Trump vs. Times

Donald Trump is not backing down. He has a letter in the April 7 New York Times responding to Gail Collins’s recent attack on him over the birth issue. The letter is very good. Trump replies to the main lies of the anti-birthers. First, he explains the difference (which everyone in the mainstream media either doesn’t know or affects not to know) between the totally meaningless certificate of live birth which the Obama campaign displayed in 2008 and an actual birth certificate. (Actually, the document shown by the Obama campaign in 2008 was a certification of life birth; see explanation of this tricky terminological issue.) Second, he points out that the newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth in August 1961 could have been placed by his grandparents. To see these basic facts and arguments on the birth issue, which the mainstream media have totally suppressed, appearing in the New York Times is an unusual experience indeed. We have Trump to thank for this.

As for Collins, a former Times editorial page editor, she is a talentless, perpetually hysterical hack. But I have to say that her April 1 column, “Donald Trump Gets Weirder,” which concerns the Trump phenomenon as a whole and deals only very briefly with the birth issue, is pretty funny.

Trump’s letter and Collins’s column are reproduced below.

Donald Trump Responds

To the Editor:

Re “Donald Trump Gets Weirder,” by Gail Collins (column, April 2):

Even before Gail Collins was with the New York Times, she has written nasty and derogatory articles about me. Actually, I have great respect for Ms. Collins in that she has survived so long with so little talent. Her storytelling ability and word usage (coming from me, who has written many bestsellers), is not at a very high level. More importantly, her facts are wrong!

As far as her comments on the so-called “birther” issue, I don’t need Ms. Collins’s advice. There is a very large segment of our society who believe that Barack Obama, indeed, was not born in the United States. His grandmother from Kenya stated, on tape, that he was born in Kenya and she was there to watch the birth. His family in Honolulu is fighting over which hospital in Hawaii he was born in-they just don’t know.

He has not been able to produce a “birth certificate” but merely a totally unsigned “certificate of live birth”-which is totally different and of very little significance. Unlike a birth certificate, a certificate of live birth is very easy to obtain. Equally of importance, there are no records in Hawaii that a Barack Hussein Obama was born there-no bills, no doctors names, no nurses names, no registrations, no payments, etc. As far as the two notices placed in newspapers, many things could have happened, but some feel the grandparents put an ad in order to show that he was a citizen of the U.S. with all of the benefits thereto. Everybody, after all, and especially then, wanted to be a United States citizen.

The term used by Ms. Collins-“birther”-is very derogatory and is meant in a derogatory way. Had this been George Bush or almost any other President or Presidential aspirant, they would never have been allowed to attain office, or would have been thrown out of office very quickly.

For some reason, the press protects President Obama beyond anything or anyone I have ever seen. What they don’t realize is that if he was not born in the United States, they would have uncovered the greatest “scam” in the history of our country. In other words, they would become the hottest writer since Watergate, or beyond.

Open your eyes, Gail, there’s at least a good chance that Barack Hussein Obama has made mincemeat out of our great and cherished Constitution!

New York, April 7, 2011

Here is Collins’s op-ed piece:

April 1, 2011
Donald Trump Gets Weirder

Donald Trump has run faux campaigns for president before, flirting with the Democrats and independents. This time, he’s playing a conservative Republican. By 2016, he’ll probably be talking about his affinity for the Alaskan Independence Party or the Whigs.

And, of course, he’s suddenly a birther. “This guy either has a birth certificate or he doesn’t,” he said of President Obama. “I didn’t think this was such a big deal, but, I will tell you, it’s turning out to be a very big deal because people now are calling me from all over saying: please don’t give up on this issue.”

It was a perfect vocalization of the New York Street: People are calling me up! Don’t believe everything you hear, unless it comes over the phone.

In a potential Republican field that includes Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, it’s hard to come up with a line of attack loopy enough to stand out from the pack. But darned if Trump didn’t manage to find one.

“If he wasn’t born in this country, it’s one of the greatest scams of all time,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly, who demurred: “I don’t think that’s the case.”

Vote for Donald Trump, the man who can make Bill O’Reilly look like the most sensible guy in the room.

Trump’s main argument for why he should be taken seriously as a presidential contender is his business success. Has Obama ever hosted a long-running reality series? Owned a bankruptcy-bound chain of casinos? Put his name on a flock of really unattractive high-rise apartment buildings? No!

“By now my name is big enough and equated with the gold standard to the extent that I don’t have to say too much about it,” wrote Trump in one of his books, before going on to say a lot more about it. He is extremely sensitive to any gibes about his business record, which has been up and down over the years.

During one down period, I referred to him in print as a “financially embattled thousandaire” and he sent me a copy of the column with my picture circled and “The Face of a Dog!” written over it.

Trump was one of the first people I interviewed when I came to New York as a reporter back in the ’80s when he was a developer-wunderkind who had started in the business with nothing but a smile, a dream and his father’s large holdings in real estate.

He’s still promoting, 24/7. Some people believe that his presidential flirtations are an attempt to draw viewers to his TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” In it, people who are alleged to be famous compete for money for their favorite charities and what one former contestant revealed was a salary of $16,000 apiece. That isn’t much for network TV work, but since one of this year’s celebrities, disgraced former steroid-using baseball player Jose Canseco, recently tried to make a $5,000 fee by sending his brother to impersonate him in an exhibition boxing match, you have to figure it comes in handy.

“Celebrity Apprentice” is widely regarded as terrible and cheesy programming, but, actually, it has its moments. I recently saw an episode in which a former top model had a serious discussion with a fellow competitor about whether this was the 20th century or the 21st. You can’t get stuff like that on “Mad Men.”

The series is a perfect reflection of Trump himself: an orgy of product-placement and personal aggrandizement. All the contestants, including the ones in their 70s, have to refer to their host as “Mr. Trump.” They all somberly devote themselves to making faux commercials about whatever enterprise has coughed up cash for a major mention that week. Then it’s off to the boardroom where people talk ceaselessly about their performance in order to stretch the whole enterprise into a low-cost, two-hour show.

When you think about it, “Celebrity Apprentice” has a lot in common with the current Republican presidential campaign. Endless blathering. Strange contenders who did something vaguely notable in 1986. And Donald Trump, looking extremely cheerful.

Beyond having the moral fortitude to tell Dionne Warwick she is fired, Trump’s qualifications for being president of the United States include having co-written a large number of books, including “Think Big and Kick Ass” (“People always ask me: ‘How did you get so rich?’ “) and “Never Give Up.” (“This book is about a subject near and dear to my heart—never giving up.”)

To establish his birther creds, this week Trump produced his own birth certificate, after one failed attempt in which he came up with a document that was too weak to qualify for a passport. By the time he worked things out, we had an entire news cycle devoted to Donald Trump having been born in New York.

Now, let’s try asking to see his tax returns….

- end of initial entry -

Kristor writes:

My wife showed me this interview last night. It made me think that there may be a lot more to Trump than the low-glam ham image he has projected in the media for the last 30 years. He is a very smart guy, and he is completely impervious to the impulse, so prevalent among politicians, to ingratiate himself with his interlocutor (the interviewer, Meredith Viera, seems barely able to catch her breath at what Trump is saying—but, at the end, she seems rather to like what has happened to her). He is just as plainly spoken and ballsy as Chris Christie, but I think he may be smarter. He does not seem the least bit ideological; rather, he seems informed by his rather profound knowledge of how things work in the real world, economically, and by sheer common sense. He is willing to say outrageously un-PC things, as if they were mere unobjectionable common sense, publicly and without equivocation or use of code. He does this calmly and straightforwardly, without stridency or shame. He is not the least bit afraid; perhaps because he neither needs nor really wants the presidency. As with Christie, to hear this sort of honest confrontation with reality from a public figure is like taking a shower. So refreshing.

My wife has been thinking about how a Trump/Ryan ticket would work. Both Trump and Ryan each have more candlepower than Obama and Biden put together. They would demolish their Democratic adversaries in debate—wipe the floor with them. And they would come off as more human and likeable and sensible, too.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 09, 2011 03:09 PM | Send

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