Friday, July 24, 2015

I knew my 2011 Donald Trump story 'had legs'

In April 2011, I was the editor of AOL's Brentwood Patch on Los Angeles' ritzy Westside. The next month I was fired for alleged "racism."

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

In April 2011, Donald Trump's "birther" noises reminded me that he had been in my class at the University of Pennsylvania, when I was managing editor of the student newspaper.

I wanted to know more about this loud-mouthed vulgarian, so I looked for his photo in our Class of 1968 college yearbook. Unlike me (yearbook photo), he wasn't there.

I asked Trump about it in an opinion piece for Patch:
Dear Donald Trump: Where Is Your College Yearbook Photo? 
The bouffant reality star and real estate flipper questions the President. Here's a question for Trump.
Although the story was popular, it never got as big as I had hoped. And I got fired a few weeks later, so I was not inclined to promote the URL.

In October 2012, I resurrected the question on POCHO, my Ñews y Satire site, but never heard back from Don.

Flash forward.

Earlier this week, The Donald was bragging about his success at Penn's Wharton School, contrasting it with Senator John McCain's Annapolis performance. One smart reporter wanted to learn more about the nominee wannabe's college career.

Nancy Dillon, L.A. Bureau Chief for the N.Y. Daily News, found my old story and asked me for comments.  I made the headline on Tuesday:

Donald Trump's UPenn classmates have 'no memory of him,' doubt his claims of being top in class

Talk show hosts Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes of WGN in Chicago were next.

Here's audio of my 8-minute Wednesday segment in which I called Trump "an enigma wrapped inside an enchilada."

And last night (Thursday) I was on NBC/Universal's ACCESS HOLLYWOOD with the 1968-vintage Penn yearbook, (photo by STACY) looking, fruitlessly, for Donald.

Click here for my brief appearance on the July 23 episode. I start at 1:55.

What have I learned this week?
  • It's possible to be briefly famous in 2015 for NOT KNOWING SOMEONE in 1967-68
  • I was right about that story. And it outlasted Brentwood Patch.

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