Just when you thought Donald Trump couldn’t possibly slither to a lower level, he has done it. The paradoxically thin-skinned, yet leather-faced Trump announced Monday that he’s going to sue comedian Bill Maher for $5 million dollars in essence because of a joke Maher told mocking The Donald.
What led to Trump getting his hair all in a wad? It all started in January when Bill Maher was on “The Tonight Show” and joked that Trump was the, “spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.” Maher’s reasoning was that the only thing in nature that has the same orange-ish color hair as Trump is an orangutan, hence, Trump must be part orangutan. A split screen of Trump and orangutan did reveal an uncanny resemblance.
Maher, to the delight of “The Tonight Show” audience, then offered to donate $5 million dollars to charity if Trump produced his birth certificate. (This $5 million number was the same amount Trump had offered in October to donate to charity if President Obama would produce his passport and college records.)
Maher even suggested some appropriate charities that Trump could donate the millions to such as, “The Hair Club for Men or the Institute for incorrigible douche baggery.” (Pretty sure Lance Armstrong is also in that Institute.)
Trump, instead of simply ignoring this joke like all other billionaires would, actually responded by producing his birth certificate to prove that he was 100% human. (Call me a “Trumper,” but I’m still not buying it’s a real birth certificate.)
Trump then demanded Maher pay up on the “offer.” Since Maher has refused to pay, Trump is now filing a lawsuit versus Maher for $5 million dollars.
Who except a publicity craving, megalomaniac could think Maher’s joke was a valid offer to pay $5 million dollars?! I’m a former lawyer, I can tell you it’s highly unlikely that any judge would find that Maher’s joke was intended by him to be a binding offer to enter into a contract with Trump. When you look at the context of the “offer” and the place it was told- “The Tonight Show”- most rational people would understand it was a joke.
Obviously, Donald Trump’s goal here- as with most things - is to attract press. He’s like a vampire who needs publicity instead of blood to survive. (Clearly his hair has been dead for years.) If we collectively ignored Trump, he might actually wither away like a vampire exposed to sunlight. And, to be honest, I would usually encourage us all to just that.
But to me, Trump has a more sinister goal with this lawsuit: To send a message that if you tell jokes about The Donald that he doesn’t like, he may sue you. Like a dictator in a third world country, his majesty Donald Trump tells us all that if we mock him, we will be punished.
Look, if you are a public figure who has thrust yourself into the spotlight like the publicity whore Trump has, you will be the subject of jokes. That comes with the territory. But Trump hates being mocked. Think back to the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in 2011 when SNL’s Seth Meyers crushed Trump in a sea of ridiculing jokes. Trump should have simply laughed and tipped his hair to Seth.
Instead, Trump didn't crack a smile. As the audience laughed at Trump, he increasingly looked angry. The Donald later lashed out at Seth mocking his delivery of jokes. Trump even called Seth a “stutterer.” Not sure where he heard Seth stutter – maybe there’s an echo in Trump’s empty head.
The media should not dismiss this lawsuit by Trump as simply another pathetic and desperate attempt at publicity. It’s more dangerous than that. It’s an attack on comedy. It’s an attack on freedom of expression.
My hope is that comedians, and non-comedians alike, will not back down to Trump. Instead, I propose that we make it a daily ritual to mock Trump on Twitter. In fact lets have a “Ridicule Trump Day” later this week on Twitter-Trump’s Twitter handle is @realDonaldTrump.
We shouldn't cower from this orange haired, leather faced billionaire bully. Instead we should respond in the very way he hates most: By mocking him. He can’t sue all of us! (Right?)