Much to our relief, it is very hard for public figures to win defamation suits against journalists, though that didn’t stop Donald Trump from trying one against Times reporter Timothy O’Brien for estimating Trump’s wealth lower than Trump himself has publicized. The alleged lowball — between $150 million and $250 million, which conflicts with Trump’s claim of $4 billion — occurred in O’Brien’s book, Trump Nation: The Art of Being the Donald, sales of which are estimated at 17,000 copies. Trumps lawyers wanted O’Brien’s sources, but the reporter claimed a journalist’s privilege. The court threw the case out. “It tells you how unfair the libel laws are,” says Trump. Thank God!
The week wasn’t a total loss for The Donald: a former winner on his reality show The Apprentice, Randal Pinkett, is reportedly on Jon Corzine’s short list of New Jersey Lieutenant Governor nominees for the next election. Trump says Pinkett would do “fantastically” in the role. Photo (cc) flasporty.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 16, 2009