One of the highlights of Stormy Daniels’ appearance on 60 Minutes on Sunday night was a new account of the comic disaster of a business meeting she alleges she had with Donald Trump in the summer of 2007. Trump had told her he had news about casting her on Celebrity Apprentice, but when she arrived at his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, he had other plans. Here’s how she described it to Anderson Cooper:
Stormy Daniels: I remember arriving, and he was watching Shark Week. He made me sit and watch an entire documentary about shark attacks.
Anderson Cooper: It wasn’t at that point a business meeting, it was just watching Shark Week.
After the shark documentary, Trump allegedly made a pass at Daniels, which she rejected. But just what Shark Week content was so compelling that it made Donald Trump—Donald Trump!—delay (attempted) gratification until the credits rolled? The answer comes in the full transcript of Daniels’ In Touch interview, which has an even funnier account of Trump’s shark obsession:
The strangest thing about that night—this was the best thing ever. You could see the television from the little dining room table and he was watching Shark Week and he was watching a special about the USS something and it sank and it was like the worst shark attack in history. He is obsessed with sharks. Terrified of sharks. He was like, “I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die.” He was like riveted. He was like obsessed. It’s so strange, I know.
While the initial coverage focused on Trump’s strange fear that his meager charitable donations might somehow end up benefiting sharks, there’s also enough information to identify the exact shark documentary Donald Trump made Stormy Daniels watch before he tried and failed to seduce her. Here’s part of the TV listings grid for Sunday, July 29, 2007, as published in the Los Angeles Times. Slate’s crack investigative team has highlighted an entry of particular interest:
That’s right, from 9 to 11 p.m. that Sunday, the Discovery Channel kicked off Shark Week with the premiere of a documentary called Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever (VCR+ code 715368). The film told the story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, the ship whose fate Robert Shaw so memorably recounted in Jaws:
That has to be the show Daniels is describing. Written and directed by Richard Bedser, Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever used a mix of re-enactments and interviews and, for Jaws-related reasons, was narrated by Richard Dreyfus. You can get a taste of it in this promo from Discovery U.K.:
Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever also aired on Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4, but Daniels has consistently said she met with Trump in July, and the 29th was the only evening that month in which Trump would have had the opportunity to ignore her in favor of sharks eating sailors. While it might be understandable to channel surf to Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever instead of 20 Expensive Celebrity Weddings on E! or Beethoven’s 4th on the Disney Channel, Trump’s TV-watching decisions become a little more difficult to understand when the other option is “Talk to the adult film star you invited to your bungalow in hopes of seducing.”
If you’d like to check out the television program that our president allegedly couldn’t tear his eyes away from, you can buy it on YouTube or Blu-ray. Whether you want to re-enact the scandalous, sexy, alleged events of July 29, 2007, with your significant other by pointedly ignoring him or her while silently watching the entire documentary, perform A/B testing with a second TV and a copy of Daniels’ The Witches of Breastwick, or just try to think and act more like Donald Trump in your day-to-day life, one thing is certain: Our country would be less of a laughingstock if we’d elected a dead shark.