People know that Trump became known for his real estate ventures but we also all know that it was Hollywood that made him famous. I mean, let’s face it, there are a ton of old men out there that own a bunch of high-priced real estate and you have never heard about them. It’s just not a celebrity thing. So it was the media and mainly the TV/Film industry that made the name Trump well known to the world.
It was in the 1980s that his name started to make waves. The camera loved him because he had no filter. People that loved him and those that hated him would both watch to see what he was going to say next. I mean the man even tried to take on the NFL with the United State Football League and in doing so killed the league. But that’s what Hollywood and the media feeds off of, good headlines and soundbites. We love big statements that make waves in the minds of our viewers.
Instantly, people were hooked, as young hopefuls competed for a shot to work for Donald Trump. The show gained instant fame and of course even celebrities got involved as eventually the show turned into “Celebrity Apprentice.” I won’t lie. I also was a big fan of the show and loved to watch Trump chew out lazy wannabes. I wasn’t alone in enjoying the drama.
The shows were a big hit for NBC. Trump’s popularity in the media world grew and he even started making more TV and film cameos, at his point becoming an “A-lister.” Technically his show at NBC was never canceled until he decided to run for president and Arnold Schwarzenegger took over. Arnold only lasted a season and the show was so bad that NBC was running two episodes in a row just to speed through the season. It was then that Trump’s show was officially canceled.
But NBC still loved him and Hollywood did too, so the minute Trump announced he was running for president SNL made him the host and he appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” The news media was also in love with this new potential political icon because he would make headlines every day. No longer would political TV programming have to be boring.
Trump was in the mix, and his propensity to say anything made for good ratings. Even I got pulled into watching political debates, just because I wanted to see what Trump was going to say.
Most politicians try to keep a calm and composed manner when dealing with the media and adversaries. But this was not Trump. When challenged, as he would be inevitably, he fought back. Trump pushed back against networks like CNN and NBC News and I mean really fought back. This was something we hadn’t seen in politics, well pretty much ever. Also when it came to debates, Trump made headlines because he was always in aggressive attack mode, down to belittling opponents, not just disagreeing with them. This was something that had never really been done before in a debate. If you look at the last presidential debate between Obama and Mitt Romney, for example, it was very courteous. Look at all the debates even before that and notice the professionalism that was used when going toe-to-toe. Trump destroyed those old debate ways and introduced us to a debate style I call “bulldozing.” The best part, for him, is that it worked and his opponents didn’t know how to respond and were just taken out one by one until he landed himself in the Oval Office.
It’s like when your friend gets crazy aggressive at the company softball game and you just have to leave him in the parking lot. Even NBC didn’t want to touch him anymore and pulled away. Hollywood essentially did a 180 and declared war on Trump. And because the dest defense is a good offensive, Trump didn’t take this about face lightly.
To this day, Trump takes on Hollywood every chance he gets. To him, the same place that helped put him in the spotlight was now trying to take him out of the White House.
Eventually, when Trump does leave office, be it next year or in another four years, we have to wonder if politics go back to what they use to be. I believe not. I believe Trump has changed politics for a long while. You can see that truth even in the Democratic debates. All the candidates are taking a page out of the Trump book by trying to “Bulldoze” each other on stage. Like when democratic candidates make big promises like free healthcare, free college, and free everything. Does this sound familiar to you? Does it kind of remind you of a certain big promise on a wall that was going to be buil? At no cost to any of us.
The sad truth is that American politics have evolved into an aggressive thunder-dome and I don’t believe it’s going away any time soon. It’s a also a sad truth that Trump is largely a media and Hollywood creation that they thought they could benefit from and contain. We know now how wrong they were about that.