They make money no matter what happens.
Good Morning America
This is a message from a Canadian resident of a small city of your northern neighbour, Canada. As with any good neighbour, we need to have a chat.
Speaking to the Press Club in Washington D.C. In 1969 then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of Canada’s current Prime Minister, said:
“Living next to you [referring to the U.S.A.] is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt. ”
What has changed since 1969? The elephant is no longer as friendly. Nor is it even tempered. We see a country often at odds with itself thrashing about – and elephants thrashing about do not conjure good images – nor do they make good neighbours.
From whence came this change?
Of course the obvious answer to the question is Donald J. Trump. But he did not come from nowhere. He was aided and abetted, moulding him into a figure that millions could vote for, by distorting the truth about who he was, and giving him a national podium to become a nationally known figure.
Let’s start with the ‘star’ system in the U.S. Entertainment personalities are a preoccupation of many Americans. It is no wonder we find media stars splattered across the American political landscape – Jesse Ventura, Shirley Temple, Arnold Schwarzenegger , Ronald Reagan and your latest gift to the world, Donald Trump. To have a name that is known, is a significant part of the battle for office. In the social mind, we confuse the characters they play with their true character. It would be nearly impossible for an actor who portrayed devious villains to be elected. The sad element that escapes many voters is – they are ACTING.
ETHICS AT NBC
Prior to becoming an NBC TV personality on the apprentice, Donald Trump was a showman, very much like the hucksters at your state fair or local exhibition of 60 years ago. Snake oil, wondrous cures and ‘almost’ free stuff they were giving away – for a very small price. In other words lots of lying, persuading, rewriting and distorting reality.
In 2004 Trump began hosting The Apprentice. Trump was already known as an opportunist, and a con man who reneged on his debts, avoided the draft, and was truly a racist and misogynist. Concerning misogyny, one defense has been he comes from a different generation. Sorry, I come from that generation and we had a lot of education about how to deal with the traditional pattern of male privilege. Was Donald Trump not alive in the 1960s. In other words, this is a lie rather than a defense.
At the time of signing with NBC his behaviour with women was already well known. Author Harry Hurt in his book “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,”cited an incident that occurred with Ivana Trump in 1989 Hurt obtained a copy of Ivan Trump’s sworn divorce deposition, from 1990, in which she stated that, the previous year, her husband had raped her in a fit of rage. In Hurt’s account, Trump was furious that a “scalp reduction” operation he’d undergone to eliminate a bald spot had been unexpectedly painful. Ivana had recommended the plastic surgeon. In retaliation, Hurt wrote, Trump yanked out a handful of his wife’s hair, and then forced himself on her sexually.
[- New Yorker – October 16, 2016, Author Jane Mayer.]
According to a report by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, which examined the divorce records, Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination approximately a hundred times when Ivana’s lawyers asked him about adulterous relations with other women. [dailykos.com – October 18, 2016]
In 1993 Trump was his former business partner in one of his children’s bedrooms at Mara Lago. According to her, he groped her breasts and grabbed her genitals. This was cited in an 1997 lawsuit. [The Guardian – July 20, 2016]. Then there were alleged incidents in 1997 [three incidents], 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 [three incidents], 2006 [three incidents] and 2007. [The Guardian June 24, 2019]
Currently there are twenty four women who have accused your president of sexual misconduct [ABC News June 25, 2019.]
But that seems to have been okay with NBC because it was all about NBC making money. The program made Trump a national figure and laid important ground work for his rise on the national political stage. A soulless character for a soulless media.
It is ironic that Trump initially resisted joining The Apprentice, because in his view, reality television was for bottom feeders. It now seems a perfect match given his personality disorder and lack of ethics. Also perhaps he realized that bottom feeders are easier to fool.
Trump’s cheating small contractors, and other persons is well known. Jennifer McGovern, a former employee of Trump Mortgage, brokered a $26,500,000 financing, for which she earned more than $500,000 in commissions for Trump Mortgage. Trump Mortgage collected the commission, but stiffed McGovern, who filed a lawsuit. In 2009, McGovern obtained a judgment of $298,274 against Trump Mortgage. As of March 2016, the judgment remained unsatisfied.
In 1984, Trump opened Harrah’s at Trump Plaza. According to ‘This Week’, in an article, ‘A brief history of Trump’s small-time swindles’, Jeff Spross tells the story of Trump refusing to make the final payment to a cabinet maker. That cabinet maker subsequently went bankrupt. In Trump’s business history there is a list of lawsuits. These include a suit from a painter for an upaid bill, unpaid. It also includes unpaid bills from servers at functions, a drapery supplier, toilet partition installers, a chandelier company and previous law firms he dealt with. Over the years over 3500 law suits have been made by contractors, women and financial institutions.
Once on the air, according to Allen Salkin and Aaron Short in their book The Method to the Madness, Season 1 came down to two possible winners, one black, one white. Trump as further corroboration that he is a racist according to the authors said:
According to Pruitt, during the huddle, “Trump says, ‘But will America buy a Nigger (Pruitt would not repeat but did confirm Trump’s use of the word) — ‘winning?’ He’s staring right at Carolyn, who is standing in silence. Her alabaster skin turned a deep shade of red. We were hanging on her words, and she says nothing. Carolyn was standing, leaning two hands on the table supporting her. And she says nothing.”
-from USA Today, July 8, 2019
But his history had no apparent effect on NBC’s decision making. Or perhaps made him more enticing. After all, eyeballs are everything because they translate into revenue. Ethics appear to have been tossed out the window, if they were ever there in the first place.
Try Googling how much money NBC made from the Apprentice. What we get is a listing of how much money Trump did or did not make [there are claims he exaggerated his paycheck]. What is stunningly absent is how much NBC made from the show.
NBC received and continues to receive a double dividend from Trump. Not only did they presumably make money from the original show, now that they promoted a huckster they derive profit from eyes glued to MSNBC outlining what a criminal president he is. Good work if you can find it, although at a significant cost to American democracy.
Anyone who has in the past hired staff, knows one factor we look at is ‘personal suitability’. Personal suitability encompasses a number of factors but clearly a bully and a misogynist would would rule out an applicant for most companies. It appears the sole issue for NBC in hiring Trump was audience size and revenue. That is a familiar refrain when criticizing Trump, that he is obsessed with audience size and popularity. It is those same values that NBC sought and then propelled Trump to the national and international stage.
Is it not time for Americans looked into what is left of their souls and ask questions about what kind of values they and their media cultivate for profit at any cost?