The latest chapter in the love-hate relationship that has developed between presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and the media (he loves to hate them) involves twenty-five year old audio tapes. Trump allegedly posed as his own publicist, calling himself John Miller, and conducted a phone interview with People magazine.
The world of publicists and public relations is often seen as being a bit dodgy at the best of times. These folks are often referred to as flacks or flaks, depending on which origin you believe: on the one hand it is
These tapes have come to light, some even claim Trump himself leaked them to stoke the media feeding frenzy, and have been played countless times. Some say it is him, but he denies it outright. Trump’s detractors have been all over this as evidence of his untrustworthy side. Very un-presidential to string along a journalist.
I’m certainly not a Trump supporter, but I find this latest example of how Americans love to nitpick to the nth degree those who run for office, to be a little over the top.
There is an ad running on most networks, the company name escapes me – the sign of a bad ad – in which a guy is trying to start up a business in his garage. He answers the phone then ‘transfers’ the call to the sales department. Of course it is him posing as the sales department to create the impression of a larger company. We are supposed to admire this bit of harmless skulduggery all in the name of entrepreneurship. It shows ingenuity, chutzpah, determination.
This is not an original concept, people have been ‘letting on’ or misleading others in the early stages of company development since commerce began. Usually it is seen as hustling; an admirable trait. So why is it that Trump’s attempt to be his own publicist under an assumed name is being met with disdain? There is no shortage of egregious statements and actions in his past more suitable to outrage. But the logic behind this one eludes me. Big deal.