Trump Lining Up 'Winners' Including Mike Ditka for GOP Convention -- But Not Mike Tyson?

'The Media Makes Everything Up!,' Trump Tweets

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Mike Ditka
Mike Ditka Credit: Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images

In the wake of a Politico report suggesting that Republican Party figures aren't exactly dying to speak at the Republican National Convention (aka The Donald Trump Show) in July, Bloomberg is out with a story headlined "Trump Campaign Lining Up Tyson and Ditka for Convention" -- though Trump himself disputes the Mike Tyson booking.

In case you missed it, on Monday Politico ran a story by Alex Isenstadt outlining the apparent allergic reaction various GOP stalwarts are having to the upcoming RNC, which is set for July 18-21 in Cleveland:

With the convention less than a month away, POLITICO contacted more than 50 prominent governors, senators and House members to gauge their interest in speaking. Only a few said they were open to it, and everyone else said they weren't planning on it, didn't want to or weren't going to Cleveland at all -- or simply didn't respond.

The story carried the grim headline "Hardly anybody wants to speak at Trump's convention," and though Isenstadt noted that "a Trump spokesperson declined to comment on this year's convention plans," it's not surprising that a counternarrative quickly emerged elsewhere. Cue a Tuesday evening Bloomberg story by Jennifer Jacobs and Kevin Cirilli, which had a pointedly positive lead:

ESPN has nothing on this summer's Republican national convention.

Donald Trump's campaign aides are lining up a slate of iconic sports figures to appear at the convention in Cleveland next month -- including former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight, and NASCAR chief Brian France, people familiar with the planning told Bloomberg Politics.... Trump has said on the campaign trail that he wants the event to be a gathering of "winners" -- and not politicians, like at past conventions.

But wait! There's just one problem. The news of the Tyson booking predictably prompted plenty of negative reactions in social media.

(See "Trump: Special interests pushing trade deal want to 'rape our country'" for background on the candidate's latest comments regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership.)

So now, of course, there's a counternarrative to the counternarrative. Though the Bloomberg report cited convention "organizers" as its sources (as in "Talks are in the works with a broad slate of other celebrities and top athletes, so the list of those appearing at the convention will grow, organizers said"), the new narrative is that "the media makes everything up!"

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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