Yesterday, the Donald Trump campaign invited the media to what was billed as a "news conference" where he would make a "major announcement" on the birther issue. Naturally, hundreds of journalists took him up on the offer and a number of networks gave the event live coverage.
The event began with military veterans praising Trump and, as the live cameras kept rolling, the event just . . . kept going with military veterans praising Trump. After 30 minutes of military veterans praising Trump, the candidate quickly stated that Obama was born in the United States, blamed Hillary for starting the birther controversy and congratulated himself for "finishing it." The birther component took all of 30 seconds, after which Trump stepped down and ignored questions from an obviously frustrated and increasingly riotous rush of journalists.
He then invited pool reporters on a tour of his new hotel.
In response, Major Garrett of CBS had a meltdown on live TV:
Many others, if not as angry as Garrett, were still clearly miffed. Breitbart reported on the reaction from CNN and BET:
“I really don’t quite know what to make of that except for that we got played again by the Trump campaign which is what they do,” said John King afterward, pointing out that Trump tricked them into covering a live event.
“We just got played. We just got played,” he repeated.
Marc Lamont Hill a host of BET News, called Trump’s stunt “repugnant.”
“Donald Trump has never give a speech this short before on any issue!” he said.
“He talks for hours sometimes when it’s supposed to be five minutes.”Many headlines claimed that Trump had tricked the media into filming an "infomercial" for his new hotel. As CNN's Jake Tapper suggested, they were "Rick-rolled."
I think the intention was political rather than commercial.
But Rick-rolled gets it precisely right.