Sunday, March 18, 2007

He Didn't Fire Wolf, Damn It!

Idly dial-switching during one of the innumerable NCAA tournament commercial breaks last Friday night, I wasn't surprised to see Donald Trump on the screen. He's hard to avoid. I was, however, somewhat startled by the venue-CNN.

Trump was not there to promote a new exercise in self-promotion, which would've made sense. No, he was being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer for the purpose of delivering a ringing condemnation of the Bush administration, as evaluated by the sound management principles Trump embodies on his TV show "The Apprentice."

Arizona and Purdue could wait. This show needed further investigation. I wasn't tuned to Comedy Network by mistake. I hadn't confused Blitzer with Stephen Colbert. This was a genuine interview being conducted by Blitzer, one of TV's champion chumps, and presented as real information by "the most trusted name in news."

Holy Cow! Oh My! Ever other sportscasting catch phrase of astonishment! An entire network, no, the entire cable news idea, jumps the shark standing on Fonzie's shoulders!

I hold Trump blameless. In our slight acquaintance, he's always seemed like a decent chap. I admire his insight into modern America. Trump was the first rich guy to figure out the era of ADD celebrity. He realized playing the public stereotype of a wheeler-dealer tycoon would make him infinitely more famous and be infinitely more fun than actual wheeling and dealing. In terms of money, Trump's a marginal tycoon at best. Warren Buffet has hundreds of times more. But for American who knows Buffet's name, 100,000 know Trump's.

Trump's clever gig, however, does NOT exactly qualify him for precious air time discussing the vital issues of the day. He has no special insight nor expertise to contribute-no more than than fellow TV celeb Paula Abdul, anyway.

The breathtaking absurdity of Trump's appearance rests solely with CNN. An entire business devoted to the production and distribution of televised news has lost its ability to distinguished between actual reality and what it sees on television. CNN thinks Trump is real. It may think American Idol and WWE are on the up and up, too.

CNN is lost in the funhouse hall of mirrors of the infinite-channel universe. It should fire Blitzer and hire Max Headroom as its new anchor.


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