Commentators from both sides of the Atlantic offer sharp analysis on the US election campaign.
Donald Trump - he of the anti -Scottish windfarms campaign - has been roundly ridiculed by the Los Angeles Times after launching his "October surprise" in the US presidential election.
"The only surprise turned out to be how the reality TV star and business magnate continues to find new ways to embellish his special brand of media-centric depravity," said the paper in a surprisingly acid article.
"Since Monday, the cartoonish personality had claimed he had news that could change the course of the presidential election between President Obama and Mitt Romney," said the Times.
"Instead, it inspired widespread mockery, as Trump merely rehashed tired old insinuations about President Obama’s national origin and college credentials."
The big "reveal" from the "sneering New Yorker" turned out to be merely this: He would offer to give $5 million to Obama’s favorite charity if the president would release his college applications and records and his passport information.
"Trump’s gimmickry appeals to the legion of cranks and conspiracy mongers who congregate in particularly fetid corners of the Internet, "said the Times.
"There, they spin out their most fervent fantasies about Obama’s foreign birth and use of affirmative action (or similar dark arts) to connive his way into college(s)."
Trump called Obama “the least transparent president in the history of this country.”
He, said the Times, parrots the sensationalists who claim Obama has blocked access to his records from Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School, along with his passport documents … and just about any other document they can think to mention.
The nonpartisan website FactCheck.org thoroughly debunked the claims earlier this year. No president before Obama released such records. Few have even been asked. FactCheck.org went through each of the “hidden” records charges against Obama, showing the absurdity of each in great detail.
" Trump’s little sideshow helps keep the insinuations about Obama alive, for those immune to common sense and fact-based reality," The trouble is, said the Times, "In a country of 300 million people, that can amount to a pretty substantial minority."
Trump offered the money, of course, because he can't stand more than a week or two at a time outside the media spotlight, said the paper.
“Frankly, it’s a check I very much want to write,” Trump said in setting an Oct. 31 deadline for Obama to cough up the records.
Last word from the Times : "If he really wanted to prove something -- other than that he has a tiny, pecuniary heart -- the carnival barker would write his $5 million check and try to hitch on to the next passing show."
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