New York Magazine from September 4, 1989
This is officially our first major post about Donald Trump. It took us a long time, I know. After all, for far too many Americans, Donald Trump is the "real deal" these days. If you read the comments on articles about Trump, it is more than obvious that he already developed a real "cult-following" among right-wingers, and one has to wonder where this will all end. He is the new Sarah Palin, just louder, richer, and without the irritating speech impediments.
Donald Trump also has a rich history. This now comes to light again where suddenly an "old" documentary about Donald Trump is being "re-published", which is called "Trump: What's the deal?"
However, the documentary has actually never been published in the first place, as Donald Trump threatened absolutely everyone involved back then. This was enough to suppress the film, although no lawsuits were filed back then.
Huffington Post has the best article about it:
Our story starts in 1988, in the decade of greed.
Leonard Stern, a New York pet food mogul and real estate developer, decided to finance a series of documentaries about celebrity businessmen. He did a smart thing --for the first documentary, he chose Donald Trump, who was then riding his bestselling book "The Art of the Deal" and beloved by the media.
I was called in to write the piece after the filmmakers shot the footage. It was easy work, because they had remarkable stuff: Donald working with the mob in Atlantic City, intimidating tenants, hiring illegal immigrant labor, verbally assaulting his family and underlings, trying to move a Florida airport because jets flew directly over his home... the list goes on and on.
Perhaps most interesting from a political point of view, the filmmakers revealed Trump to be the opposite of a small-government conservative. He got his start with his father's money and political connections, and he made money the same way his father did: on the backs of taxpayers.
But most upsetting to Trump was the film's revelation that he hadn't made as much money as he said he had. The producers were among the first to show that his financial empire was built on braggadocio... as recent reports show it to be to this day.
The revelations about Donald never seemed to end. There was so much for the filmmakers to learn about Trump --- his exaggerations, distortions, near-criminal behavior and, most of all, his deepening financial disaster --- that the documentary was three years in the making.
"Trump: What's the Deal?" was never shown on television. Donald Trump went after Leonard Stern --- in a big way. Lawyer's letters. Threats of lawsuits. Personal attacks.
Stern decided he didn't need the trouble and canceled the series. The producers finished the film. But no broadcaster would touch it. Trump had done his work.
Now a new website went up, where the full documentary can be viewed for free.
This website, and also a new facebook page about the documentary provides even more background details:
This film was suppressed 25 years ago.
July 2015 and Trump is running for president....So it's time this exclusive content comes out for the first time.
Why was the film never distributed before now?
The film was commissioned in 1988 by Leonard Stern as the first of a series on celebrity businessmen and finished in 1991. Back then, the only way for a film to be seen was on television or in the theater. Donald threatened to sue any broadcaster or distributor that took on the film. In effect, it was suppressed. It was screened twice in back-to-back standing room only showings at the Bridgehampton Community House on July 3, 1991, the same day that Donald announced his engagement Marla Maples.
Why it's important and why we should care now.
Now that Trump is running for president, it is time for the American People to meet the real Donald and learn how he does business. The old Trump and the new Trump?
They're the same Trump.
A context about the 80's and the beginning of the "me generation" of billionaires.
The 80s was the first modern "decade of greed". Donald Trump was the most visible of a handful of businessmen who became celebrities, a trend that has continued to this day.
What's happened with Trump since?
Since the completion of the film, Trump’s Atlantic City Empire is gone --- sunk into bankruptcy, and he is best known as the star of "The Apprentice," for building golf courses and slapping his name on buildings that others build and acting a superstar real estate agent. Oh, and he is still trying to move the Palm Beach airport.
Well, what happens to him right now is that he has a real chance to win the Republican nomination.
Many from the Republican base, people who have been brainwashed by Fox News for many years (as can be seen in the classic documentary "Outfoxed"), now view Donald Trump as their hero and savior. This is almost unbelievable, and it is also very dangerous. If being a disgusting loudmouth is enough these days to win the hearts and minds of these people, then virtually anyone could win the Republican nomination, however outrageous this person might be.
Therefore this documentary needs to be seen, and needs to be spread far and wide.
The documentary can watched for example on the new website for the film, but I also embedded it for easier viewing:
The direct link to the video can be found here.
On the website about the film, old newspapers old articles about the documentary have also been published.
Let's hope that this documentary will get a lot of attention.
Please share this post in order to spread the word.
Please share this post in order to spread the word.
It's time to show the world the real Donald Trump.