Boycott This Blowhard

10.24.12

Donald Trump’s Latest Challenge to Obama Renders Him Irrelevant

It’s not us. It’s you. You’ve been annoying in the past. You’ve also been good copy. But your latest pitiful attempt to keep your name in headlines is one empty bid for attention too many. By Lloyd Grove.

It’s been fun, Donald. You’ve provided your share of colorful copy and driven more than your share of online traffic with your attention-getting antics and desperate PR stunts. In the spirit of taking responsibility, let’s acknowledge that we in the media have been your enablers.

Even today, we couldn’t help ourselves after you promised a “very big announcement” concerning President Obama, the subject of intense speculation about divorce papers and other gossipy detritus since you teased it on Monday’s Fox & Friends. We clicked on your Twitter feed at noon—only to discover that, once again, you had tricked us with another Trumpian exercise in self-promotion.

To be fair, we did enjoy your impression of Dr. Evil as you sat behind your very big desk and shouted into the camera, vowing to contribute “five mill-ion dol-lars!” to the charity of the president’s choice if he releases “to my satisfaction!” all of his college records and passport applications by, appropriately enough, Halloween at 5 p.m.

But all good (and, in this case, bad) things must come to an end. So, with…well, not regret, but an overpowering sense of relief…we at The Daily Beast offer our own announcement: effective immediately, in light of your latest foolish attempt at seeming important, we will ignore you and your hot air for the foreseeable future—or, at the very least, until after the Nov. 6 election. Every other media outlet, of course, will have to make its own determination, but, for the health of the body politic, we humbly urge them to do the same.

Let’s be clear, Donald, this isn’t personal. Despite—and probably because of—your endearingly naked hucksterism, we have always found you likable. Especially on slow news days, when you’ve hopped on the phone at a moment’s notice and given us the benefit of your, um, insights.

And, to give credit where it’s due, you’ve been a genius at transforming yourself (and your amazing hair!) into a powerful brand, while persuading real-estate developers to pay you a licensing fee for the privilege of slapping your name on their apartment buildings. And you’re a virtuoso at working the tabloid press, knowing just how to fashion a quotable soundbite and repeat it over and over and over until it lodges inside our collective reptilian brainpan.

Sure, we may be hacks, Donald. But we’re not just hacks. We are also citizens who, at long last, must look past our selfish interests to consider the welfare of the nation we love.

To give credit where it’s due, you’ve been a genius at transforming yourself (and your amazing hair!) into a powerful brand.

Let’s be honest, you haven’t done a lot to foster the wellbeing and progress of American democracy, especially over the past couple of years. You claimed to be serious about running for president yourself. You got us to believe you, never mind that your public-spiritedness proved to be bogus, given your laughable insistence that you were obligated to finish the Celebrity Apprentice season first. And then you launched your crazy (and apparently still ongoing) campaign of rampant birtherism, claiming to have dispatched private investigators to Hawaii to discredit Barack Obama’s legitimacy as president. Nothing came of that, either—except that Obama did finally release his long-form birth certificate, which you still refuse to accept at face value.

After the president roasted you to a burnt cinder at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, the night before greenlighting the Navy SEALs raid that terminated Osama bin Laden, you were damaged goods, politically speaking. Instead of taking the president's jokes with good grace, you fled the hotel ballroom in a huff and whined. Two weeks later, you announced your decision not to compete for Obama’s job.

That, in itself, should have disqualified you as a force in American politics. But then Mitt Romney chased and embraced your endorsement, showing up with his wife, Ann, at a Las Vegas casino to secure it, and consented to appear repeatedly with you at his high-dollar fundraisers. Yet predictably, Mitt moved on—and so did we.

We were frankly enjoying a lovely respite from Trumpsterism until today’s misbegotten and much-derided quest to re-insert yourself into the 2012 campaign. Even the ideological conservatives with whom you purportedly agree didn’t appreciate your efforts. Fire-breathing right-winger Michelle Malkin, for one, called you a “clown.” Because, at long last, you have made yourself irrelevant.