Mark Burnett has an uncanny ability to appeal to the lowest common denominator. “Survivor” was a testament to that premise, and certainly Donald Trump is the poster child for that perfect show biz ideal, as first articulated by P.T. Barnum, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” Burnett has taken a lot of heat for his refusal to provide “Apprentice” outtakes, wherein Trump famously uses the n-word and purportedly reveals that his “grab ’em by the pussy” comment was actually one of his tamer elocutions. He’s protecting Trump. Like the GOP, watch what Burnett does, not what he says. Daily Beast: Burnett declined to make any footage public or to let former contestants out of their nondisclosure agreements. But shortly before Trump was elected president, he did go out of his way to denounce the “hatred, division, and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.” The statement came in the midst of a flood of sexual-misconduct and assault allegations that were publicly made against Trump shortly after the October 2016 publication of the infamous “grab ’em by the pussy” tape. After Trump won the election, however, Burnett was ready to put all that bigotry and sexism behind him. He buddied back up to Trump and even played a role in the inauguration, trying—largely unsuccessfully—to recruit musicians to perform for Trump’s festivities. One person who has spoken with Burnett about Trump said he openly boasted of his relationship to the president: “Mark would say ‘My relationship with the president is incredibly strong. I’m the most powerful person in Hollywood because of it. I could wipe the floor because of it.’ Mark has no shame.” As you would expect, Burnett’s office has denied the rumors, any conversations between Trump and Burnett on the topic, and the like. But again, forget what they say, watch what they do. Television is not only Trump’s medium, it’s his substitute for living life. At some point, the White House will stop being an extension of the “Apprentice” set and Trump will return to the only way of life he understands, superficiality and soundbites. He was hoping that the presidential campaign was going to be an extension of his TV show and when reality began to overcome reality TV, he was not happy about it. “The day that NBC announced that Donald Trump would no longer be able to host The Apprentice in 2015 was one of the very few times I’ve ever seen the [then-future] president visibly upset in immediate reaction to news,” [former aide Sam] Nunberg said. The ex-aide continued, “When very famous people—celebrities, athletes, people in Hollywood, politicians, network executives, network hosts—would call his office in Trump Tower, he would often let people sit there and listen as he talked to them; occasionally, he would put them on speakerphone. But when Mark Burnett called, which was frequent [between 2013 and 2015], Trump would politely tell everyone else to ‘get out’ of his office.” Ironically, one of President Trump’s central gripes in recent months regarding his predecessor, Barack Obama, is the imagined corruption that the former president engaged in by securing a major entertainment and production deal with Netflix in his post-presidency life. But if Trump’s conversations with Burnett are of any indication, it appears that the sitting president is yearning for his […]
“Tom Arnold saves America” would be the most bizarre, Dadaistic, out-there headline since “Trump elected president,” but you could soon see a version of it if all goes as planned. (Well, these are Tom Arnold’s plans, so don’t get too excited. But hey,...
Sometimes people in Washington get it plain wrong!
If conservatives support police killing citizens without justification, climate denial, fact denial, science denial, racist and misogynistic behavior, or a litany of other absurd points of view about numerous important issues, we call them out.