Sunday, May 10, 2009



I know "wierd" is backward. So was the result on Celebrity Apprentice.

It's hard to believe that Trump would "hire" someone who lied to him to his face in the Boardroom, and who disgraced the show using insults such as ... No, I can't bring myself to repeat them ... But they exceeded the standards that caused other personalities to lose their jobs on radio and TV, and would have resulted in legal problems in any real business.

There were many hints throughout the show that Trump was favoring Joan Rivers. And reality show producer Burnett described Rivers as reality TV gold, suggesting that (are you shocked?) ratings may have played a role in her success.

We saw on TV -- they showed us on TV -- that Joan lied to Trump to his face when she screamed in the Boardroom at Annie for Annie's perfectly accurate description of how her set decorator quit because of a problem the company had with Joan.

It demeans Trump to show him picking someone who has lied to him to his face.

The despicable (and demonstrably false, by the way) insults Joan screamed at Annie and others should not be condoned.

It demeans Trump to show him picking someone who would say such things about someone else on TV (or not on TV, for that matter).

Allowing Rivers to do those things -- the lies, the insults, the tantrums, the rudeness -- and rewarding her to boot, demeans us, demeans TV and demeans responsible business.

Annie Duke on the other hand, in what was shown on TV, was very impressive -- honest and aggressive about the important things: raising money for charity and treating people well.

I am surprised (shocked?) how many people bought Joan's descriptions of Annie as "trash" and Brande as "dumb" just because Joan kept repeating that lie so often. There was no evidence of that at all that I saw on the show. It seemed like self-righteous, false, hypocritical hyperbole to me. In this case it apparently was also self-serving, but it should never have been allowed to stand. Joan should have been fired early on. She should have not been let back on when she quit.

I found Annie much the better person, and Brande smart, shrewd and nice. I was very disappointed in Joan.

I'm not so sure about the final challenge results, either. From what I saw, Joan won only the branding challenge. Annie's party and celebrity presence seemed far more distinguished and elegant than Joan's party and celebrity factor. Joan's party, while more crowded, seemed much more tacky and celebrity light. And her celebrity impersonators seem to me to subtract from, not add to the celebrity quotient. In short, given Annie's uncontested advantage in charity presentation, and roughly 3-fold advantage in fund raising, I'd give her a four to one win on the last task.

By the way, Who judged the parties? On what basis? It seemed, already last week when the criteria for judging the final challenge were announced, that they were intended (Trump almost said so himself) to prevent Annie from winning easily, since everyone believed she'd be able to raise more money.

In every measure, other than "losing" 3 of the five categories on the final task, Annie was much more successful, during the entire run of the show, than Joan or anyone else. If the show is about philanthropy and raising money for charity, or completing tasks, or performing successfully with honor, Annie won hands down.

We should certainly not celebrate the power of insult -- Joan's strength. And the fact that she is energetic at 75 is irrelevant.

All in all, I rate Annie Duke the far nobler, better person and better contestant.

And, by the way -- on another topic altogether -- what an insult not to name the person they showed giving Joan that huge contribution.

I think the show was a disgrace.

(Irrelevant Note: "i" before "e" except after "c" or when sounded like "A" as in "neighbor" and "weigh"... and "seize" and "weird" and a few other words...)

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