Just when you thought this presidential election cycle could not get any more reality-TV, six former candidates from NBC’s series The Apprentice threw a news conference this morning at which they denounced show star Donald Trump, and which was covered – seriously – by some TV news operations.
“We stand united as former contestants on The Apprentice, not to denounce Donald Trump the man, but to denounce Donald Trump the candidate’s message, said Season 4 winner Randal Pinkett, who’d set up the event, according to former competitor Kwame Jackson. (Trump’s starring vehicle started its life as The Apprentice, featuring “unknowns,” before it morphed into star-studded The Celebrity Apprentice when ratings waned.)
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“Donald Trump is validating people’s hate and his bigotry in a way that I truly believe has the potential to tear this country apart,” chimed in Tara Dowdell.
Jackson, who was Season 1’s runner-up, won this morning’s prize for most cliches and borrowed phrases in a speech:
“America is at a tipping point in its demographic identity, social contract and fear of economic dislocation. Into that void and vacuum of uncertainty and fear has stepped Mr. Trump, stoking the flames of our worst demons, to the chagrin of our better angels, and cherished ideals for a more perfect union,” he began.
“As a citizen, patriot and leader it is my duty to use my small platform to speak the truth, arouse our collective conscience, and channel the best version of America that I know is within us all, as one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” he continued.
Calling Trump’s proposals “rooted in fantasy, hyperbole and bombast,” Jackson insisted, “As President Clinton so truthfully said, there is nothing wrong with America that can’t be fixed by what’s right with America. I believe that in my soul. So, let us chose Kennedy over Kardashianism each and every time as a leading nation, Muhammad Ali over McCarthyism. That is why I defiantly stand up, why I defiantly speak up, and why I defiantly stand before you today.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter this morning called it a “reflection of the dissent about Trump’s presidency” adding that “to have it coming from people who worked with him, who were appearing on the show, is potent.”
Trump, however called it a “so sad” stab by “six failing wannabes” to “get back into the limelight like they had when they were with Trump,” adding, accurately, “nobody would know who they are if it weren’t for me.”
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