How The Networks Handled Trump’s Publicity Stunt

By Alex Weprin Comment

Reality TV host Donald Trump launched a new publicity stunt Wednesday in which he said he would give $5 million to a charity of President Obama’s choice, so long as the President releases his school and Passport records “To Mr Trump’s satisfaction.”

Trump appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” and FNC’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” to talk about his ridiculous offer. Obama himself responded on “The Tonight Show” (see below).

Morgan had to begin his interview with a disclaimer, noting that he considers Trump a friend and adding “I’ve known Donald Trump since I won the first season of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ and appear on the show sporadically.” He asked Trump if the offer was a publicity stunt. “Don’t be ridiculous, this isn’t a publicity stunt, it is a very serious offer,” Trump replied.

Well that settles that. In fairness, Morgan would press Trump a bit on the issue, though the reality host never strayed from his talking points.

An hour later Van Susteren spoke to Trump by phone. After letting him go on about his stunt, she pressed him on the “birther issue,” resulting in him saying to her “I’m really surprised by you, you don’t know anything.”

The other big “get” last night was NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” which had President Obama on as a guest. Obama joked about Trump’s offer: “This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.”

Elsewhere, FNC’s Sean Hannity thought Trump’s offer was sincere and obviously a great idea, while MSNBC’s Ed Schultz trashed it. Shocker.

Arguably the best response to Trump’s publicity stunt came from Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report”