By JEREMY W. PETERS and BRIAN STELTER, The New York Times
Something predictable happens to the ratings of Donald J. Trumpâ€™s â€œCelebrity Apprenticeâ€ on NBC when he hints at running for president: They rise.
And when he talks about President Obamaâ€™s birth certificate, they really rise.
Proving cause and effect is impossible, of course. But the coincidence is not lost on Mr. Trump, a man who has erected a real estate and media empire on immodesty and indiscretion.
â€œDid you get the info I sent you?â€ Mr. Trump asked in a phone interview with The New York Times late last week. â€œI told the girls to send you the ratings.â€ He was referring to a 10-page packet of press releases with headlines like â€œDonald Trump Is Ratings Goldâ€ and news articles from Politico and CNN that described his strength in recent polls. A day later, he re-sent the clips.
Depending on your perspective, Mr. Trumpâ€™s growing visibility on television and in political news stories over the last few weeks represents the opening phase of a political campaign or the metastasis of a media spectacle. Mr. Trump, who says he is absolutely serious about a run for president, has appeared regularly on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC and in a wide variety of political blogs. Media outlets that had expected the Republican presidential ticket to take on a fuller shape by now have found themselves with a news void, and in the absence of other news-making characters, many of them are filling it with Mr. Trump.
To read more, visit: Â http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/business/media/03trump.html?_r=1&hp
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