The President-Elect felt he just had to gloat about the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger, his successor on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” failed to attract the same number of viewers when Trump was the star.
The ex-Governor of California’s debut as host on NBC was watched by 4.9million viewers compared to Trump’s 6.5million viewers who tuned in to the season premiere in 2015….and if you care about the ratings of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” I don’t think you and I would have much to talk about.
Trump tweeted, in his best junior high school mode,
“Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT…So much for being a movie star – and that was season 1 compared to season 14….Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported [Ohio Governor John] Kasich & [Democratic nominee] Hillary Clinton.”
“I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings,” the actor tweeted, adding a video from an earlier tweet in which he quoted Abraham Lincoln.
Every time Trump does something this petty, needless, and undignified, he scares people to death, as in their minds they transfer this level of judgment to critical decisions he may face as President and feel like their lives are in the hands of Bluto from Delta House. Nobody, and I mean nobody, deserving of an adult’s respect wants to know the next President’s views about “The Apprentice.” Such a tweet is a 100% loss, and no upside for Trump. The more publicity it gets, the worse off he is, meaning the worse off the Presidency is, meaning the worse off the nation is….and yet the substance of the tweet couldn’t be more trivial if he had tweeted a recipe for fried grasshoppers.
Does it make sense for the news media to treat every stupid tweet with the same gravitas as past journalists regarded Presidential statements? Obviously this is not traditional behavior.
Should the news media treat it like a Presidential burp or fart, or as one would treat involuntary exclamations if a Tourettes sufferer was elected President? Show some compassion: the guy has Twittermania, or something. Did the news media report every time George H.W. Bush sounded like he was speaking a foreign tongue, or every time Reagan’s head bobbled, or every time Hillary coughed? Is the responsible thing to ignore it? Trump’s narcissism, which really is a disorder, is getting the better of him here. He’s calling out for attention. Maybe the responsible, kind thing is to ignore his tweets, and make him get attention the old fashioned way. Why follow his tweets? I don’t. I’d rather die.
I was watching the Diane Lane movie “Untraceable” again the other night. In it, a disturbed tech wiz kidnaps people and tortures them to death while streaming online, and everyone who logs on the horrible spectacle hastens the speed of the torture. The authorities tell everyone not to watch, and that makes more people watch, killing the victim. Trump’s tweets are like that. This is going to go on like this for four years?
There has to be a way to convince the man that it’s not just bad form, degrading to him and the office, and guaranteed to make people sick of him in record time, but that it also plays into his worst enemies’ hands. I don’t know what the answer is. I do know that any leader who regularly lowers himself to this kind of discourse undermines his power, influence, and credibility.
And to think I thought Obama giving his basketball tournament brackets was foolish…