Time for the world's political media to go cold turkey on its Donald Trump addiction
As Donald Trump suckers media into covering his political announcements yet again -- first with hints he might support GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, then with rumors the endorsement will instead go to primary front runner Mitt Romney, instead -- this time has come to sit down with media outlets like the families who confront wayward addicts on A&E's Intervention.
It is time for the news media to cold turkey on Donald Trump.
The biggest reason is the simplest. His pronouncements often come while his TV show, NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, is airing or about to air. The show's latest edition returns in less than two weeks, on Feb. 19, providing serious motivation for Trump to start speaking up about politics to raise his profile in anticipation of the series' debut.
The last time he offered sustained interviews on the subject, you may remember, was the last time the show was on the air, as Trump insisted he had investigators in Hawaii digging up amazing revelations about President Obama's birth history. CNN sent a reporter to the islands, saw no Trump investigators and proved for the umpteenth time that Obama was an American citizen.
Frankly, that should have been the end of media outlets asking Trump anything beyond who he might fire next on The Apprentice. But we are still presented with footage of a swaggering Trump advocating tariffs on goods from China and setting up a press conference in Las Vegas at 3:30 today.
At least the Christian Science Monitor had the good sense to ask whether a Trump endorsement wouldn't be worse than not getting one, noting that more Republicans say they wouldn't vote for a nominee he recommends. The Democratic National Committee already has a rebuttal ad out, noting that Romney and Trump both seem to like firing people.
It's a tough blow for Gingrich if the latest rumors are true that Romney has Trump's endorsement.
Gingrich was one of only a few GOP candidates who agreed to the debate Trump tried to moderate in late December, and the tea party faithful who remain wary of Romney have embraced Gingrich more readily.
I remain hopeful someone in Las Vegas will ask -- and keep asking -- why anyone should place any value in the endorsement of a guy who was bluffing about Obama's birth status.
But what we all really should be doing is ignoring him completely. For an egomaniac with a TV series to promote and a habit of playing the news media like a well-tuned violin, its the only punishment which fits this particular crime.