Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This is almost a week old, but Lee Siegel's Trump-busting article in The New Republic is ferociously written and fun to read:

Trump, NBC's financial guru, has the Midas touch in reverse--born with a golden checkbook in his mouth, nearly everything he touches turns to shit. In the late '90s, having built his "fortune" on massive borrowing, Trump declared bankruptcy four times in two years. His eyesore buildings are routinely criticized for their shoddy construction. In the last few years, he's made most of his money advising people on how to spend theirs. In New York financial circles, Trump is a joke. His fecklessness in business hasn't helped his character much, either. For years, he tried to drive tenants out of a building whose site he wanted to develop by harassing them in various ways, until the courts reined him in. The real Trump is not charmingly rueful when he is displeased: He fires at random, screams, barks, curses, humiliates. O'Donnell quotes Trump making this good, old-fashioned, transparent critique of some of his top employees: "You're all jerkoffs. I've never had so much incompetent shit working for me. First of all, you hired scum. I got scum working for me here. ... Walt was in charge, and he hired scum. Walt was stupid." His attitudes toward women are crude. He doesn't like to be physically touched: walking with his then-wife Ivana through one of his casinos after an elderly customer had touched Ivana's dress, Trump exploded in public: "I told you a hundred times, don't talk to these people. Why do you let these people touch you. Forget them." He is a schoolyard bully. He is a coward. He is a creep. His hair isn't funny any more.

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