Are the sons of Donald Trump following in the steps of Papa Hemmingway as big game hunters? The two brothers are caught up in a fight with PeTA, the animal rights group which seized on photographs of the two brothers vacationing on safari in Africa.
These were not poolside snaps of the brothers drunk on margaritas. The sons of “The Donald” were photographed in numerous poses including standing next to the corpse of a crocodile and in another, standing by a dead elephant while holding its bloody tail. The brothers seem often to be wearing matching safari wear.
PeTA, the animal rights group, ever vigilant, seized on the photos for PR purposes. Using it as an occasion to decry hunting and those who love it, PeTA got the media splash it was looking for. The Trump brothers responded unambiguously that they have always loved hunting and will continue to do so. From their point of view no apology was needed. Like father, like son.
The PR Verdict: “C” for the Brothers Trump and their new found fame as game hunters. Rush Limbaugh taught us that apologies don’t work unless you mean it and with the probability that another safari photo could easily surface, a clarifying statement was the best way to go.
The brothers issued a straightforward statement saying they have always loved hunting and on this occasion took care to observe local rules and practices. Trump Senior side-stepped the issue saying that he supported his sons and their passion for hunting, even if it is not for him personally. In so doing Trump senior got himself out of PeTA’s cross hairs and kept his own conservative gun loving base of fans relatively happy. Smart move for the father while the sons can continue hunting unimpeded.
How would you rate the Trump’s handling of this? Would Papa Hemingway be proud?