Trump’s Muslim proposal makes for electric TV moments

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Among Chris Cuomo, Joe Scarborough and George Stephanopoulos, it was tough to tell which television host became more exasperated talking to Donald Trump about his proposal to block Muslims from entering the United States.

Trump made himself as available to the press as he always does despite espousing a plan more polarizing than any in a campaign that has thrived on confrontation. The stakes had perceptibly changed, though, and that made for electric if not always informative television moments Tuesday.

“He gives access,” said Scarborough, hours after the MSNBC host’s red-faced anger with Trump led him to abruptly cut the candidate off. “It’s ironic that the very candidates who call and complain that he’s on the show aren’t willing to do the same thing.”

The call-in telephone interview with Trump has become a staple of TV news programs the past few months. News producers hate such interviews — nothing’s more boring than a disembodied voice speaking with a still photograph on the screen — but can’t resist Trump’s ratings catnip. He’s a favorite of “Morning Joe,” and on Tuesday was also interviewed by Cuomo on CNN and Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Ten minutes into the “Morning Joe” interview, Scarborough essentially threw Trump off the air for talking over interviewers. “Donald, Donald, Donald, Donald, Donald,” he said. “You’re not going to keep talking. We will cut to a break if you keep talking.”