New York Times

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  • Donald Trump was featured prominently in four major New York Times stories during the 1970s. “The first Trump to appear on the pages of the New York Times was, interestingly enough, a man listed among the wounded after an 1862 Civil War battle. […] Donald Trump (presumably no relation) made his first appearance 111 years later. Donald, then 26, appeared in a 1973 article with his father, Fred, discussing the latter's plans to move into the Manhattan real estate market. […] Donald Trump's next appearance in the Times, later that year, was less flattering. ‘Major Landlord Accused of Antiblack Bias in City,’ the headline read, detailing allegations that Trump's outer-borough properties violated the Fair Housing Act. […] In 1975, Trump made the news again. He was developing a mid-town hotel -- and was lamenting that it would not be ready in time for the upcoming Democratic National Convention. That remodel came under fire eventually from other developers, given the generous tax breaks Trump received for it. Trump's first standalone profile in the paper came in 1976. ‘He is tall, lean and blond,’ Judy Klemesrud wrote for the paper, ‘with dazzling white teeth, and he looks ever so much like Robert Redford.’” (Washington Post, July 30, 2015)
  • August, 2015: At a campaign event in South Carolina, Trump spent eight minutes reading excerpts from the New York Times to his crowd. “Theatricality is a staple of Donald J. Trump's campaign events. On Thursday, during a speech in Greenville, S.C., he deployed a new prop: a copy of The New York Times, from which he read, on and off, for about eight minutes - alternately praising and mocking a front-page article about him. When he was done, Mr. Trump dramatically flung the newspaper into the air, allowing it to slowly descend over the audience.” (New York Times, August 27, 2015)
  • January, 2016: A reporter from the New York Times was ejected from a campaign event in Iowa after the paper reported on poor organization in Trump’s Iowa field operations. “As Donald J. Trump visited a Pizza Ranch restaurant for a campaign event here on Friday, a New York Times reporter was ejected by Trump staff members and a local police officer. ‘It's a private event, you have to go,’ the officer said, even though about 20 other television and digital reporters continued to cover the event. A Trump campaign aide walking beside the officer said The Times was being excluded on orders from "Chuck and Stephanie,” an apparent reference to Mr. Trump's Iowa state director, Chuck Laudner, and his wife, Stephanie, also a staff member. On Wednesday, The Times published an article raising questions about the performance of Mr. Trump's field operation in Iowa, which is run by Mr. Laudner.” (New York Times, January 15, 2016)
  • The New York Times leaked information from an off-the-record discussion between Donald Trump and the paper’s editorial board in which Trump claimed that he might not honor his campaign pledge to carry out mass deportations of undocumented immigrants after winning the presidency. “A reader, Ken Fitzpatrick, read about what has been called a secret recording of Donald Trump's meeting in January with The Times editorial board. On that recording, an article by Buzzfeed's editor in chief Ben Smith suggests, Mr. Trump says that his extreme position on deporting immigrants is not anything he would necessarily carry out in real, postelection life, but rather might be a starting point for negotiation. […] The editorial board, an 18-member group that writes The Times's editorial positions, is a distinct entity from the reporters and editors in the newsroom. Often, the sessions are recorded so that the board members can refer to the conversations as they make their considerations. The endorsement interview with Mr. Trump on Jan. 5 was different for two reasons. One, it was attended by Dean Baquet, The Times's executive editor, who runs the newsroom staff. He is an occasional guest of the editorial board, he told me Tuesday. Two, it was partly on the record because that was Mr. Trump's preference. This made it fair game for news coverage. […] So that the news side could check that on-the-record information, Mr. Rosenthal sent a digital copy of the recording to a newsroom editor whom he declined to name, with the reminder that there had been an agreement to treat portions of it as off the record. […] Mr. Baquet told me that he didn't know who had spoken to Buzzfeed to describe the off-the-record portion of the session, and that he didn't intend to pursue it.” (New York Times, March 2, 2016)

Personal Connections to Influential Figures

  • 1989: Shirley Lord, the wife of former New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal, name-dropped Donald Trump as one of her personal friends during an interview. “Born British, and born poor, she's a native of London and lived for six years in Northern Ireland, where she was a city commissioner. She came to America in 1971, and she's now quite rich. Her current husband, whom she married two years ago this June, is A.M. ‘Abe’ Rosenthal, retired editor of the New York Times turned op-ed page columnist. Spy makes fun of him, too. Her name is Shirley Lord, and, as if all this weren't enough, she also writes novels - steamy novels of the Judith Krantz and Danielle Steele genre. […] She counts many important men as friends, mentioning several in an hour's conversation. Walter Cronkite, developer Donald Trump, Hollywood producer David Brown and magazine publisher Mortimer Zuckerman were among the glitterati who showed up for her recent book party at New York's Bloomingdale's.” (Chicago Tribune, March 30, 1989)
  • 2014: New York Times columnist Jim Rutenberg described Trump as "an uncle in your family who … somteimes embarrasses you at family functions, but you still love him." "I returned from lunch on Tuesday to find that my colleague Jim Rutenberg had dropped a curious object on my desk: a note that was written with a Sharpie right atop our Clay Aiken interview from the Sept. 28 issue and that was apparently signed by a seismograph. Once I read it, I understood why the signature didn't even flirt with legibility - it didn't have to. It was Donald Trump's. He was disappointed that Rutenberg had apparently failed to ask Aiken about his time on ‘The Apprentice’; he was also disappointed in Aiken for not doing more to steer an interview about his run for Congress in that direction. Condensing and editing an interview every week means making tough decisions about what to do with a small amount of real estate - something Trump can relate to. And so it was with ‘The Apprentice’ and Trump. Rutenberg asked Aiken about both, but the exchange was cut for space. (Aiken said he liked Trump, comparing him to ‘an uncle in your family who you don't always agree with and sometimes embarrasses you at family functions, but you still love him.’) Aiken was loyal, and Rutenberg did his homework; if this was truly an error of omission, it was my own." (New York Times, October 3, 2014)