You’re Hired! How NBC Spent 11 Years Making Trump a Household Name, Building Foundation for His Campaign

Network Gave Billionaire Businessman 21 Times More Positive Coverage When They Were Partners

NBC Hypes Trump's Businesses and His Success

Instead of giving its reality star balanced coverage, NBC presented The Donald as a larger-than-life businessman and often touted his success.

Today devoted an entire segment on May 29, 2005, to Trump’s golf course Trump National in Westchester, New York. Then Weekend Today anchor Campbell Brown gave Trump a glowing introduction, and described his golf courses as “phenomenal.”

“His name is synonymous with living large … He’s conquered New York real estate, taken television by storm … he’s the dean of his own university, and he’s even a big-time player in the world of golf,” Brown reported.

After the report, Brown commented to her co-anchor Lester Holt that “the people who who are regular golfers say that his courses, not just here in New York, but all over the place are fantastic!”

Today also complimented Trump’s business acumen in a Feb. 4, 2010, story on building brands. The segment featured Trump, Martha Stewart, and Sean “Diddy” Combs as the ideals. Ironically, Trump and Stewart’s brands were both tarnished after her Apprentice spin-off on NBC tanked in 2005.

Nevertheless, Vieira described Trump as an “expert” who “put his name on everything he builds and stars in his own reality show.” After Today played a clip from The Apprentice, Vieira said the result of Trump’s branding strategy was that he became “world famous.”