CNN’s Jeff Zucker: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. TWICE.


(The New York Times Magazine, April 9, 2017, ran a cover story about how CNN’s head honcho Jeff Zucker, who headed NBC Entertainment when he greenlighted Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice,” has served as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, by foisting Trump upon the nation…TWICE. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/magazine/cnn-had-a-problem-donald-trump-solved-it.html?smid=fb-share.)

 
Fifteen months ago, before any of the GOP Presidential Primaries began, my analysis of the Frankenstein Trump monster created by Zucker, NBC’s Mark Burnett, and NBC/Comcast bosses Brian Roberts and Steve Burke was among the first to take Zucker & Company to task for creating that Reality-TV creature, for fun and profit. Now, Zucker is still laughing all the way to the bank, as CNN’s profits soar, and the last laugh is on us. Here’s my piece, updated once before for my “Radical Correspondence” Blog &  Medium:

 

 

(Thirteen months ago, almost to the day, I posted this blog criticizing NBC for creating the television career of the Vulgarian Trump, and paying him more than $200 million for aggrandizing his piggish, demeaning, sexist ways on a national TV network. In the immediate aftermath of the revelations of the Trump Sex Abuse Tapes, done in conjunction with another NBC employee, Billy Bush, I reposted my essay. That was two months ago. Now, NBC has decided to reclaim their evil spawn, by re-hiring him as Executive Producer of “The Apprentice.” Mark Burnett is not yet revealing how much they’ll be paying the Kleptocrat-in-Chief. Emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution anyone? Impeachment?)

 
Tom Brokaw’s two and one-half minute noble tsk-tsking of Donald Trump’s full-blown Fascism — coming at the tail end of a little-watched Tuesday night 6 pm newscast over a year ago — was far too little, way too late from the Broadcast network which made Trump an international TV star and helped launch his political career.

 
Now that Trump’s big, ugly Un-American backside has been bared for all to see, those wonderful folks who gave this monster a global platform to pedal his pernicious views, are beginning to have some second thoughts, but very few have anything to do with soul searching. NBC, for example did pay Donald Trump a total of $213, 606, 575 in salary to host 14 seasons of “The Apprentice” — an average of about $15 million per season, according to documents Trump’s campaign filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

 

 

 

Then, after they handed Trump the bully’s pulpit to pick on everyone from the disabled, to Mexicans, to Syrian Refugees, to wounded war veterans, to Muslims, NBC — no longer seeing profit in Trump’s pugnaciousness — fired the Towering Inferno after he insulted all Mexicans in late June, 2015, during his announcement for President. NBC’s Latino market was just too big for the network to fail. But now, that the NBC/Comcast stellar citizens see a chance to make almost as much money off a Trump presidency than the Kleptocrat-in-Chief himself, they’re inviting the pig back to the trough.

 
Financially, as well as cosmetically, NBC’s announcement to Dump Trump last year was good business. Following its’ first five years, “ The Apprentice” began to rapidly lose market share. NBC meanwhile, had become the NBC/Universal/Comcast monolith after 2009, rolling up big new profits in its cable, movie and amusement park businesses. But now, NBC’s high dudgeon over Trump’s filthy mouth, racist and sexist slurs, has disappeared: they’re clamoring to get back into the pocket of the Kleptocrat they created.

 
NBC and Burnett made Donald Trump — long viewed as another wannabe starlet in New York politics–richer, far more famous, and extraordinarily more powerful than he had ever been before. Trump’s little inheritance of his father’s real estate fortune — built with federal funds for constructing middle-income housing, and keeping Blacks out of that housing — and even a New York Daily News front page headline boasting of the “Best Sex I’ve Ever Had” with Marla Maples, weren’t enough to get him the kind of attention he craved. Before his stint at NBC, Trump looked like a silly little post-card painter without serious recognition of his talent.

 
Then along came Mark Burnett and NBC, and the inner Trump was let loose in the living rooms of millions of Americans through the mindlessness of Reality TV. Burnett, Trump’s co-producer on “Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice”, and a prime mover in bringing Reality TV to American television with his “Survivor” in 2000, and other programming such as “The Voice,” “Shark Tank,” “ Sarah Palin’s Alaska (yes, that too) and, the aptly named “Are you smarter than a fifth-grader?” boasts a net worth estimated at somewhere between $385 million to $450 million — a small fortune built on convincing Americans that eating bugs and spitting bile at people was entertainment. Trump spotted a winning formula for his brand of bragadaccio, and a malleable audience to swallow his hollow values and hateful views.

 
Forbes reported earlier this year that Trump’s entertainment-related income since 2004 — the first, and most successful year of “The Apprentice”– was approximately $500 million, from his books, speeches, beauty pageants and Reality-TV employment, the bulk of which, came from NBC, and was made possible by his ten-year run on the NBC aired reality show–including nearly $100 million in product-placement fees Trump and “Apprentice” co-producer Burnett got from shaking down program sponsors like Pepsi and Crest.

 
NBC can roll out all of the Tom Brokaw mea culpa commentaries it wants; pretend to be righteous by having Joe Scarborough cut off Trump after allowing the Quasimodo of Queens to rant on, or even continue to allow MSNBC to operate. The network conglomerate created this monster, and, with the willing leadership of programming ghouls like Mark Burnett and Jeff Zucker at the time (who went on to greater shame at CNN), NBC disarmed the audience of any analytical ability to recognize that its collective brain was being snatched, and now, it’s pockets being picked as well.

 
Sleep well,  CNN’s Jeff Zucker, and NBC & Comcast’s Brian Roberts and Steve Burke: you’ve enabled the raping and pillaging of the country, but, at least, you and the Kleptocrat-in-Chief are making money.

Orchestrating Poison Gas Deaths of “Children of God” to Benefit Trump & Putin?

I hate even entertaining these thoughts.

The chilling idea that there are such inhuman thugs as leaders of nations who could cause such questions to be raised is the stuff nightmares are made of.  However, the context of this week’s Sarin gas murders of 80 Syrians by Syrian & Russian leadership, and the “proportional” response by Donald Trump–an Assad cheerleader as recently as last week–makes the question necessary to ask:  Were the poison gas killings of innocent Syrians orchestrated by Putin and Assad , and the carefully choreographed response by Trump carried out to benefit Trump and Putin?

Here are a few things to consider:

  •  Trump’s virulent oppostion to US intervention in Syria in 2013 when 1400 hundred humans–and many more “children of God suffered such horrors,”  were slaughtered by Assad’s use of Sarin gas. Why did those deaths not matter four years ago, and now, these far fewer deaths do?

 

  • Trump’s hollow piety that “No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” has a very short shelf life, corresponding to his tanking poll numbers.  That standard didn’t apply as recently as last week, when he supported accepting Assad in power, with help from his pal Putin. Putin’s broken promise to rid Syria of its stockpile of poison gas–made to embarrass President Obama and the United States four years ago, and to secure a foothold in the Middle East for Russia–has never mattered to Trump.  Not even now, since he is still silent on it.

 

  •  Trump’s carefully scripted line of “No child of God should suffer such horror,” didn’t apply to thousands of Syrian refugee childen, and their parents, he campaigned to keep out of America, despite their fleeing from terrorist attacks from ISIS, the Russians and their own government.  He never expressed emotion when a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach, or when a bomb-shocked Syrian boy’s photograph became a worldwide symbol of such horrors.

 

  •  Assad’s latest poison gas attack on his own people was  targeted and constrained, compared to the one he carried out 4 years ago.  This limited atrocity raised more questions: Did Putin know about it ahead of time? Did he collaborate with Assad in conducting the limited Sarin gas attack as a way of giving Trump the opportunity to make a limited response and thus appear “tough” vs. Russia. Did Putin see it as a way to further his foothold in Syria and the Middle East?

 

  • With the FBI and US Senate investigations closing in on Trump’s team and possible collaboration with the Russians during the 2016 elections,  did Putin (with assistance from Assad, his client) stage these 80 murders, to give Trump the opportunity to: 1. look tough; 2. “stand up” to Russia; 3. Proclaim the moral high ground during a cynically named “Leadership Week”, and, 4. Prop up Trump’s sinking poll numbers?

 

  • Putin &  Russia clearly gain from this as well. With the US “proportional” attack, Putin can now pressure Assad that Syria needs Russia’s presence even more, to neutralize the involvement of the US. Russia’s largest airbase outside of mainland Russia is located in Syria.

 

  • Trump’s empty “No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” has never applied  to the other 500,000 Syrians slaughtered with conventional weapons during Assad’s reign of terror, especially since Russia’s physical and political presence in Syria began 4 years ago. Trump’s only interest in Syrian children up to this week was to keep them out of the United States as refugees, regardless of how horrible the terror at home.  Now, he sees that crusading on their corpses can bring him political gain.

 

  • Measure the responses of Russia and Syria over the coming days to ascertain whether this action was a pre-choreographed  piece to help BOTH Trump and Russia. Expect rhetorical condemnation from Putin and Assad, but little else. They will tacitly “accept,” the US’ “proportional” response–as if 80 humans exterminated like cockroaches by poison gas  can ever be equated with missile strikes at an empty air force base.  Proportional?

 

  • Everyone gains here, except the dead. Trump looks tougher with Russia, and changes the subject from the Trump/Russia investigations for a while; Putin gains further leverage inside of Syria, and extends his military presence in the Midldle East; and, Assad, has his hands slapped for slaughtering his own people, yet again.

 

  •  Trump’s defenders are already mouthing the disgusting minimization of the death of “God’s Children,” by pointing to the limited missile attacks on an empty air force base (that both Russia  & Syria were pre-warned to empty) as “evidence” that Trump cannot possibly be in bed with Putin.

For thugs like Putin, Assad and Trump, children suffering such horrors are merely the cost of doing business and clinging to power.

Vinnie “The Chin” & Donnie “Double Chin.”

Vincent “The Chin” Gigante being arrested by Federal Agents (NY Daily News Photo)

 

For weeks, some have been asking how long the lunatic, erratic, fanatical and dangerous behavior of Donald Trump can go on.   For answers, we overlooked the most obvious source of all of Trump’s life lessons: Mobsters.

 

New York Mob boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, the power behind the Genovese Crime Family during the 1980’s and 1990’s, avoided prosecution for decades by pretending to be crazy.   Nicknamed “The Oddfather,” Gigante took rambling street strolls in pajamas, a terrycloth robe and slippers around Greenwich Village, where he lived in a small apartment with his mother, who, in a screeching Sean Spicer-like defense of her son, insisted the only thing he was “boss” of was the bathroom. Paul Manafort? A “limited role.” Michael Flynn? A Volunteer. Roger Stone? A bathroom attendant.

 

The Chin’s “elaborate deception”—as Federal Judge Eugene Nickerson described Gigante’s behavior in declaring him mentally competent to stand trial in the 1990’s–kept him out of jail for years, and the wealthy & powerful Mob boss manufactured reams of doctors notes to swear to his lunacy. Some of those notes from The Chin’s parade of psychiatrists bore an eerie, albeit, perverse similarity to the claims made by Trump’s own alleged “doctor.” The Chin was the craziest of all crazies, according to his Docs, just as Donnie “Double Chin”—the nearly 300 pound Tweeter from the High Tower—was, physically, if not mentally, the healthiest presidential candidate in world history.

 

Somehow, “The Chin’s” psychiatrists missed a few salient facts: Gigante’s slipping out at night, dressed in normal clothing, to be with his girlfriend on the Upper East Side; Gigante ordering a hit on John Gotti, head of the rival Gambino Crime Family because he felt Gotti broke the Mob’s rules with the “unsanctioned” murder of Paul Castellano; Gigante ordering his underlings never to mention his name in conversations, but simply point to their “Chins;” and Gigante gingerly extorting payoffs from vendors and pocketing money donated to a neighborhood church during New York’s Annual Feast of San Gennaro. Why bother with the facts when a fake narrative keeps the cash flowing?

 

Like “The Chin,” Donnie “Double Chin,” profits from advancing his fairy tale: he never settles lawsuits except for the dozens he has; he is “very, very rich”, except for when his debts & liabilities exceed his assets and he pays no income taxes for 20 years; he creates an imaginary universe where Barack Obama is a Muslim, not born in the USA, who wiretapped his phones, with help from British spies; The Central Park Five, along with Ted Cruz’ father, are guilty of murder, even when none of them are; millions of illegal voters gave the popular vote to Hillary; and Trump never dealt with the Russians, except when he did, and as his son admitted, the “family” was doing, in 2008.   Also like “The Chin,”Donnie “Double Chin,” knows that his billowing bouffant layer-cake of lies can be easily deflated by those who have watched how it’s half-baked. That explains why he’s tweeting as fast as his tiny fingers can fly to delete Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone from his friends list. They know too much.

 

It’s also why Trump—steeped in the raw sewage of Roy Cohn, Mob sycophant—demands ironclad non-disclosure documents from his underlings.   He watched how testimony from former Mob members exposed “The Chin’s” long-running charade—like a bathrobe coming undone– putting the powerful crime boss away in prison for the rest of his life.

 

Selwyn Raab, the incomparable New York Times organized crime writer, detailed such testimony in his obituary on Gigante, published on December 19, 2005 (“Vincent Gigante, Mafia Leader Who Feigned Insanity, Dies at 77”):

 

“Salvatore Gravano, testified that even Mr. Gigante’s archrival, John Gotti, grudgingly acknowledged Mr. Gigante’s craftiness. ‘He’s crazy like a fox,’ Mr. Gravano quoted Mr. Gotti as saying after a summit meeting of NYC Mob leaders in 1988.”

 

Raab’s masterpice of a New York Times obituary on “The Chin,” is instructive for helping us understand the apparently unhinged behavior of Donnie “Double Chin:”

 

Mr. Gigante, whose nickname was ‘The Chin’, painstakingly maintained the fiction that he was incompetent until April 2003, when he appeared before Judge I. Leo Glasser in Federal District Court in Brooklyn and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. Specifically, he acknowledged running a con on the legal system that delayed his racketeering trial from 1990 to 1997, while his sanity was being examined.”

 

How long can Donnie “Double Chin” continue to “maintain his fictions “to avoid accountability or prosecution? When will his “elaborate deception” of the US and the world come crashing down? Will some no-nonsense, law and order judge like Justice I. Leo Glasser force Trump to “acknowledge running a con on the legal system,” in exchange for his resignation from office without jail time? When will Trump’s fellow gang members turn on him?

 

Donnie “Double Chin” may have gone to Wharton for a whiff of time, but he has proven himself incapable of learning the most important lessons “The Chin” taught: fancy pants or silk pajamas attract too much attention, and, the only thing “golden” from yourself and your friends, no matter how it’s achieved, is silenzio.

The President & The Puttana

 

Vito Genovese’s puttana came on to me during my senior year of high school, while the mob boss was still alive.

 

It was Springtime, 1967, and my mother and I arrived at my Aunt Josephine’s small Woodside, Queens, apartment when it happened. Genovese’s girlfriend, a fiftyish French woman named Charlotte, batted her long lashes at me, spoke a few words in her sexy French accent and I was smitten. She was visiting my mother’s oldest sister, having accompanied our cousin, Jean Eboli, married to the brother of Tommy Eboli, who would—in just two years—succeed Don Vito as head of the Genovese Crime Family. I studied French for four years in high school, and Vito’s sultry puttana was verbally seducing me right before my mother’s incredulous eyes.

 

I was polite and respectful, of course. My Aunt Josephine, a brilliant and scheming peasant woman, born in Italy in 1899, who admired money and was mobster neutral, had taught us how to act around these folks. Having cooked for members of both the Genovese and Gambino crime organizations, who married into our own family, Aunt Josephine’s kitchen was a little like Gertrude Stein’s salon for street toughs who loved superb tomato sauce, the way Stein’s patron’s loved good art. The lesson from Aunt Josephine was clear: the host always showed respect, even if your guest was a puttana.

 

It’s too bad Donald Trump didn’t have an Aunt Josephine to teach him life’s lessons. If he did, he might have known how to act toward the reputed puttana of convicted racketeer, mobster and NY Teamster Local Boss John Cody. Donald’s dealings with Vernia Hixon, who bought several of the best apartments in Trump Tower in 1982, revealed Trump’s inherent “pussyness” in the face of real power.

 

“Trump was a guy who would talk tough, but as soon as you confronted him, he would cry like a little girl,” Cody’s son, Michael, told The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey and Michael Daly in an October 13, 2016, article entitled “The Swiss Connection: The Party Girl Who Brought Trump to His Knees.   “He was all talk, no action.”

 

Cody was not just any casual observer. His father controlled the construction trades industry throughout the New York Metropolitan Area for a number of key years in the 1970’s and ‘80s, as head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 282.   No trucks carrying any building materials, especially cement, could move to a construction site without Cody’s approval. The flow of cement was controlled by the S & A Concrete Company, a mob-front business co-owned by the Gambino & Genovese Crime families. If building developers didn’t pay what Cody or S & A Concrete demanded, their jobs—like Trump Tower—could be halted.

 

“My father walked all over Trump.” Michael Cody told The Daily Beast. “ Anytime Trump didn’t do what he was told, my father would shut down his job for the day. No deliveries. 400 guys sittin’ around.” To John Cody and his colleagues, Donald Trump was just another puffed-up, pasty patsy.

 

One of the things Cody told Trump was to make sure he took very good care of his special friend Verina Hixon, who purchased three prime units in Trump Tower, just beneath Trump’s Penthouse. Hixon’s units, included the only swimming pool in the entire Trump Tower complex. The strikingly-beautiful, Austrian-born divorcee, according to Wayne Barrett, in Trump: The Art of the Deal, “had no visible income…and by the end of 1982 had signed contracts to purchase the units for a total cost of around $10 million.”

 

Cody made sure Trump took good care of Hixon, even funneling some $500,000 to her for renovations on her apartments while he was in jail for racketeering and income tax evasion. When Trump balked at fulfilling some of his promises to Hixon, according to Barrett “Cody & Hixon cornered him in a nearby bar and got his agreement. “Anything for you, John, “ was Hixon’s recollection of Trump’s cowering comment.

 

Trump was so terrified of crossing Cody that at one point, when Cody called Trump from prison to complain about construction problems on Hixon’s apartments, Barrett reported that “Trump greeted him nervously on the phone. ‘Where are you? Trump asked. Downstairs?”

 

“Trump ended conversations with my father by saying, “Whatever you say, John,” Michael Cody told The Daily Beast.

 

However, as soon is Cody was stripped of his union leadership and his jail term dragged on, Trump got brave. He sued Hixson for $250,000 on the apartments’ alterations, but Cody’s tough, no-bullshit consort was not so easily bullied. According to Barrett, she counter-sued The Donald for $20 million, and her attorneys threatened to bring in the Attorney-General to look into the possibility of Trump paying himself ‘kickbacks.’

 

Trump quickly caved and Cody’s reputed puttana with the seductive accent stayed in her tower on Fifth Avenue through the end of the decade, until her money finally ran out. Perhaps Aunt Josephine could have ended things more amicably for everyone over a good meal in her kitchen, but considering the two parties involved, it’s unlikely.

 

Hixson, now in her early 70’s and living in Europe, refers to Trump as “that awful man,” and Trump who thinks a fine meal is a Trump Tower taco, is busy bending over for mobsters from Russia. Whatever they want, Vlad. Anything.

 

 

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A Good Man Who Liked His Beer…

 

(Me, My Aunt Josephine, My brother Michael, and my father (wearing fedora) at my college graduation, 1971).

 

(In honor of the 102nd Anniversary of my father’s birth, I am excerpting a short section from  my upcoming book, Tightrope, which will be published this spring.)

 

My father and I stopped at the newspaper kiosk at the Babylon train station’s lower level on the morning of Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral in June, 1968, and picked up a copy of the New York Daily News for him, and the New York Times for me.

 

We boarded his regular early morning train that was already waiting at the station. Both newspapers predicted huge crowds of mourners would jam Manhattan that day. I pored over every word of every story I could read about RFK’s death, devouring each detail in the Times and leaning over my father’s arm to look at the pictures in the Daily News and read the giant headlines, until he flipped the paper over to the sports section to check what the horseracing handle was from the day before. The last three digits of that total would tell him if he “hit” the number with his bookie.

 

The contrast of our lives struck me. My father was doing the same thing he had done for 15 years of life on Long Island, catching an early morning train, looking at the horseracing results in the same section of the same newspaper each day, hoping that maybe, this time, this day “our ship would come in,” as he chanted each time he looked. Each day he got up before everyone else, went to the same job, taking care of tempermental steam boilers that belched hot water and hot air through the pipes running like elevated roadways in the basement of the office building where he worked in Manhattan. He barely made enough money to support our family, and only because he worked on Saturdays, too, earning overtime pay.

 

I watched the train conductor punch my ticket and thought of how my father must have watched countless conductors perform the same ritual, ticket after ticket, trip after trip, until he no longer knew it was happening. I sat and stared out the train window and watched Woodside whiz by, hearing my mother’s refrain repeating itself to the cadence of the train car’s wheels whispering over the tracks: “We live in hopes and die in despair; live in hopes, die in despair; live in hopes, live in hopes…” I looked over at my father, asleep, the Daily News folded in his lap.

 

No, I insisted to myself, I am the third son of a third son, and I must live a life like no one in my family has ever dreamed; my father told me so. I would learn about the mysterious “they” that my family fussed about whenever something happened out of their control, which was frequently. What I had to guard against, was becoming one of “them,” an unspoken fear between my family and me. We knew I would be different, but how different? Would I become unrecognizable to my mother and father? Go on, take, take, take; but don’t take too much…don’t change too much.

 

I looked at my father again, his dapper grey fedora resting gently on his head. I could not imagine him going to a politician’s funeral, to pay his respects to one of “them. To Al Villano, it was all distant, part of another “woild,” as he would say.   He had all he could do to survive and feed his family in his world.

 

“Will you have to give la busta?,” he kidded me, when I first told him I was going to RFK’s funeral, referring to the Italian custom of putting a little money in an envelope and giving it to the family of the deceased to help pay funeral expenses. His humor got me to smile.

 

“I don’t think the Kennedys need it, Dad, “ I said, winking back at him.

 

We got off the train at Grand Central Station.

 

“Be careful and watch your wallet, Rock,” he said to me, heading down to the basement of the building where he worked, putting on his brown maintenance man’s uniform as soon as he got there, and wearing it all day, the way the wealthy lawyers and accountants on the floors above wore their designer label suits and ties, while he made certain they were comfortable all day long.

 

Trump’s New Show: “Shit Sandwich!”

Last May, I published a piece on social media that called upon the mainstream media to eat Donald Trump alive at his own game. Since television’s insatiable hunger for cheap, low-cost, low-talent Reality TV made a crass, shrivel-souled little man with tiny hands into a celebrity out of Trump (thank you, Jeff Zucker & Mark Burnett) and helped build his puffed-up platform for a Presidential campaign, my reasoning was that TV also had the power to devour him.

NBC dumped the Donald when his ratings nosedived — despite what the imaginary friends in Trump’s mind tell him. Now, however, having used television and social media’s obcession with suspense, suspension of belief and bug-swallowing to slip in through a basement window of the White House, it’s not so easy to get rid of the bloated, no-talent fraud.  It’s even tougher when he has Secret Service protection, and is in possession of a nuclear, non-edible “biscuit,” even if he isn’t in possession of his senses.

For the first month of his occupation of the office, the perpetual “Apprentice” has, predictably, acted like one, and barricaded himself behind bunkers in the White House, Mar-A-Lago, and his Castle on the Hill on Fifth Avenue. Instead of quietly conducting his Kremlin-inspired Kleptocracy and, at least ostensibly, respecting American institutions like the Judiciary, the First Amendment, the US Constitution, and American Intelligence Services, Trump cannot stop himself from acting like the insecure schnorrer he is. His insatiable appetite for any kind of media — social, virtual, print and reality, television news, negative, positive  or ridicule— drove the failed “ Apprentice” to produce his newest daily game show from the White House, with a cast of characters far more repulsive than Omarosa, although she was kept around for an occasional cameo.

The new ratings (or is it rantings and ravings?) hit has been perfectly named “Shit Sandwich,” by advisors to Vice-Admiral Robert Harward, Deputy Commander of US Central Command, who told him this week what he’d be stepping into if he agreed to replace notorius Russian TV mouthpiece Michael Flynn as National Security Director.

Neither Burnett nor Zucker — who produced and greenlighted many shitty reality shows while at NBC — could have foreseen such a logjam of lunatics and losers under one roof as Vice-Admiral’s Harward’s friends found in “Shit Sandwich.” Instinctively, Trump knew that none of us — especially the media he loves to hate — could turn away from something so astoundingly vile.

The “highly over-rated” cast of “Shit Sandwich” includes: Steven “Seig Heil,” Bannon, a walking “Evola” Virus, taking his cues from a dead, deranged Italian Fascist — Julius Evola— who believed Mussolini and Hitler weren’t tough enough on Jews, and wrote about women as “things”; Eva Conway Braun (aka KKKKelly Anne Conjob), who thought she could pitch Ivanka’s products on the air, ethics laws be damned, and then discovered she couldn’t even pitch herself to the news shows that used to fawn over her boss, like “Morning Joe”; and Mike Pence, who still doesn’t know he was lied to by Trump, by Mike Flynn, and by the gay-conversion therapists he listended to years ago.

Bit players in “Shit Sandwich” include Reince Priebus, whose penis shaped head perfectly suits what flows from his mouth; the “31-year old” Josef Goebbels wannabe Stephen “I-never-got-laid-in-High School, and-my-liberal-parents-ignored-me,” Miller, and Sean “Spitting Spicey” Spicer, plucked from obscurity from a truck stop toilet in Tallahassee.

 Although, the “well-oiled machine” of “Shit Sandwich” has been boffo at the box-office, it’s still not enough for the approval-addicted “Apprentice”; minute-by-minute he must mainline more and more mainstream media attention in order to breath. His tweets are a mere Russian “ruse” for new plot lines, equating his attacks on Nordstrom’s and Saturday Night Live,with attacks on the Judiciary and the CIA. If you mock everything, then everything is a mockery.

Consistent with the story-line of “Shit Sandwich” is Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, a polluter’s pawn who rose to power by covering up the damage of toxic Chicken Manure (aka: “Chicken Shit”) and earthquake producing fracking in his home state of Oklahoma — actions that have probably caused more Okies’ deaths than the Oklahoma City bombing 20 years ago by a Fascist extremist. Pruitt’s approval by the GOP-lead Senate comes on the heels of the surfacing of a 27 year old Oprah Winfrey Show tape of Trump’s  Putzy Labor nominee’s wife dressed in disguise where she testified that the billionaire burger flipper hit her with his hamburgers, again and again. Not even the New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz could make this stuff up, and the “Shit Sandwich’s” ratings blew the roof off the White House.

In short, “The Apprentice,” who came to power riding the back of the media, was now in danger of ending up inside its’ bowels, unable to satiate his own narcissism, unglued by criticism, with his out-of-control ego unable to withstand the withering scrutiny of his lies, his life and his lack of talent. Will CNN’s Jeff Zucker help flush “Shit Sandwich” down the drain? Will CBS’ Les Moonves keep up the car-accident coverage because its great for the his company’s bottom line?

 Stay tuned for BREAKING NEWS at the top of this sentence.