Anat Rosenberg and Lynette Rice
April 23, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Donald Trump can’t handle the truth

The Oxford American Dictionary says trump means an advantage involving surprise. It can also signal a tendency to fabricate. Which might explain the Donald’s recent declarations, ranging from the suspect (I’m the highest-paid guy on TV!) to the erroneous (I have the No. 1 show!). Sources close to The Apprentice say Trump’s salary next season will be around $180,000 per episode — far from the Friends-like coin he bragged about earning in April 19’s Fortune (though profit participation could increase his pay). ”I’ve never seen accurate numbers printed [regarding Trump’s earnings],” admits agent Jim Griffin. Because hyperbole is so much more Trump.

[Hyperbole-O-Meter: Low = 1, High = 7]

OH, DONALD! ”I’m the biggest developer in New York, by far…. I’m building…one of the largest buildings built in Chicago — the largest building since the Sears Tower.” 2/27, Larry King Live [Hyperbole-O-Meter: 5]

SO YOU SAY… The Apprentice drew ”more than anybody [that] has applied in the history of television for a show.” 2/27, Larry King Live [Hyperbole-O-Meter: 6]

HUH? The Apprentice has ”really smart people, and they’re being eaten alive by the jungle of New York and by Trump.” 3/27, The Ellen DeGeneres Show [Hyperbole-O-Meter: 4]

NOT SO FAST ”Nobody’s better than me. I’m a ratings machine. I’ve got the No. 1 show…. I’m about to become the highest-paid TV personality in America.” 4/3, SNL [Hyperbole-O-Meter: 7]

UM, MAYBE? ”As you’ve probably heard…over one million people have applied for Apprentice 2.” 4/7, The Tonight Show [Hyperbole-O-Meter: 5]

YEAH, BUT… ”All of the networks wanted me…to do a reality show. And I turned them down — every network.” 4/8, Oprah [Hyperbole-O-Meter: 3]

NO ARGUMENT HERE ”[I’m] the most efficient human being.” 4/19 Fortune magazine [Hyperbole-O-Meter: 2]

YOU GOT US! ”Billionaire authors with…skyscrapers and hit prime-time series are the rarest of all.” Trump: How to Get Rich [Hyperbole-O-Meter: 1]

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