The Return Of Donald Trump

By Alex Weprin Comment

Reality TV host Donald Trump pretends he is going to run for President every four years.

It is something he has done since the 2000 election, when he mused running as a third-party candidate, and it came up again in 2004, 2008 and 2012. He generates a lot of publicity for himself and his projects, but, every time, he never actually follows through.

Now, it looks as though he is preparing to do it again. Trump appeared on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, where he fanned the hypothetical flames once more (watch the interview here).

As we noted late last year, there is no correlation between Trump appearing on a program and that program having higher ratings. Trump says there is, but there is no solid evidence to back that up. We also noted that the biggest booster of trump remains NBC, which still airs “Celebrity Apprentice” (no, it isn’t canceled). To its credit, CNBC does appear to have stopped its “Trump Tuesday” segments featuring the TV host, though “Fox & Friends” still has him on most Mondays.

Politico’s Dylan Byers talks to a number of prominent TV news figures about Trump, asking why he is able to garner so much attention from political journalists and pundits, despite his history.

“Trump correctly has surmised that political reporters in general are easy marks and he probably can’t believe how easy it is to find folks willing to cover his antics,” Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director and chief White House correspondent, told POLITICO. “I am generalizing, but [he] is always able to find just enough political reporters who have editors who think, ‘We know he is not serious but his outrageousness will mean more clicks!’”

“Donald is tempted to run for president, he genuinely is tempted. At the same time, he loves to play us in the media, and he knows that we’ll take the bait,” Greta Van Susteren, the Fox News host, told POLITICO. “I don’t think he’ll run, but I stopped making those kinds of predictions a long time ago.”