“He was born without the gene for shame.”
So said Linda Stasi, reporter at the tabloid New York Daily News.
It was October, 1993, and Donald Trump’s mistress, Marla Maples — whom he would shortly make Wife #2 — was in labor in a NYC hospital birthing suite. Stasi’s editor told her to get the story, which she was reluctant to do. But she called Trump, whom she personally knew, and while he first denied her access, he finally told her, “Oh, all right.”
Stasi remembers, “I was thinking, ‘This is horrible, this is horrible.’ I was just cringing all over.” Upon arriving at the birthing suite, she found Marla Maples cooing over newborn baby Tiffany, and Donald boasting that he cut the umbilical cord himself. Stasi was relieved that Maples was as “gracious as a woman could be right after you have a baby and your husband just let a reporter into the room.” As for Trump, Stasi said, “He was born without the gene for shame.”
It was that lack of shame and a tremendous capacity for self-promotion that propelled Trump to become the golden boy of NYC’s tabloids. Lou Colasuonno, editor of the New York Post in 1992 and 1993, remembered getting frequent calls from Trump. “He would definitely call me, personally, absolutely — on a lot of occasions.” Trump was “like a walking, talking tabloid editor’s dream. He was fun. He sold papers for us — no question. That’s a fact.” A Post reporter, Frank DiGiacomo, said that Trump “was radiating this almost cartoonish idea of wealth and celebrity and status. He honed a very simple, easily disseminated message. It’s not that different from what it is now: I embody success. I’m a winner.”
Mitchell Fink of the New York Daily News experienced the same. “He courted us constantly. He probably couldn’t stand any of us, but we served a purpose — to keep his name in boldface. And that’s all he cared about. And I believe with all my heart it’s all he cares about now.”
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