Several conservative media outlets -- including Fox & Friends, Fox Nation, and The Drudge Report -- humiliated themselves by hyping Romney surrogate and fundraiser Donald Trump's latest absurd publicity stunt. In a YouTube video, Trump offered $5 million to charity in exchange for President Obama's college and passport records.
Before the release of the video, Trump had claimed on Fox & Friends that he would reveal "something very, very big concerning the president of the United States." He later claimed "This is not a media event or about Donald J. Trump -- this is about the United States of America."
Trump has previously suggested that Mitt Romney release his past tax returns in exchange for Obama's college records. In the press release accompanying today's stunt, Trump did not make any reference to Romney's still-unreleased records.
In February, Trump recorded robocalls for Romney, then endorsed his candidacy. That was followed by a Romney fundraiser that offered dinner with Trump as a prize to donors. Just a few days ago, Trump was one of the designated "special guests" at a "Romney Victory Fall Retreat." Trump's executive vice president and special counsel Michael Cohen told Business Insider that Trump has given "millions" to SuperPACs supporting Romney's candidacy.
Despite Trump's long history of indulging in conspiracy theories, hyping nonsense and trafficking in classic hucksterism, conservative media dutifully promoted Trump's latest attempt at getting his name back in the news.
Steve Doocy, co-host of Fox & Friends, promoted Trump's stunt this morning, noting, "I'm sure we're going to be talking about it tomorrow."
Yesterday, CNBC's Squawk Box hosted Trump to promote his stunt. During the interview, Trump said, "I think birtherism makes a lot of sense."
The Drudge Report:
Steve Doocy also hyped Trump on his Twitter account:
Over the last year, Trump has promoted several outlandish conspiracy theories. In April he claimed Obama's birth certificate was fraudulent. Trump then said that he had sent researchers to Hawaii who "cannot believe what they're finding." Trump never revealed what his supposed researchers had discovered.
Several days later, President Obama released his long form birth certificate and commented that "we are not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers."