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    Is Celebrity Apprentice Keeping Donald Trump From Declaring His Presidential Bid?

    Donald Trump Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

    What's taking Donald Trump so long to make an announcement declaring his presidential bid? Don't tell me it's Celebrity Apprentice?
    —Vivia, Texas, via the inbox

    Well, Trump needs to discuss all angles with his inner circle. That includes Trump's own towering coif—which became self-aware in 1998—and his massive ego, which is also its own, sentient, freestanding being. But Trump's TV show is also likely affecting his decision. Here's why:

    Federal law. Specifically, a law requiring broadcasters to give equal airtime to all presidential candidates.

    "The Apprentice probably does have something to do with it," says digital political consultant Peter Pasi, whose company, Emotive LLC, works with conservative candidates and causes. "NBC's lawyers would have to say, 'OK we can't give away this much air time.'"

    In other words: If Trump were to formally declare his intentions while still appearing on Celebrity Apprentice, NBC would be forced to dole out face time for other White House bidders. All of them.

    And imagine if NBC decides to air reruns of any old Apprentice shows. That counts toward the law, too.

    FACEBOOK: Join the more than 100,000 people who adore the B!tch on the 'Book.

    Yes, there are exceptions to the law—if the air time is part of a documentary, for example. But calling reality TV a documentary is a bit of a stretch, given what we know about how those shows are created.

    And this law is taken very seriously by broadcasters. Back in 2003, when Arnold Schwarzenegger had his beady cyber-eye on the California governor's job, TV stations dropped all Ah-nold movies; there were 134 other gubernatorial candidates at the time, and the networks would have had to offer equal air time to all of them. Or, least, that's what the stations feared.

    More recently, the hysteria peddlers at Fox News suspended Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as contributors, noting that both of them are likely candidates for the 2012 presidential race.

    Besides, Trump himself likely doesn't want to step away from his lucrative reality show.

    "Trump is always looking for ways to maximize his wealth," Pasi points out. "Anything that cuts into that would be a problem for him. That's what he's very well known for."

    Well, yes. That and his sentient hair.

    Trump did not return repeated requests for comment. And his coif's publicist? Nada.

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