On MSNBC on Thursday, the hosts were competing to see which one could be more upset that President Trump welcomed three Americans home from being imprisoned in North Korea. Ari Melber put in a strong bid on his show The Beat, inviting on a reality-TV show producer to call the president.... a “thirsty bitch.”
Melber first showed Trump joking next to the freed Americans that he was breaking TV ratings records for 3 AM. “Come on,” Melber responded in dramatic fashion. “We call that not sticking the landing. Donald Trump standing next to three people who literally, let’s be real about what they were going through, literally didn’t know if they’d ever get home again, and if they would live through their ordeal. And he turned it immediately to TV ratings. This is, of course, as everyone has said, a reality TV presidency and ratings appear to be part of how he measures his job.”
Melber introduced “media innovator and self-described member of the Resistance” Michael Hirschorn, creator of VH-1 reality shows like Flavor of Love with rapper Flavor Flav and Celebrity Rehab.
ARI MELBER: Who knew that your Venn diagram of experience would be so crucial? What do you see Donald Trump doing and thinking there as a leader and as a wannabe reality TV character?
MICHAEL HIRSCHORN: So, in my old VH1 days, they would have called him a thirsty B-I-T-C-H.
HIRSCHORN: Just a little bit try-hard. And I think a really smart producer would not actually describe what he’s doing. He would just accept the ratings and move on. So, I find there’s a little slippage in Trump’s reality TV.
MELBER: Slippage?....The mask is dropping and he's speaking back stage as he would about the ratings instead of doing the thing that is supposed to deliver the ratings?
HIRSCHORN: Right. It's the classic Trump administration malevolence tempered by incompetence, so that, we hope, will save us.
MELBER: When you see that and you say that he's thirsty, should a president be thirsty?
HIRSCHORN: Well, I think his thirstyness and his reality TV approach to presidenting could have really significant real-world implications, right? I think he’s potentially undermining his position vis-a-vis North Korea. He’s undermined his position vis-a-vis the entire world by pulling out of the Iran deal. So, we’re heading to the point now, finally, where these types of theatrics are starting to really have a significant impact.
Melber asked “Do human beings in reality shows lose their grasp on where the show ends?"
“Often,” Hirschorn replied. “There's nothing more tragic than a reality star. I think he did pretty well becoming president, but it still doesn't mean the story could end very badly. One of the things that reality talent that we've worked with, they lose sight of the distinction between reality and fantasy. He may have gotten one over on the public and also on himself and not really understanding what's happening around him. It's just pure, all-enveloping narcissism.”
Melber concluded by praising Hirschorn was a “deep thinker who’s never thirsty.”