Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Does Donald Trump Promote Bullying?

Hello everyone, hope your Wednesday is going great so far.....Happy birthday to my terrific pal and partner in crime - Barb!

I tuned in to Celebrity Apprentice last Sunday night because this season features some true characters and I thought it would be fun to see some fireworks.  What I and everyone else witnessed was a mean bully being rewarded for, well, being a mean bully.

Now, I've seen Celebrity Apprentice before, and I understand that ruthless people often win (Joan Rivers).  But Sunday, Donald Trump had the opportunity to send an important message to bullies everywhere.  Unfortunately he chose the wrong message to send.

The episode pitted the aggressive Richard Hatch of Survivor fame against a much smaller and meeker David Cassidy of the 1970's show The Partridge Family.  The scheming Hatch, leader of the men's team, obviously chose the seemingly-weaker Cassidy to be the scapegoat in the event that Hatch's team lost.  When a team loses, that team's leader is fired by Trump unless Trump can be convinced that another team member caused the failure. 

Hatch carefully set Cassidy up to be the fall guy, bullying him mercilessly along the way.  Hatch even shoved Cassidy on one occasion and pushed him on yet another, all in full view of the rest of the team.  What Hatch didn't count on was Cassidy's competence - Cassidy worked hard throughout the task, was pleasant, well-liked by his team and an all-around good guy.  Hatch could only come up with two criticisms in the boardroom after his team lost - that Cassidy took some breaks from his work and he brought in little money for the charity event (although I think he brought in more than Hatch).  Hatch, on the other hand, was an incompetent leader and was clearly the cause of his team's failure.

But the real fly in the ointment turned out to be a guy that said almost nothing during the entire episode - baseball slugger Jose Canseco.  Canseco witnessed the bullying and went all over Hatch in the boardroom in front of Trump.  This brought agreement by the rest of the team, all of whom told Trump that they would fire Hatch.  Cassidy, when he could get a word in, defended himself to Trump against Hatch's attacks.  It was a unanimous decision to fire Hatch, except for the one man whose vote really counted....

Donald Trump should have fired Richard Hatch then and there - sending a clear message to the millions watching that bullies are losers and the bullied can come out on top.  There has been an effort in our country lately to encourage people who witness bullying to stand up for the victims and defend them, and this is exactly what Canseco did.  He earned my respect for his actions and his words.  But, of course, Trump chose the wrong message to send.  Smelling future conflict between Hatch and Canseco that will translate into higher ratings, Trump bowed to greed and, inexplicably, came up with a lame excuse to fire the guy that was bullied.  Why did he fire Cassidy and not Hatch?  Well, according to Trump, Cassidy didn't "stand up for himself".  Because he was bullied, he was evidently deemed a weak link by Trump, and therefore not worth keeping on his show.  So, Trump rewarded the bully, the guy that everyone on his own team and everyone watching the show was convinced should and would go.  The bully strutted back to his room in Trump Towers, and the victim left through the front door with his shoulders slumped.

Trump's message to America:  Bullies are winners.  Bullying victims are losers.  Plain and simple.  


  1. Well said! Bullies continued to win. Scapegoats used. People yelling and belittling on National Television etc. Not a great role model for kids...hopefully they are in bed! Teaching people that this is how one wins and gets ahead. Guess, integrity and speaking assertively is underrated! When comments are made about the "weaker" player, sometimes they are the "scapegoat" because they aren't the mean, vindictive, cutthroat individuals, etc. Message given... allow intimidation, name calling, etc. and you might come out ahead. Trump, would you like people to do that to your kids or wife!?

  2. It seems to me that things have gone downhill over the past ten years or so. We used to be a much more polite society, and we used to care about each other. The advent of Facebook and other social media has made it super-easy for the bullies. And people like Trump exploit the meaness for the sake of ratings. Thank you for your comment!!