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No matter which of these two celebrities you like or dislike -- Rosie O'Donnell or Donald Trump -- this public display of character debasement is just so wrong. Forget that it's the season for peace and goodwill and that the timing is crummy; this war of character slander sets a bad PR example, period....


Let's acknowledge first that Rosie is a comedian. It's her job to comment on issues in a humorous way. Whether she uses her podium at The View as her personal venting station is irrelevant. The show is about entertainment and gaining audience share.
Maybe she did go over the top with her comb-overed impression of "The Donald," but no more so than Don Rickles did in his day, or many other comedians. People laughed because it was presented in a humorous manner in an entertainment venue.
Was it mean-spirited humor? You bet. Check out the late night show monologues and you'll get something similar every night.
Donald Trump, however, resorted to personal character attacks, calling Rosie "fat," accusing her of wanting Miss USA herself (Rosie is openly gay), and calling her a loser. Sound like a Grade 5 school yard?
Donald Trump may be rich and used to having his way. He may even have a bruised ego because of this episode. But his handling of the situation was a publicist's nightmare, in my opinion. Frankly, he should have taken the moral high ground, laughed and dismissed the entire thing saying that Rosie is a comedian and he doesn't take it personally. That's show business.
Instead, he ranted, attacked, threatened to sue, and is still debasing Rosie. "I'll most likely sue her for making those false statements .... and it'll be fun," he told People Magazine. "Rosie's a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie."
Donald Trump is his own brand. To me, this doesn't serve his brand image well, unless he wants his public to think he's a pompous, over-exposed, hot-aired rich dude who lucked into a prime-time TV show.
Don't you feel like shouting, "Grow up and get a real life?!"

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.

LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel

Twitter: @Elaine_Fogel