You’re Hired! How NBC Spent 11 Years Making Trump a Household Name, Building Foundation for His Campaign
Table of Contents:
- You’re Hired! How NBC Spent 11 Years Making Trump a Household Name, Building Foundation for His Campaign
- NBC Venerates Trump, Dubs Him ‘King of the Universe’
- NBC Hypes Trump’s Businesses and His Success
- Today Becomes a Megaphone for The Apprentice and Miss USA
- NBC Severely Under-Reports Trump’s Business Failures
- NBC’s Relationship with Trump Fraught with Ethical Shortcomings
- Billy Bush Goes Voting with the ‘Next President of the United States Donald Trump’
- Methodology and Recommendations
NBC Severely Under-Reports Trump's Business Failures
NBC maintained Trump’s legendary public image by severely underreporting his embarrassing flops, and giving his business or his success 21 times more coverage than his failures.
While the network reported 320 stories favorable toward Trump or his empire, they only reported 15 stories on his failures. NBC reported on Trump’s pitfalls with Trump University, Atlantic City casinos, and lawsuits filed by his condo buyers, but neglected several other stories that would have blemished his image as a successful businessman.
Specifically, NBC news did not report on Trump Mortgage, GoTrump.com, Trump Vodka, Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine, or Trump Network within the 2004-2015 timeframe.
Many of Trump’s ventures failed to last longer than a few years, but you wouldn’t have heard that watching NBC. And while the network detailed allegations of scamming against Trump University, it didn’t even mention Trump Network.
Trump Network, which the Fiscal Times said “operated like a pyramid scheme,” proved to be a great case study in Trump’s questionable business acumen. In 2009, Trump partnered with Ideal Health, a vitamin business that had a history of shocking consumer complaints.
The company formulated a vitamin regimen for customers after taking a sample of their urine. A Harvard expert on supplements reportedly said of the practice, "All of this is hocus pocus, and none of this is based on actual science." The business was sold to another company within a few years of starting.
In what resembled a cheesy late-night infomercial, Trump presented the business as a way to “opt out of the recession.”
“The economic meltdown, greed, and ineptitude in the financial industry have sabotaged the dreams of millions of people,” Trump yelled at the camera while waving his hands.
Ironically, Trump may have had a role in the scandal of that time. According to The Washington Post, Trump Mortgage reached out to people seeking sub-prime loans. And right before Trump started his mortgage company (Trump Mortgage) in 2006, he reportedly downplayed concerns about investing in the housing bubble.
In September of 2005, Trump published a blog post on the website of his now-defunct Trump University, a school geared toward people hoping to work in real estate.
In the post titled, “The Housing Bubble: Doom and Gloom Don’t Pay,” Trump asked, “Are you the type of person who takes advantage of positive situations when they present themselves, riding them out as long as they last? Or do you heed every message of doom and gloom, avoiding risks that could be some remarkable opportunities?”
In 2006, Trump told CNBC that “the real estate market is going to be very strong for a long time to come.” But his mortgage company closed in 2007, the same year the housing market collapsed. Nevertheless, Trump bragged to MSNBC in July 2015 that he knew the housing market “was a bubble that was waiting to explode.”
In response to Rosie O’Donnell attacking his business record in 2007, Trump did what he does best — he attacked Rosie for failing at the magazine business. This would prove to be an awkward moment for The Donald, considering that his own magazine folded only two years after it started. That fact eluded NBC.
And that was only one of Donald Trump’s many demonstrable failures since the 1980s: Trump Vodka, Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump Ice, New Jersey Generals, Trump: The Game, Trump’s four bankruptcies, his failed libel suit and his promotion of American Communications Network.