If anyone ever wanted to understand Donald Trump, BuzzFeed’s latest profile on New York’s most notable oddity is a good place to start. The news outlet was granted an unusual amount of access to Trump for, according to the headline of the piece, 36 hours.
In that time, BuzzFeed accompanied Trump on a flight to his ritzy Palm Beach, Fla., club Mar-a-Lago via his private jet for an overnight stay, eating the best food the place had to offer.
The piece notes that BuzzFeed’s ethics policy requires that any accommodations received by its reporters from their story subjects must be paid for. At Trump’s initial protest, his company did send a bill to BuzzFeed.
The total: $857.27.
But there are some things money can’t buy. Like these passages from the article:
1. The first thing that strikes me upon boarding Trump’s plane is how familiar it feels, like a sitcom living room. It’s all exactly as it has appeared on TV a thousand times: white carpet, gold-plated seat belts, cream leather couches, velvet pillows, and an intricately woven Trump family coat of arms — which he had to lobby Scotland’s heraldic authority to make official — serving as the primary decorative motif.
2. Because we came [to the Mar-a-Lago] with Trump, my fellow passengers and I are treated like royalty. After arriving on site in a miniature motorcade, we are ushered into a golf cart, which ferries us less than 100 yards to the cottages overlooking the pool. My room has the feeling of a nice, if slightly dated, hotel, with an aesthetic that matches Trump’s plane — white carpet, gold fixtures, and tiny bottles of Trump-branded hair conditioner.
3. Within the bubble of luxury and loyalty Trump has created for himself, he hears about his own greatness every day from people on his payroll, or people who profit from his TV show, or people who are simply excited to see a famous person in real life. In this context, his mission to make me and my colleagues in the political press take him seriously seems to have little to do with answering a call to public service, or even a juvenile cry for attention. It’s about satisfying his insatiable thirst for validation from a world where people don’t reflexively call him “Mr. Trump.”
But, to be fair, sometimes an article seems glossy because it’s about something that has shine.