The May/June issue of Politico magazine has a fun set of pieces about Donald Trump. One, by Campbell Brown, examines the culpability of cable news channels in building up the Trump celebrity brand. Another, by Page Six and Newsday vet Susan Mulcahy, looks back at what it was like to cover Trump in the 1980s.
An interesting bit of hindsight from Mulcahy involves Trump’s dealings with a huge piece of Manhattan real estate. She writes that the events now feel like a telling prelude to The Donald’s political bickering:
Lincoln West was the largest piece of undeveloped land in Manhattan when Trump took it over in the mid-1980s. The property, which stretched from 59th to 72nd streets, for a time had been known as Television City, when it looked as though NBC would be the anchor tenant in an enormous new complex. To entice the TV network, which had been making rumblings about moving from Rockefeller Center to New Jersey, Trump needed to offer below-market rents, and for that he required tax abatements. He didn’t get them.
Trump and Mayor Ed Koch engaged in a public shouting match that offered a preview of the Trump now running for president. Calling Koch a “moron” and “a horrible manager,” Trump said the mayor should resign. Koch countered by labeling Trump “greedy, greedy, greedy” and saying that if Trump was “squealing like a stuck pig, I must have done something right.”
Mulcahy also recalls how Trump stonewalled her and Richard Johnson about the Lincoln West deal during a face-to-face encounter one day, promising to give the Post the scoop but spoon-feeding it instead to the New York Times. In the late 1980s, Trump was on the front page of the Post eight days in a row thanks to Marla Maples. Politico has a fun gallery of Post-Trump covers through the years, cheekily headlined “Shameless Mogul Found in Breathless Tabs!“