Sorry Sir, It’s Not ‘The Apprentice’

Here’s a shocker. The president hates the news media. But this is okay because the media hates him back. It’s nice and fair that way. In fact, I am quite enjoying the tennis-like back and forth between the two. It’s really quite exciting. Volley after folly they snap at each other like dogs, then suddenly there is a misstep and a score. As I write this I figure the score is about 30-love. Don’t ask me who has the thirty but I can say without a doubt neither side has any love.

As I see it, the whole thing is a misunderstanding. Hard-news-people are simply not used to covering the television show we have in Washington, and our fearless leader doesn’t know the rules of his new game. After watching both sides, I feel a time-out is necessary for both sides. Here’s why.

You see our president is used to reality TV, which certainly is not reality. Look at his show for instance. It was there he coined the phrase, You’re Fired. I am told he actually rehearsed this statement for hours to get all the right nuances. It literally became his brand. You saw it on tee-shirts, billboards, and comedy shows all over North America. The thing is, on the show, when he said this, the contestant stood up and left the room. Our leader then gave a quick warning and dismissed the rest. Commercial, Roll Credits, The End, cue the theme for Crossing Jordan. This is what he knows.

The thing is TV and reality are not the same. I know this may shock some of you. However, sometimes you just have to hear the harsh facts. So, calm down, take a deep breath, and hug your plush unicorn for a few moments. Don’t worry I’ll wait. La la la la, (just a bit of music while on hold) La la la la. Are you good now? Great, let’s continue.

First of all, if you saw the show you would have noticed our man was only in it for a few minutes of the hour. Most of the time the various contestants, were out running around trying to complete some ridiculous task, designed to prove they were superior business people. So, even on his own show he was part-time. Remember, the show was only an hour long. So, his seven to nine minutes a week simply is not a lot of training. I’m mean I had clarinet lessons every week for a half hour, and practiced forty-minutes a day for a year-and-a-half and I never became Benny Goodman. There just simply wasn’t enough time. Now he’s president 24/7. That’s a huge increase in his work week. I’m quite sure if you limited his presidential work to say ten minutes a week, he’d be a lot better. Maybe even perfect.

Another thing, whenever he uttered that immortal phrase, You’re Fired, the fired person left, and there were fewer people. No one was ever replaced, they were just gone. Unfortunately, in the non-TV universe, someone else always steps in. That has to be extremely puzzling. I mean a great many people have left the staff, and he gets that, but now he must be screaming to himself, “Wait a minute, there where sixteen people yesterday, I fired one, and today there are still sixteen people. That’s not mathematically possible.” There’s probably a bigger issue with this fact. After more than a year no one has won. It used to be somebody won after thirteen weeks. But now nobody ever wins, no matter how many people get fired.

Then the fired people write nasty books. The show was covered by a non-discloser contract. The contestants weren’t allowed to talk, or write about it. Shoot, now everyone fired just talks, and talks, and talks. They do interviews, book tours, talk shows, and are even quoted in bathroom graffiti. The pressure must be enormous. Maybe he should hire Mark Burnett to clarify some of these problems. Face it, whenever I think of the president’s staff, the word survivor always comes to mind.

Of course, the news people are equally to blame. From the day a journalist is born he or she is trying to get someone.  Can’t you just hear them saying, “Okay doc, was that slap really necessary? Yes, I’m breathing, but studies have shown…” While this may be asked by several very promising questions-oriented professions, it is their internal reaction to the loss of childhood fantasies where true hard news-people are made. Their high EBR score, (Easter Bunny Response) is a clear indicator of how they handle truth verses lies. I understand Carl Bernstein’s EBR score was 99.5. (Bob Woodward was said to be off the charts, but that is just an urban legend.) As if this inbred need isn’t enough, all college journalism students have to take Meany-ness 302. This is geared to make them dogged and ruthless, although still maintaining the correct amount of righteous indignation when a penny is misspent. Now it’s true there are millions of news outlets, all of which have to fill twenty-fours a day with something, but there is just only one president whom all of them are pursuing.

I have looked into the possibility of having six or seven presidents elected for the good-old USA, but none of the agencies I spoke to would even consider it. All made it abundantly clear that one was more than enough. So much for taking the pressure off. Actually, even I can see the impracticality of the idea. What should really happen is that the TV critics and hard news folks should trade places. Think about it. This idea would give the president some breathing room because he would be dealing with the calmer, cuter, human-interest reporters he is used to. Then the hard-nosed war-dogs would be critiquing what we watch on TV. Actually, if this happened, there might, eventually, actually be something worth watching. Hey, it could happen. Now, no one in the world would be screaming, “AHHHHHH I have 200 channels and there’s nothing good on TV!!!!!!” It’s a win-win for everybody. Write your congressman now. It’s silly enough for them to actually pass that law.

If you have comments, want to discuss Paul Manafort’s fashion sense, or have me take a sideways view at your favorite topic. Send me an E-Mail at ohhssidewaysview@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you!

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