The short-fingered vulgarian has spent the past month trading barbs with Mike Tollin, director of ESPN's forthcoming Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? In a recent exchange, Trump closed with a devastating bon mot. "You," he wrote, "are a loser."
The full letter is below. First, some background: For its 30th birthday, ESPN commissioned a series of documentaries, called 30 for 30. Tollin's contribution is, in the director's words, a "celebration" of the short-lived United States Football League, "something that was great fun and really could've been successful." Trump owned the New Jersey Generals from 1984 to 1985 and by most any reckoning was responsible for the league's heedless and ultimately fatal attempt to move its schedule from spring to fall and compete head-to-head with the NFL. The death of the USFL was Trump's folly. Everyone, from Wikipedia to Burt Reynolds, owner of the Tampa Bay Bandits, says as much. "I'm not Michael Moore," Tollin says. "I'm not the one speculating here. I wanted to let the participants carry the day."
For the film, Trump gave Tollin an uncomfortable half-hour, then abruptly walked out. (In the interview, Trump characterized his experience with the USFL thusly: "It was a nice experience. It was fun. We had a great lawsuit.") Since then, he's taken every opportunity to slag Tollin, who produced the much-criticized Bonds on Bonds. Trump told Page Six:
The documentary is third-rate, as was spring football. Football was meant to be played in the fall and I realized that early on. Tollin is a sad guy who is living in the past. He ought to get on with his life.
The camera doesn't lie. It shows Trump to be rude, impatient, repetitive and boorish. I can't imagine he had the attention span to even watch the whole thing
And so Trump responded with the note you see below, which was scrawled petulantly on top of a letter Tollin had written him:
A third rate documentary — and extremely dishonest (as you know) —
P.S. You are a loser
Tollin has the thing on his desk. It's a keepsake now. Note, he says, how the postscript runs parallel to "the rest of the tirade." Tollin laughs. "It kinda looks like he's done this before."
* * * * *
Thanks for your continued support of Deadspin. Petchesky's here in a bit.