THE BLOG
23/02/2016 07:08 GMT | Updated 22/02/2017 05:12 GMT

Donald Trump: Knowing the Art of Hyperbole

Those who know me, or have read my work before, will know that I can often be outspoken when required. The inclination to speak up, I've often found, stems from a varied range of emotions that largely stop and start at my beliefs on egalitarianism. Frankly, in the year 2016, if we can't speak to one another without considering their race, sex or other socially unimportant features, we need to knock our heads together.

But, for me at least, it is not the severity of the outrage which controls the severity of my outburst - that relies solely on two components: shock value and hypocrisy.

I've been a journalist for a fair amount of time and, as anyone who has ever graced the news desk will know: journalists hate shock jocks and hypocrites. Why? Because everything thinks we love them and, the truth is, we don't. Most reporters, in watching someone make a colossal moron of themselves, will be furious that this obvious PR stunt will detract from actual, genuine news. Successful PRs and lobbyists might well believe they can influence the news at their very whim - but their ignorance is laid bare when they boast of such feats in one breath while begging a stubborn journo for better coverage with the next.

So, as you can imagine, every journalist in Britain is begging for the day that Donald Trump will be ruled out of the presidential race and resigns to narcissistically self-titular skyscraper to live out the rest of his unashamed days. After calling for a ban for Muslims entering the country and full surveillance on American mosques, the eccentric is unlikely to be a contender.

A segment of his book was recently highlighted in my social media feeds that stuck in my mind. It was an excerpt of the Republican candidate's 1987 book in which he unveiled the media strategy that helped build his $10 billion empire. Released just 17 years after coming to prominence (for racial profiling, no less) Trump's book, The Art of the Deal, came on the back of a turbulent decade in the casino trade, in which the young Trump went bankrupt. Despite a staggering 75,000 people attending the opening night of Trump's $1bn Taj Mahal casino in April 1990, in just over a year he was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The particular quote that caught my eye read: "One thing I've learned about the press is that they're always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better." Revolutionary, Donald. His arrogance here is clearly summed up in the assumption that down-right bigotry is only newsworthy when it comes from his mouth. "The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you."

He adds: "I'm not saying that they necessarily like me. Sometimes they write positively, and sometimes they write negatively. But from a pure business point of view, the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks.. that's why a little hyperbole never hurts".

While reading, it is difficult to forget the words of Herman Goering at the Nuremberg Trials, where he was quoted on the fascists' ability to bend the will of the people. He said: "Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Trump's dangerous advice, written in a best-selling book in 1987, just a few years just before reality television and the fame-accessibility boom, could not have possibly left society entirely uninflected. In recent years, we have seen dozens of fame-hungry, outspoken try to reach the top of VIP lists with equally dangerous and threatening rhetoric aimed at raising their own profile.

Such media strategies have benefited such great British institutions such as Samantha Brick, Josie Cunningham, Katie Hopkins, and now the second favourite candidate to be the president of the United States of America.

While other ridicules might include the overly boastful claims of business success, his continual need to lie, and the, rather ugly, truth about his casino dealings in Atlantic City, I feel this ingenious PR strategy might finally be his undoing - for that's all this man is, a walking, breathing PR strategy.