Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Donald Trump gave what he said was his originial official birth certificate to Newsmax yesterday -- but it turns out that the document he released wasn't the government-issued certificate, it was merely a certificate generated by the hospital where he was born.

Politico's Ben Smith engaged in some uncharacteristic snark:

... an actual birth certificate, which is issued by the Department of Health, would have the agency's seal and also a signature of the city registrar -- neither of which the Trump document has. Officials said the city Health Department is the "sole issuing authority" of official birth certificates in New York, and that the document would clearly say so, and "city officials said it's not an official document."

... Trump's mother, it should be noted, was born in Scotland, which is not part of the United States. His plane is registered in the Bahamas, also a foreign country. This fact pattern -- along with the wave of new questions surrounding what he claims is a birth certificate -- raises serious doubts about his eligibility to serve as President of the United States.

John Cole was more succinct: "So much fail," he wrote.

But, while we don't know the specific impact of this incident, I gather that Trump's overall birther stunt is working like a charm:

.. NBC earned some bragging rights: The Celebrity Apprentice delivered a season-high rating among adults 18-49 (3.0/8) and total viewers (8.5 million) and is up versus the same night last year by 7 percent.

That was from a report on Sunday's TV ratings.

I've said that I think Trump thinks he would be an excellent president -- I assume he thinks he would be excellent at pretty much anything he did -- but I agree with Salon's Steve Kornacki that Trump won't really run, and is merely promoting his TV show and himself. (Kornacki's bet readers that Trump won't run, and he's documented similar Trump is-he-running? scams in 2000 and 1998.)

It's disheartening that being a conspiracy nut actually enhances your TV ratings in America. But, well, that's a metaphor for how American politics works in general, isn't it? Say or do something that's outrageous in a right-wing way, and the wingnut masses will rally to you, while most of the rest of the country either pays no attention or just shrugs. (A tiny minority of us angry lefties will get, er, angry.) That's how right-wing pols get away with a lot of stuff, isn't it?


And, of course, it's been reported, accurately or otherwise, that the most popular shows on TV tend to be the favorite shows of Republican viewers, and that Republican viewers like reality shows somewhat more than Democrats do. Trump may be taking those conclusions (from a 2009 study conducted by Experian) very seriously.

No comments: