Stop the Presses: Politico Hypes 1-Inch Height Discrepancy in Trump's Driver's License

December 23rd, 2016 2:18 PM

Fear not for the future of investigative journalism. Rest assured that the folks at the Politico have poured significant journalistic resources into such efforts, delving into many all-important matters relating to Donald Trump and his new administration.

Why, on Friday, its Darren Samuelsohn reported that Donald Trump's 2012 driver's license says he's 6'2" inches tall, while The Donald and one of his doctors say that he's 6'3". Perhaps the left expects an impeachment panel to convene over this shocking discrepancy during the first week after Trump is inaugurated, or maybe even an election do-over.

One searches in vain for any hint of realization or even fleeting awareness in Samuelsohn's Friday morning dispatch that the subject is hardly a weighty - or I guess I should say, "heighty" — matter (HT Twitchy, where Politico's critics have been merciless):

Trump's driver's license casts doubt on height claims

Donald Trump and his doctor claim he’s 6-foot-3, but his New York driver’s license says he’s actually an inch shorter.

A copy of Trump’s license, obtained by POLITICO through an open-records request, lists the president-elect at 6-foot-2.

For heaven's sake, some open-records requests return information that simply isn't newsworthy. Just because one gets done doesn't mean that the journalist is duty-bound to report it, or that he or she is obliged to waste the Trump transition team's time questioning this "discrepancy." But Samuelsohn did just that.

Continuing, with evidence that Trump's height has been a media mini-obsession for some time:

It may just be an inch, but size apparently matters to Trump. A letter that the businessman candidate displayed this summer from his longtime gastroenterologist — while appearing on the Dr. Oz show — stated he was 6-foot-3, though media reports were quick to point out discrepancies.

Slate, for example, posited that Trump was adding an inch to his height to avoid crossing into obesity territory — he also weighed 236 pounds — on the BMI index. That Slate article pointed to multiple media that pegged Trump as 6-foot-2, including Google, though the search engine now has Trump at 6-foot-3.

A special edition of Time published earlier this year profiling Trump also listed him at 6-foot-3 while noting “it irritates him that so many media outlets say 6-foot-2.”

The Trump transition did not respond to a request for comment about the height listed on his driver’s license, which was issued May 3, 2012, and expires on June 14, 2020.

Google's interactive Body Mass Index Tool says that you are overweight if you weigh 236 pounds and your height is 6'2.372" or greater. You are obese with that weight if you are 6'2.371" or shorter.

Who says you can't learn important things here?

Well, maybe not so important: As seen here, publications ranging from NPR to Business Insider to the Huffington Post to the hallowed New York Times tell us that, in NPR's words, "The BMI is bogus." So is a news story wasting readers' time over whether Donald Trump is 6'2" or 6'3" tall.

What really sticks in the establishment press's craw is how Trump, despite his flaws, has grown in perceived stature during the primaries, the general election campaign, and during the presidential transition, despite their best efforts to derail him, and how his electoral victory has knocked down their publicly perceived importance by several notches.

Cross-posted at