Contributing editor at the Atlantic, Michael Hirschorn discusses the comparisons between the way Donald Trump has governed and his role as the host of the reality show, The Apprentice.
February 27, 2017

On a new MSNBC Show called The Point, Ari Melber welcomed Contributing editor at the Atlantic and CEO of Ish Entertainment, Michael Hirschorn, to discuss Trump from a fascinating angle: as a reality show star and how this affects his ability (or inability) to serve as President.

A famous quote of Hirschorn is particulary prescient right now:

"There is a psychosis common to many reality stars, where they lose a grasp on the distinction between "reality" and reality."

Is this Trump's problem? Or, better phrase, is this ONE of Trump's many, many problems?

When they applied this litmus test to Trump's first month in office:

Hirschorn: There is an almost precise match between how Trump has governed and Trump as a host of the Apprentice. People may not remember this, but before Trump was the host of the Apprentice, he was a little bit of a hasbeen, he was a bit of a punch line, he was a bit of a joke

Melber: How DARE you


Hirschorn: Well, I am sure in two months that may be a very hard thing to say. His brand from the 80's was a deal guy. He was the guy who could kind of schmooze you and make it happen. He understood how to find the middle ground. When the Apprentice came on, he was kind of rebranded as The Guy Who Will Fire You. He is The Boss. He is The Father Figure.


(excuse me while I go vomit at that last sentence)

(ok, I am back)

Now we dive into the scripting, creating the storyline, etc. This is where it gets really interesting, at least to me:

Hirschorn: So it's interesting that both his campaign and his Presidency have actually tracked very closely to the persona that was created by the producers of The Apprentice.

Melber: Part of what you point out is that there is an obsession with creating the arc of the story, not based on what's happening, but scripting it for the story. There seems to be a difference between saying 'oh we found a judicial nominee who has got an incredible background, lets tell it' and 'lets create realities that become the narrative of the administration'...

Cut to this insane video of one of the Bachelor contestants, I mean "SCOTUS" contenders, at a gas station being stopped by a camera crew. I mean, seriously, this random TMZ type camera crew is waiting at the *exact* right gas station for this one random white dude in his white shirt and tie driving a totally average suburban dad SUV.

(face palm)

Hirschorn agrees that this "tracks" closely with The Apprentice, The Bachelor or the Bachelorette. Ugh, lame. SO lame. This is not a tv show, this is our government!

The end provided a really interesting quote from Hirschorn:

"He's wants to put on a 'performative' presidency. I mean 'here, I am signing an executive order' which has not become a fantastic social media meme. But he's going through the motions of performing the presidency while the substance, to my mind, pretty awful things are happening, but there is also a lot of nothing happening...he seems uninterested in what's behind the performance he is putting on..."

I mean, wow. Just watch him explain it. It is such a perfect description of Trump, the reality show star pretending to be a President. Almost makes you pity him. ALMOST.

Kidding. No one pities the orange menace.

Last quote:

"[Trump] is now confused about whether he is living in 'reality' or in actual reality."

Fascinating clip and I encourage you to watch it in its entirety.

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