always known, that's a fundamental building block of what makes this country great.” Trump agreed, but “it's caused such a storm that the people doing it would make so much good will” if they moved it to a different location.
When Trump repeated his point, to more applause, about how “it's very insensitive to build it there and I think they should go someplace else,” a befuddled Letterman wondered: “Describe for me what insensitivity is manifested if it's built there?” And Letterman fretted: “Does this suggest that we are in fact officially at war with Muslims?”
To which, Trump observed: “Well, somebody knocked down the World Trade Center.”
Billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump wants Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize stripped from the Global Warmingist-in-Chief.
"With the coldest winter ever recorded, with snow setting record levels up and down the coast, the Nobel committee should take the Nobel Prize back, " Trump recently told members of his Westchester, New York, country club according to the New York Post.
"It's 12 straight days in the [New York] Post right now," Rovell said. "Everyday since Nov. 29, there's been a Tiger Woods story. When does it end? We don't know. I'm not going to get into the details of this, but from a business standpoint - how about Donald Trump on 'Extra' yesterday?"
On May 15. Julie Chen, co-anchor of CBS' "The Early Show" glossed over a declaration from former Miss California co-executive director that the National Organization for Marriage is a hate group
After her resignation from her Miss California position, Moakler went on the show in an exclusive interview to discuss her departure. Donald Trump's announcement in a press conference on May 13 that Carrie Prejean would keep her title as Miss California led to her departure, and Moakler criticized Prejean in the interview.
"I think it's wrong to start screaming that you're being persecuted, then you go and align yourself with organizations like NOM, to me that are particularly, I consider them hate groups," said Moakler.
After briefly clarifying what "NOM" refers to (Moakler said, "The National Organization for Marriage."), Chen immediately moved on to a completely different question about Trump's response to her resignation.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer stated yesterday after pageant owner Donald Trump proclaimed Carrie Prejean would continue her reign as Miss California, that the controversy over her defense of marriage as one man and one woman "is a good jumping off point for a conversation about same-sex marriage, about hypocrisy."
Based on Brewer's softball interview with "celebrity gossip columnist" Perez Hilton, it's clear she does not want a conversation. She wants Prejean to apologize for her beliefs and to Hilton.
MSNBC anchor David Shuster continued his outspoken disdain for anyone that supports traditional marriage. Directly after Donald Trump announced Miss California Carrie Prejean could keep her title on May 12, Shuster asked "Can I vomit?"
In a typical rant, Shuster repeated his criticism of Prejean:
"Can I vomit right now? I mean, literally. Can I vomit?" Shuster said. "Doesn't this represent everything that is wrong with the superficial nature of these pageants? I mean, she talked about how women can make a difference in the world. She lied. She avoided taking personal responsibility. She blamed others whether it's Perez Hilton or the photographer."
During Trump's press conference Shuster commented on his Twitter page, "Prejean, who got cosmetic surgery before the pageant, just spoke of ‘how women can make a difference in the world.' Absolutely revolting."
At the top of Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: "Oops, she did it again. More semi-nude photos of Miss California surface. So will Donald Trump be forced to say, 'you're fired'?" Later, co-host Julie Chen teased the upcoming segment by exclaiming: "Well, up next, more semi-nude photos of Miss California leak onto the internet. So will Donald Trump end her reign today?"
Correspondent Bianca Solorzano reported on Trump’s awaited decision: "Even more semi-nude photos of Carrie Prejean surfaced overnight, adding fuel to a fire that's been building for days. The controversy kicked off when Prejean opposed gay marriage at the Miss USA pageant. In a radio interview, Prejean said the question tested her faith...But there were other temptations. Breast implants paid for by the pageant. And racy photos. Still, Prejean remains the poster girl for conservative causes." A clip was played of an TV ad from the National Organization for Marriage that featured Prejean.
Solorzano went on to explain: "Monday, the directors of the state pageant were clearly angry with Prejean." A clip was played of Miss California USA Co-executive Director Keith Lewis taking a shot at Prejean and the "conservative causes" she has been a part of: "Up until now, we have just been riding along pretty much a passenger on this runaway train. But as of today, that ends...Shame, shame, shame. Shame for taking this young woman and exploiting her to further your own agenda."