Brian Williams: NBC Gave Trump a TV ‘Pilot’ for the Presidency on ‘Apprentice'

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It’s been more than a decade since Donald Trump hosted some version of The Apprentice on NBC, but that didn’t stop disgraced newsman Brian Williams from blaming MSNBC's parent company for Trump's political rise to the White House. 

On Tuesday night's The 11th Hour, Williams called out NBC, a network that removed him as anchor of The Nightly News after several false stories came public, for helping Trump's path to the presidency: 

 

 

It has been said around here before that viewers of The Apprentice got a preview of the dynamic surrounding what later became the Trump base.

The Apprentice, hosted by Donald Trump, aired for 14 seasons out of this very building … and deepened Trump’s understanding of the medium and its power.

“For starters,” Williams stated, “it gave Trump a board room. He had no board of directors at his family-run company.”

Instead, the MSNBC host noted, the network used the studio for SNL [Saturday Night Live] as the backdrop for the series. “It’s also where [Trump] was able to introduce his children to a national audience.” “We watched as he pushed the brand, the name ‘Trump’ on everything from buildings to planes to helicopters -- even if they were more apt to be leased than owned,” Williams added.

“His own physical profile became part of the brand,” the newsman continued, “starting with the opening sequence of the show, when he used his body as [a] logo -- and then think of how he used that image when he was introduced at the 2016 Republican convention.”

The 11th Hour host asserted that the “so-called coastal elites, including -- let’s be honest -- much of the mainstream media, people who are perhaps still coming to grips with Trump’s attraction, might have seen it early if they watched the show.”

Williams then tied into current news by stating he considered it “doubtful” that Trump would have commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, a former Illinois governor who solicited bribes for Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat in 2008 if he hadn’t been a contestant in the Celebrity Apprentice program.

The anchor then juxtaposed footage of Blagojevich while he was on the program with Trump stating a few days ago that he “didn’t know him very well” even though a video showed the future President telling the contestant: “Rod, you’re fired.”

As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, the pardons elicited “selective outrage” at CNN En Español because one prisoner’s pardon was reported factually while another was bookended with insults aimed at Trump.

To read Williams’ entire report, click “Expand” below:

It has been said around here before that viewers of The Apprentice got a preview of the dynamic surrounding what later became the Trump base. The Apprentice, hosted by Donald Trump, aired for 14 seasons out of this very building.

The Apprentice deepened Trump’s understanding of the medium and its power. For starters, it gave Trump a board room. He had no board of directors at his family-run company. That’s the SNL (Saturday Night Live) studio that served as the backdrop. ... It’s also where he was able to introduce his children to a national audience.

We watched as he pushed the brand, the name “Trump” on everything from buildings to planes to helicopters even if they were more apt to be leased than owned. His own physical profile became part of the brand, starting with the opening sequence of the show, his body as logo and then think of how he used that image when he was introduced at the 2016 Republican convention.

The so-called coastal elites, including -- let’s be honest -- much of the mainstream media, people who are perhaps still coming to grips with Trump’s attraction, might have seen it early if they’d watched the show.

Turns out it was also a preview of his presidency. It’s doubtful Rod Blagojevich would be released from prison were he not on Celebrity Apprentice back in the day, even if it did end badly for him on a critical matter.

...

And so it goes. And so, in that way, to use a TV term, it turns out 14 seasons of a television show might have been the “pilot” for the Trump presidency.

 

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