Trump tricks TV networks into covering promotional event at new hotel
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly duped the media into broadcasting an infomercial for his new hotel on the pretext of a “major announcement” to get more than 20 minutes of free air-time.world Updated: Sep 17, 2016 12:48 IST
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly duped the media into broadcasting an infomercial for his new hotel on the pretext of a “major announcement” to get more than 20 minutes of free air-time.
All major networks, including CNN, MSNBC and Fox, covered Trump’s event live from his newly inaugurated Trump International Hotel in Washington as pro-Trump military members spoke.
Ahead of the event, Trump had hyped over Fox News that he would be making a major announcement about the ‘birther’ controversy of US President Barack Obama.
Reporters waited for 20 minutes for Trump to speak on the birther controversy, but in vain. It was then that the news networks realised that they have been taken for a ride, again.
“We got played, again, by the Trump campaign, which is what they do,” CNN’s chief national correspondent John King said. “He got a live event broadcast for some 20 minutes.”
Trump is known for spending less on television advertisements, compared with his opponent Hillary Clinton.
Over the nearly half-an-hour coverage, Trump took the podium for just five minutes to make four short statements.
“Hillary Clinton in her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again,” he said.
“We all got rickrolled and played,” rued Jake Tapper of the CNN.
“It is insulting what he just did,” Congressman Gregory Meeks told the CNN.
“And he has done it time and time and time again, which tries to divide us as a nation. It’s like he thinks that it’s a game, you’re playing a TV show,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign prevented editorial access to his tour of the hotel. In protest, television reporters erased the video of his hotel tour.
The Washington Post slammed news channels for showing this event live.
“While they waited, and waited, Trump provided what amounted to a campaign infomercial and shamelessly promoted his new Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington,” the daily said.
“This is a campaign and a candidate that completely understands how the press works — or doesn’t work — and exploits the blatant weaknesses of political journalism,” said Dan Gillmor, a media scholar at Arizona State University.
On Twitter, he called this episode “universal sewer dwelling” for cable news.