TV network honchos hoping they’ve bought the buzziest new drama concepts for next season may have suffered a shock this morning when reality once again outran new-series development. The airwaves and internet were flooded with a Washington Post report about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump that just screamed a 12 L+7 rating: Orange Is The New Publicist: The Man Who Called Too Much.
In 1990, Trump testified in a court case, in re John Miller, that “I believe on occasion I used that name.” Trump did not respond to WaPo’s request for comment. The newspaper spoke to New York reporters and editors who covered Trump’s early career, who said they sometimes wound up speaking to a “John Miller” or “John Barron,” both of whom sounded just like Trump, said the journalists. Some of them thought Trump was being playful, WaPo reported. Some said what stood out most was the PR exec describing women he portrayed as drawn to Trump sexually. In the call to People, Miller said actresses called to see if they could go out with him, Madonna wanted to go out with him and, while living with Maples, Trump had “three other girlfriends,” Miller said.
Meanwhile, “John Barron,” described as a “vice-president of the Trump organization,” appeared in a front-page New York Times article as early as 1980, and also appeared in print in New York magazine, The Washington Post and other publications, and also sounded stunningly like Trump himself, the report added.
“Frankly quite silly,” RNC communications director Sean Spicer this morning called the kerfuffle, while Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord asked CNN, rhetorically, “Do you really think somebody cares about this?” Given the number of TV and online news outlets feasting on this story this morning, the answer would be an emphatic “Yes.”
Lord insisted the ruse would be no different, from voters’ point of view, than when reporters “lie” by identifying politicians with whom they’ve spoken only as a “knowledgeable source” because they have agreed not to reveal the identity.
In a phone interview this morning with NBC’s Today (which played portions of the recording) Trump said, “No, I don’t think it — I don’t know anything about it. You’re telling me about it for the first time and it doesn’t sound like my voice at all,” he said.
“I have many, many people that are trying to imitate my voice and then you can imagine that, and this sounds like one of the scams, one of the many scams.”
“It was not me on the phone… it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone. And when was this? Twenty-five years ago,” said Trump – or someone who sounded a lot like him on the phone.